Emilia Jones on a boat in CODA

After the long and winding road, awards season has reached the end of its journey with the 2022 Oscars.

Remember when Belfast was the frontrunner for Best Picture and House of Gucci was going to dominate the acting categories? That was Fall 2021, which feels like 10 years ago.

Things have drastically changed the last few weeks as new contenders have emerged. I won’t waste anymore more time. Below are my predictions for every category.

P.S. Please move the Oscars back to February 2023.

BEST PICTURE

Belfast
CODA

Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

This is a two-horse race between The Power of the Dog and CODA. The Power of the Dog dominated critics’ circles and picked up huge wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Critics’ Choice Awards. On the other hand, CODA is the sentimental favorite and surged to wins at the SAGs and PGAs.

Best Picture is a preferential ballot, which means voters rank the nominees from most favorite to least favorite (1-10). If a film gets 50% of the first-place votes on the first try, it’s over. That’s not going to happen. The film that receives the least number of votes is eliminated. For the ballots that were eliminated, the Academy then takes their number two selections and applies those votes to ballots with that film at number one. This process happens with selections three and four until one film receives 50% of the vote. Here’s a quick diagram to explain.

Voter A: 1) The Power of the Dog 2) CODA 3) Don’t Look Up
Voter B: 1) Nightmare Alley 2) CODA 3) The Power of the Dog
Voter C: 1) CODA 2) West Side Story 3) Dune

Let’s say Nightmare Alley comes in at 10th place after round one so it’s eliminated. Go to Voter B’s number two selection, which is CODA. Essentially, CODA becomes Voter B’s new number one so it’s redistributed to ballots with CODA at one (like Voter C) and adds to CODA‘s first-place tally. The elimination process will occur until a film receives 50% of the vote.

Because of this balloting system, Best Picture is an award given to the film that voters liked the most, or close to it. Don’t think about which film is number one on ballots, but think about which film will fall at numbers two and three. This is why CODA has a legit shot at winning because it will probably fall within the top 3 on many ballots. Can the same be said for The Power of the Dog?

My heart says Coda, and after thinking it over, so does my head. From Sundance to the Oscars, what a run for this heartwarming film.

Who Should Win: Dune
Who Will Win: CODA

BEST DIRECTOR

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Stephen Spielberg, West Side Story

This is Jane Campion’s award to lose. The Power of the Dog is not my favorite movie, but I can’t deny Campion’s expertise and execution. Plus, she’s virtually won every directing award on the circuit. My vote would be for Denis Villeneuve and Dune… oh wait, he was completely snubbed. You deserve better, Denis.

Who Should Win: Denis Villeneuve, Dune (not nominated)
Who Will Win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

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

The kid from West Philadelphia should give the speech of the night. I can’t wait.

Who Should Win: Will Smith, King Richard
Who Will Win: Will Smith, King Richard

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Do you want chaos? Then this is the category for you! Jessica Chastain is the favorite, and as much as I love Chastain, Olivia Colman is tied with Frances McDormand as the best working actress in Hollywood. Colman is a master of her craft. I like all of these actresses so I won’t be upset with whoever wins. I’ll go with Colman in a slight upset because the Academy loves her.

Who Should Win: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Who Will Win: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kostur, CODA
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Troy’s Oscar moment.

Who Should Win: Troy Kostur, CODA
Who Will Win: Troy Kostur, CODA

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Ariana is the lock of the century.

Who Should Win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Who Will Win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Belfast, Kenneth Branagh
Don’t Look Up,
Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
King Richard,
Zach Baylin
Licorice Pizza,
Paul Thomas Anderson
The Worst Person in the World
, Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

The screenplay categories are the hardest of the night. Is this the spot where the Academy rewards Belfast? Does Don’t Look Up have enough momentum following its win at the WGAs? I’m predicting the Academy rewards the man who has been knocking at the door for over two decades, looking for his first Oscar win. That man is Mr. Paul Thomas Anderson.

Who Should Win: Licorice Pizza, Paul Thomas Anderson
Who Will Win: Licorice Pizza, Paul Thomas Anderson

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

CODA, Sian Heder
Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
Dune, Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth
The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal
The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion

If Coda or The Power of the Dog wins this category, then they become the favorite for Best Picture. CODA picked up a huge win at the WGAs, but The Power of the Dog was ineligible. Campion previously won an Oscar for screenplay, and she’s a lock for Best Director. Does the Academy spread the wealth and reward Sian Heder of Maggie Gyllenhaal? I think they share the love so my pick is Heder.

Who Should Win: Dune, Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth
Who Will Win: CODA, Sian Heder

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

The Encanto momentum is real.

Who Should Win: The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Who Will Win: Encanto

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Drive My Car, Japan
Flee, Denmark
The Hand of God, Italy
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, Bhutan
The Worst Person in the World, Norway

Had Drive My Car not been nominated for Best Picture, this would go to The Worst Person in the World. Both films are worthy of this win.

Who Should Win: Drive My Car, Japan and The Worst Person in the World, Norway (tie)
Who Will Win: Drive My Car, Japan

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Ascension
Attica
Flee
Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)
Writing with Fire

Will Questlove be drumming on Fallon the next night after his win? That is the million-dollar question.

Who Should Win: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)
Who Will Win: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Don’t Look Up, Nicholas Britell
Dune, Hans Zimmer
Encanto, Germaine Franco
Parallel Mothers, Alberto Iglesias
The Power of the Dog, Jonny Greenwood

HANS ZIMMER, STAND THE F UP! The legend created new instruments for Dune. He wins easily.

Who Should Win: Dune, Hans Zimmer
Who Will Win: Dune, Hans Zimmer

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Be Alive, King Richard, Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
Dos Oruguitas, Encanto, Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Down To Joy, Belfast, Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
No Time To Die, No Time To Die, Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Somehow You Do, Four Good Days, Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Why Encanto submitted this song over “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is something I’ll never understand. This comes down to who the Academy wants to give an Oscar to, Lin-Manuel or Billie & Finneas? I think not submitting “Bruno” will come back to haunt Encanto. James Bond wins the Oscar.

Who Should Win: No Time To Die, No Time To Die, Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Who Will Win: No Time To Die, No Time To Die, Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Dune, Greig Fraser
Nightmare Alley, Dan Laustsen
The Power of the Dog, Ari Wegner
The Tragedy of Macbeth, Ari Wegner
West Side Story, Janusz Kaminski

Let me just say that all five of these films look spectacular. But Dune is on another level, and its dominance in the technical categories continues.

Who Should Win: Dune, Greig Fraser
Who Will Win: Dune, Greig Fraser

BEST SOUND

Belfast
Dune
No Time To Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

I’m running out of ways to explain how Dune is a stunning technical achievement.

Who Should Win: Dune
Who Will Win: Dune

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Dune
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

One word: Arrakis.

Who Should Win: Dune
Who Will Win: Dune

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Coming 2 America
Cruella
Dune
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

With Jessica Chastain the favorite to win Best Actress because of her big transformation, it makes sense to reward the people behind her makeup and hairstyling.

Who Should Win: Cruella
Who Will Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Cruella
Cyrano
Dune
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

Emma Stone in Cruella / Disney

Who Should Win: West Side Story
Who Will Win: Cruella

BEST FILM EDITING

Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
Tick, Tick… Boom!

King Richard picked up a surprising victory at the ACE Eddies. However, Dune avenges its loss and wins yet another Oscar.

Who Should Win: Dune
Who Will Win: Dune

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Dune
Free Guy
No Time To Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend
of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

In 10 years, we are going to look back and question why Dune won so many technical awards, but not Best Director nor Best Picture.

Who Should Win: Dune
Who Will Win: Dune

***Full disclosure – I haven’t seen any nominees in the final three categories. I’m using my best judgment as well as gambling odds to determine winners.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Audible
Lead Me Home
The Queen of Basketball
Three Songs for Benazir
When We Were Bullies

Who Should Win: The Queen of Basketball
Who Will Win: The Queen of Basketball

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye
On My Mind
Please Hold

Who Should Win: The Long Goodbye
Who Will Win: The Long Goodbye

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Aairs of the Art
Bestia
Boxballet
Robin Robin
The Windshield Wiper

Who Should Win: Robin Robin
Who Will Win: Robin Robin

Thank you for reading my discussions about the Oscars all year. I really appreciate it. Follow me on Twitter, @danny_giro.

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