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  • Writer's pictureSheri Tarrer

Sheri’s Spotlight: 2022 Oscar Picks & Predictions

Best Picture:

  1. Belfast

  2. CODA

  3. Don’t Look Up

  4. Drive My Car

  5. Dune

  6. King Richard

  7. Licorice Pizza

  8. Nightmare Alley

  9. The Power of the Dog

  10. 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.

Best Director:

  1. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

  2. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

  3. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

  4. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

  5. 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:

  1. Written by Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

  2. Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota, Don’t Look Up

  3. Written by Zach Baylin, King Richard

  4. Written by Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

  5. 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:

  1. Screenplay by Siân Heder, CODA

  2. Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car

  3. Screenplay by Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve & Eric Roth, Dune

  4. Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter 

  5. 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: 

  1. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos 

  2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

  3. Andrew Garfield, tick, tick…BOOM!

  4. Will Smith, King Richard

  5. 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:

  1. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

  2. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

  3. Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

  4. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos 

  5. 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:

  1. Ciarán Hinds, Belfast

  2. Troy Kotsur, CODA

  3. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

  4. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

  5. 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:

  1. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

  2. Ariana Debose, West Side Story

  3. Judi Dench, Belfast

  4. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

  5. 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:

  1. Drive My Car

  2. Flee

  3. The Hand of God

  4. Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

  5. 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:

  1. Encanto

  2. Flee

  3. Luca

  4. The Mitchells vs. The Machines 

  5. Raya and the Last Dragon 

Pick– Encanto

Prediction– Encanto

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. 

Best Cinematography: 

  1. Greig Fraser, Dune

  2. Dan Laustsen, Nightmare Alley

  3. Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog

  4. Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth

  5. 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:

  1. “Be Alive” from King Richard; Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

  2. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

  3. “Down to Joy” from Belfast; Music and Lyric by Van Morrison

  4. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die; Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

  5. “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:

  1. Nicholas Britell, Don’t Look Up

  2. Hans Zimmer, Dune

  3. Germaine Franco, Encanto

  4. Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers

  5. 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!


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