2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 8: Who Should Win And Who Will Win

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.

2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 4: BAFTA Nominations Reaction

King Richard / Warner Bros.

The BAFTA Awards announced their nominations this past Thursday morning. There were a lot of surprises, both good and bad, which will directly impact how predictions for the 2022 Oscars. Shall we travel across the pond?

BAFTA Nominations

If you love Dune, then you were jumping for joy as Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic led the field with 11 nominations as the film will be the frontrunner to pick up hardware in many technical categories. Oscar favorites The Power of the Dog and Belfast followed behind with eight and six nominations, respectfully. Click here to see all of the categories. Right now, I want to focus on the major categories especially the acting nominations.

Big Wins

  • Don’t Look Up in Best Film and Leonardo DiCaprio in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Everyone in the Best Directing category besides Paul Thomas Anderson and Jane Campion
  • Will Smith for King Richard in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Alana Haim for Licorice Pizza and Renate Reinsve for The Worst Person in the World in Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Mike Faist for West Side Story in Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter and Ann Dowd for Mass in Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Big Losses

  • No West Side Story in Best Film
  • No Steven Spielberg for West Side Story, Denis Villeneuve for Dune, or Kenneth Branagh for Belfast in Best Director
  • No Denzel Washington (!!!) once again or Andrew Garfield for tick, tick… Boom! in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • No Oliva Colman for The Lost Daughter, Nicole Kidman for Being the Riccardos, or Kristen Stewart for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Keep in mind that Oscar voting ended on Feb. 1 so voters turned in their ballots before these nominations were revealed. However, the BAFTA results can have a direct impact on Oscar winners. Just ask Olivia Colman in 2019 or Anthony Hopkins last year, who both benefited from BAFTA victories in Best Actor and Actress on their way to upset wins at the Oscars in the same categories.

The Top 2 In Acting Categories

If you were on #FilmTwitter today, then the phrase “top 2” was being thrown around left and right. This is in regards to voting for two lead acting and two supporting acting categories. These are the rules straight from the BAFTA website.

The BAFTAs released longlists of 15 actors and actresses in each category back in January. From the pool of 15, the top 2 are nominated. Then, the jury will determine the final four nominations from spots 3-15 with a vote.

In simpler terms, think of this voting process like it’s American Idol during the deliberations. The top vote-getters automatically move on to the live shows. For the remaining spots, the judges would choose the wild cards from the rest of the pool, and they too would also advance to the Finals.

Why is this important? Although the BAFTAs won’t reveal the top 2, correctly guessing these two positions will help predict the Oscars as the top 2 selections will typically receive a nomination in their respective category. By some process of elimination, we can narrow down the answer as to who made the top 2 and make educated guesses.

As Matt Neglia and many other critics pointed out on Twitter, there are a select group of individuals who received nominations by four major guilds: Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and the BAFTAs.

Let’s start with the easy decisions. Troy Kotsur, Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Caitríona Balfe, and Ariana DeBose have racked up nominations all over so it’s safe to say those four made the top 2 in the supporting categories.

In Best Actor, Benedict Cumberbatch is in all likelihood in the top 2 because of the eight nominations for The Power of the Dog including Best Film. It gets trickier with Will Smith. Smith might be the frontrunner for the Oscar, but he was probably saved by the jury while Leonardo DiCaprio made the top 2. DiCaprio’s biggest nomination to date occurred at the Golden Globes. That’s his only real nomination throughout awards season. If that’s the case, why would the jury save him? It makes more sense for DiCaprio to be in the top 2. Regardless, the voters loved his outburst on The Daily Rip, as did I.

Then there’s Lady Gaga, who definitely made the top 2 thanks to her nomination dominance these past few months. Who also made the top 2? Time for the process of elimination. Emilia Jones has received a lot of best new actress or rising star nominations, but rarely cracked the lead actress category so cross her off. Renate Reinsve is the lead in one of the best films of the year, but the film just opened in the U.S. so without big nominations in North America, cross her off. Joanna Scanlan is in a British film and the BAFTAs typically like to reward performances like hers despite little awards recognition so cross her off. Tessa Thompson is a nice surprise in this category, but her co-star, Ruth Negga, has gotten the bulk of the nominations in supporting so cross Tessa off.

This leads us to my best guess for the other member of the top 2, Alana Haim. First of all, fuck yes! I love HAIM, the band, so I almost fainted when I read she would be the lead in a PTA film. Haim is phenomenal in her debut film performance, and the voting body agreed as well. This gives me hope that Haim will sneak her way into Best Actress at the Oscars. You’ll never hear me shut up about it if Haim makes it to the final five.

All of these debates will end when the Oscar nominations are announced on February 8, 2022. Until then, predict away!

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2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 3: SAG Nominations Aftermath

Don't Look Up / Netflix

Here is your daily reminder that the 94th Academy Awards will air on March 27, 2022. For those that struggle with the math, that means the Oscars are more than two months away. That’s inexcusable in my humble opinion, but I’m trying to be nice since I will be the host one day. But first, SAG Awards.

How SAG Nominations Affect The Oscars

On January 12, 2022, the Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced. With the Golden Globes taking a step back this year (more on this later), the SAG Awards will arguably be the second most important awards show this season behind the Oscars. It’s not the “be all, end all” for Oscar nominations and wins, but it’s a good barometer for what to expect when at the Oscars.

Below are the nominations for this year’s SAG Awards, which will air on February 27, 2022.

For those not familiar with these awards, it’s all about acting and not about the technical categories (besides stunt). If you watch the ceremony, the opening monologue is split between a handful of well-known stars who make a joke or comment about the industry before ending it with “I am ____, and I’m an actor.”

A SAG nomination does not guarantee an Oscar nomination, but many actors and films can use this nomination to strengthen their campaigns. Instead of comparing the results of last year’s unprecedented ceremonies, let’s go back two years to the 26th SAG Awards in 2020.

Every SAG winner went on to win the Oscar in their respective category including Parasite, which built off the momentum gained at this ceremony to win Best Picture at the Oscars. At 2018’s ceremony, all four actors who won the SAG went on to win at the Oscars. The precedent is there. A SAG win will only strengthen the campaign for an Oscar win.

Looking at this year’s nominees, the big winners are Don’t Look Up and House of Gucci. Belfast and King Richard are locks for Best Picture nominations. The “little engine that could” aka CODA should sneak into the Best Picture category as well. Before these SAG nominations, Don’t Look Up and House of Gucci were on the outside looking in. Now, at least one of them will make the Best Picture category, and my money is on Don’t Look Up.

In the acting categories, the big winners are The Power of Dog and Being the Ricardos, who scored both three and two nominations, respectfully. Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, and Jared Leto were also winners with supporting acting nominations. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Troy Kotsur are favorites for the Oscar, but it’s not out of the question for someone like Cooper, an 8-time nominee, to make the race interesting.

The biggest omission has to be Kristen Stewart, who was an Oscar favorite for her portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer. No actor has won Best Actress without being nominated for the SAG. Other notable omissions are Rachel Zegler and Alana Haim. I would still count on Zegler to receive a Best Actress nomination, but this virtually ends Haim’s Oscar campaign. I’m upset. #JusticeForAlanaHaim

Quick Hits

  • Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8, 2022.
  • Frame this tweet from the Golden Globes.

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