Oscars 2022 predictions: Who will be nominated for the 94th Academy Awards?

This year Oscar nominations, set to be announced Tuesday, feel exceptionally up for grabs: With the Golden Globes diminished and the Critics Choice Awards pushed back to March due to the omicron variant, no TV awards show has had a chance to dominate the build-up to these selections, and Oscar voters might turn to some surprising choices as a result.

At least I hope so. Even though I’m your projectionist and it’s my duty to give you the best Oscar predictions, a small part of me is thrilled when my guesses are wrong because it means something unexpected has happened. . With that attitude in mind, here are my projections for who and what will be nominated in the top six Oscar races, informed by industry chatter as well as recent nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

And let the things I miss be delicious.


Best Picture

Don’t look up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The power of the dog
Tick, tick… Boom!
Macbeth’s Tragedy
West Side Story

Let’s start with the locks. The five films nominated by the Directors Guild – Belfast, Dune, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog and West Side Story – should all be considered a sure thing; in fact, in the years since the academy expanded its best picture lineup, only one DGA award nominee (David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) has failed to crack the race. at the Oscars. CODA, King Richard, and Don’t Look Up all garnered top Actors Guild nominations in addition to PGA award nods, so all three of these films are good looking, too.

dunes Dune has the maximum number of BAFTAS nominations.

The two remaining slots will be vigorously pursued. House of Gucci got a SAG casting nomination but no PGA love; instead, the producers nominated showbiz stories Being the Ricardos and Tick, Tick… ​​Boom! Blockbusters like Spider-Man: No Way Home and No Time to Die have made their best image cases, but if the populist Producers Guild hasn’t named them, I don’t expect more discerning voters to Oscars do.


As the academy grows to include more international voters, we’ve gotten more nominees for best pictures in a language other than English, and there’s a strong group of international contenders this year which includes Drive My Car and A Hero. And I haven’t even gotten to The Tragedy of Macbeth and The Lost Girl, artistic adaptations that might play better with academy members than guild voters.

In the end, I’m projecting nominations for Tick, Tick…Boom! and The Tragedy of Macbeth, as there is often a strong correlation between the best picture composition and the best acting breed. Still, this is the first year in a long time that the category has had 10 guaranteed nominees, so let’s hope a wider net surprises.

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza”
Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast”
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car”
Denis Villeneuve, “Dune”

It’s tempting to go with Anderson, Branagh, Campion, Spielberg and Villeneuve at the DGA Awards, but the Oscars rarely tie them five for five. So who will be the curveball?

Benedict Cumberbatch, the power of the dog Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog. (Picture: Netflix)

In recent years, the director’s branch of the academy has shown a willingness to nominate international filmmakers like Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War) and Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), whose films haven’t even made the best programming ever. pictures. So that’s where I expect major recognition for Hamaguchi’s thoughtful drama Drive My Car, which has already won Best Picture awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the National Society. of Film Critics.

And that’s also where I think we might get the snub of the year: Spielberg feels vulnerable after West Side Story underperformed at the box office, minimally registered with SAG voters, and missed key nominations from Hollywood’s editing and cinematography guilds. Could Hamaguchi really knock out the biggest filmmaker of the bunch? Count on the admin branch for some sort of twist.

Best actor

Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”
Andrew Garfield, “Tick, tick… Boom!”
Will Smith, “King Richard”
Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Smith hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar in 15 years, but he’s a lock to be recognized for his dominating performance in King Richard. Cumberbatch directs one of the most award-winning films of the season; he’s in it too. And Garfield and Washington show off two special talents — for singing and Shakespeare, respectively — that will be catnip for Oscar voters.

King Richard, will forge Will Smith in King Richard.

Could Leonardo DiCaprio clinch fifth place for leading Best Picture nominee Don’t Look Up? It has a great breakdown scene, but SAG didn’t name any of the film’s individual actors. (Perhaps the movie is so star-studded that no one had room to become the MVP.) In the end, I predict SAG nominee Bardem will stay ahead of DiCaprio and the dark horse contenders. like Peter Dinklage (Cyrano), Simon Rex (Red Rocket) and Nicolas Cage (Pig). But it will be close.

Best Actress

Olivia Colman, “The Lost Girl”
Lady Gaga, “House of Gucci”
Jennifer Hudson, “Respect”
Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos”
Kristen Stewart, “Spencer”

Ask me what is the best actress run in an hour, and I might have a completely different composition for you. I’m feeling pretty bullish on Kidman, Colman and Gaga, but there are so many possible contenders vying for those final two spots that I keep tearing up my projections and starting over.

Kristen Stewart Spencer Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in Spencer. (Photo: Neon)

Hudson and Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) were both nominated by SAG, but their biopics didn’t show much resistance. Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza) and Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) direct more acclaimed films, but a coronavirus-compromised winter hasn’t given Oscar voters much time with either ingenue. And if I had the choice, there would be two slots for Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) and Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World), but they never really built the momentum they needed this season.

People were shocked when Stewart was snubbed by SAG, but I have a hunch she’ll make it anyway: The 31-year-old actress is to be nominated for her first time, and she hustled, introducing herself at almost all the round tables. and Q&A for Spencer. Of the remaining contenders, I’ll play it safe and predict SAG contender Hudson, who delivers her most polished performance yet in Respect.

Best Supporting Actor

Bradley Cooper, “Licorice Pizza”
Ciaran Hinds, “Belfast”
Troy Kotsur, “CODA”
Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”
Jared Leto, “House of Gucci”

Smit-McPhee’s performance as the wily son of Kirsten Dunst is a shoo-in, because by the end of The Power of the Dog, he’s become the film’s stealthy protagonist. A prosthetically-laden Leto does the kind of high-tension transformation in House of Gucci that voters love, even if critics are tempted to sneer. And Kotsur’s reaction shots fuel CODA’s emotional third act: his daughter drifts away, but now he understands her more than ever.

Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci in a House of Gucci photo by Ridley Scott.

Some thought Cooper’s two-scene role in Licorice Pizza might be too small for Oscar recognition, but he did the SAG programming, and it’s extremely flashy work from a frequent nominee. Ben Affleck also landed a SAG nod, but that was for The Tender Bar, which isn’t considered a major Oscar contender. I’d drop Affleck for a top tier supporting performance from the Best Picture nominees, and from this group – which includes Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog) as well as Hinds and Jamie Dornan (Belfast) – I choose Hinds, an actor veteran due to his first appointment.

Best Supporting Actress

Caitriona Balfe, “Belfast”
Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”
Judi Dench, “Belfast”
Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog”
Ruth Negga, “Passing by”

Dunst, DeBose and Balfe have shown up in all the places you’d expect them to, earning nominations at the SAG, Critics Choice Awards and Golden Globes. Negga feels a bit more vulnerable: she’s nothing short of amazing in one of the most tricky roles of the year, but she missed out on a Critics Choice nod and her film has been mostly overlooked this season. Still, I don’t want to imagine a world where Negga’s best career work goes unpraised, so let’s focus on who the fifth woman in this lineup might be instead.

judi dench Judi Dench in Belfast.

SAG cast Cate Blanchett in Nightmare Alley, a nomination I’m sure even Blanchett didn’t expect. Although Frances McDormand has been positioned as a lead actress candidate in ads for your consideration touting The Tragedy of Macbeth, her somewhat limited screen time might instead draw more votes in this category. Aunjanue Ellis is very good in King Richard, but SAG snubbed her; ditto Rita Moreno in West Side Story, who would have a terrific winning story if she managed to be nominated.

So here’s my shot in the dark: If voters really love Belfast, I think Dench – the last face we see in the film, and a terribly moving one at that – can make it as the trailing candidate.

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