Sheri’s Spotlight: 2022 Oscar Picks & Predictions
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
Pick– Drive My Car
Prediction– The Power of the Dog
If you’ve been paying any attention to the awards circuit this year, you’ll know that The Power of the Dog is all anyone can talk about. It’s projected to sweep at the Oscars this year, and that projection is justified. From Campion’s impeccable directing to the gorgeous cinematography and brilliant acting, The Power of the Dog has all the chops of a ‘Best Picture’ winner. Yet, I think Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car also deserves to take home the night’s biggest award. Quiet and heart wrenching; Drive My Car is a beautiful portrait of life, love and grief. If Drive My Car won the Oscar for ‘Best Picture’ it’d likely be the biggest upset of the night, but I’m not complaining.
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
Pick– Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Prediction– Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Jane Campion has been a favorite this entire awards season, and with good reason. The subtle tenderness and heart she brings to a story that easily could’ve been cold through and through, is genius. The award for directing is Campion’s to lose.
Best Original Screenplay:
Written by Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota, Don’t Look Up
Written by Zach Baylin, King Richard
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Written by Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt, The Worst Person in the World
Pick– Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza
Prediction– Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza
As a writer myself, ‘Best Original Screenplay’ is one of my favorite categories to follow. Each and every film that has ever been created was once simply words on a page, and it warms my heart to see these world creators honored in such a way. Yet, I’m going to be honest, I do not love this year’s nominees. There’s no film on this list that especially captivated me with its writing and storytelling. All things considered, I think Paul Thomas Anderson is going to rule this category. He’s an Academy favorite, and while Licorice Pizza wasn’t my favorite film of the season, it did feel welcoming and most of the jokes stuck their landing.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Screenplay by Siân Heder, CODA
Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Screenplay by Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve & Eric Roth, Dune
Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
Written by Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Pick– Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe for Drive My Car
Prediction– Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog or Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe for Drive My Car
While I think both Campion and Hamaguchi & Oe are more than deserving of this award, I’m definitely rooting for Drive My Car. The Power of the Dog will most likely dominate the evening, so if Drive My Car takes home any awards (though I’m sure it will), I’d love for it to be for its screenplay.
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
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
Pick– Andrew Garfield for tick, tick…BOOM!
Prediction– Will Smith for King Richard
This is kind of a complicated category for me because I feel like all these men gave beautiful performances in different ways. That being said, I love Andrew Garfield, and tick, tick…BOOM! felt like such a familiar film to me. Garfield becomes Jonathan Larson within the film’s 2 hour runtime. However, Will Smith gave one of his most honest and sincere performances so far in King Richard. I’m holding on strong to my prediction because I think Will Smith has a decent shot, but I wouldn’t be too disappointed with any of the nominees taking home that statue.
Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Pick– Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Prediction– Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye
This category could go any which way and I wouldn’t be shocked at the result. There wasn’t a single nominee that stood out to me. They were all wonderful, of course, but no one really caught my attention. Jessica Chastain is my prediction solely for the fact that she won the SAG. I wish all the nominees good luck and I can’t wait to see who the title goes to.
Best Supporting Actor:
Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dogs
Pick– Troy Kotsur for CODA
Prediction– Troy Kotsur for CODA or Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Power of the Dog
Troy Kotsur made me cry, there I said it. CODA is a special little film that easily could’ve gone unnoticed by the awards circuit, but the cast (specifically Troy Kotsur) ensured it didn’t go unseen. I believe that effort should be awarded. Not to mention, he gave a devastatingly beautiful performance. I think Kotsur has a good shot at the statue and would love to see him take it home. Kodi Smit-McPhee has been a favorite this entire season and was brilliant in The Power of the Dog, he’s likely Kotsur’s biggest competition.
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
Pick– Ariana Debose for West Side Story
Prediction– Ariana Debose for West Side Story
I have been a huge fan of Ariana Debose ever since I listened to Bring It On: The Musical and I am so excited that she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves. Debose was the most charismatic, enticing, exciting, and breathtaking part of West Side Story. Her dancing, singing, and acting were all otherworldly. Debose leaves it all on screen in West Side Story, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll be taking home an Oscar next weekend.
Special shoutout to Jessie Buckley whom I love so much and am also a huge fan of. She was great!
International Feature Film:
Drive My Car
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World
Pick– Drive My Car
Prediction– Drive My Car or The Worst Person in the World
At this point there’s not much of a competition. I’d honestly be shocked if any other film besides Drive My Car took home this award. I don’t know how to describe this film other than… beautiful. However, if — in the very off chance — there is an upset, The Worst Person in the World would be the film to snatch this title.
Best Animated Feature:
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon
Twenty twenty-one was a great year for animated features and thus this category is absolutely stacked. Any one of these films could take home the prize and I’d be satisfied, but the cultural and societal impact of Encanto has basically secured this win.
Greig Fraser, Dune
Dan Laustsen, Nightmare Alley
Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Janusz Kamiński, West Side Story
Pick– Janusz Kamiński for West Side Story
Prediction– Greig Fraser for Dune or Bruno Delbonnel for The Tragedy of Macbeth or Janusz Kamiński for West Side Story
So many of the films that came out in 2021 were gorgeous and visually stunning, any of the nominees could easily take this one home. I’m a little biased because I got to see West Side Story on the big screen (it was magical), but all of these films paint beautiful portraits of life and love. I’m excited to see how this category swings!
Best Original Song:
“Be Alive” from King Richard; Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down to Joy” from Belfast; Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die; Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
Pick– “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto
Prediction– “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto
Mark my words, Lin Manuel-Miranda is completing his EGOT on March 27, 2022. The Encanto soundtrack has dominated the billboard charts these past few months, the music is all anybody can talk (or sing) about. This win is a no brainer.
Best Original Score:
Nicholas Britell, Don’t Look Up
Hans Zimmer, Dune
Germaine Franco, Encanto
Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers
Jonny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog
Pick– Germaine Franco for Encanto
Prediction– Hans Zimmer for Dune
If Dune is taking any statues home on Oscar night, it’s going to be for Best Original Score. Hans Zimmer never disappoints and Dune is no exception. This score is loud and imposing and begging to be heard. However, I love the Encanto score and would be elated if Germaine Franco won.
Reminder: as Bong Joon-Ho put it, the Oscars are “very local.” So, if your favorite film or filmmaker doesn’t win, don’t sweat it too much. Awards aren’t everything, audience members and their love for film matters so much more.
Thanks for reading! As always, check these films out for yourself and form your own opinions. Happy watching and happy predicting!