Home » Oscar Nominations 2022: The Final Predictions

Oscar Nominations 2022: The Final Predictions

by Diego Andaluz

The staple of the awards season, the Academy Awards (commonly known as the Oscars), bring with them a flurry of films hoping to strike gold. With the nominations set to be announced tomorrow morning, Diego Andaluz is back with freshly updated thoughts and insights. Follow along in his latest report of the season to get a leg up on your own Oscar predictions and see which films will have their names called on nomination morning.

The most important race of them all, the Best Picture category seems to be a fairly straightforward one, although a few fringe contenders threaten to usurp the category’s predictability. Belfast, The Power of The Dog, Dune, Don’t Look Up, Licorice Pizza, West Side Story, CODA, King Richard, and Tick Tick Boom all seem fairly safe to secure a Best Picture slot. However, while Being The Ricardos is the current best bet to round off the top ten due to its PGA nomination and industry-centric narrative, there are a few other competitors that must be considered.

Despite no major nominations outside of a Critics Choice Best Picture slot and some notable guilds, Nightmare Alley could follow a path similar to 2011’s The Tree of Life, building on its limited CCA momentum to secure nominations for Director and Cinematography (alongside Production Design) en route to a Best Picture nomination. Even with its PGA miss, House of Gucci could emerge as a strong Best Picture contender riding on the coattails of a guaranteed Best Actress nomination for Lady Gaga, similar to how The Blind Side snuck in without any major precursors in a year of ten due to Sandra Bullock’s Academy-Award winning performance.

Lastly, one must consider Drive My Car. While it hasn’t gotten a single Best Picture precursor nomination either, one can’t deny that it has a groundswell of critical support, alongside BAFTA nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director (two important bellwethers for international films hoping to break into the overall race).

Drive My Car could also surprise when it comes to the Best Director race. At the DGA, Jane Campion, Kenneth Branagh, Paul Thomas Anderson, Denis Villeneuve, and Steven Spielberg all got nominations that positioned their films as Best Picture frontrunners. One would assume that those five could translate firmly to the Academy Awards, but two statistics seem to point to a different outcome. As the Oscars rarely align with all five of the DGA nominees (and with a trend of representing a first-time nominee), one must look at Hamaguchi as a top-tier contender (with the director’s branch affinity towards championing foreign talent having emerged in recent years). If Hamaguchi does get nominated, one must ponder: who shall miss from the DGA five?

The answer to that question seems to boil down to a factor that is set to affect the rest of the race: the support for West Side Story versus the support of Licorice Pizza. While West Side Story was considered a top-tier frontrunner and Licorice Pizza was seen as a fringe contender for the majority of the last few months, the recent guild and BAFTA nominations have shifted the narrative. West Side Story missed at ACE, ASC, and many top-tier categories at BAFTA (including Picture, Editing, Director, and Cinematography) while Licorice Pizza secured key nominations there. Additionally, we’ve seen that when compared to other major precursors, the Academy tends to over nominate Paul Thomas Anderson’s films, while failing to nominate Spielberg for Best Director in his last two awards friendly outings. 

This competition can also be seen (albeit to a lesser extent) in the Best Actress race. With Nicole Kidman and Lady Gaga’s turns in Being The Ricardos and House of Gucci cementing their place as arguably the only locks of the category, the last three slots (yes, three) are far more debatable after this past week. Jessica Chastain is likely to hear her name called, securing Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and SAG nominations while delivering a makeup-driven biopic performance that the Academy loves to honor.

Yet, she could very well see her chances go the way of Amy Adams in 2016, who failed to secure an Oscar nomination for Arrival despite showing up at the three aforementioned precursors. Olivia Colman also secured those three precursors, but her nomination could be in jeopardy after failing to secure one of the top two BAFTA slots on her home turf (and for a highly divisive film nonetheless). Once touted as the indubitable frontrunner by pundits across the board, Kristen Stewart’s Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations were overshadowed by crucial SAG, and BAFTA misses, crippling her ability to secure an Oscar nomination. While still possible due to the media coverage surrounding her egregious absences, she could be eclipsed by other fringe contenders. 

Despite a SAG miss, Alana Haim could show up if the BAFTA’s passion for Licorice Pizza carries over to the Academy. Inversely, if West Side Story has more overall support than Licorice Pizza, Rachel Zegler could take her place with her Golden Globe and NBR wins that have resulted in Academy nominations for past contenders. Even Jennifer Hudson, who boasts a SAG nod, or Renate Reinsve and Penelope Cruz, who’s international films could benefit from late release dates and press cycles, have a chance of showing up in the final five.

On the other hand, the less competitive Best Actor race is marked by four solid contenders for a nomination, with Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield, and Denzel Washington securing all the necessary precursors. However, the final slot, could see appearances from one of three candidates. With Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations, Peter Dinklage could ride the wave of first-time nominees in the final spot, although a SAG miss (a voting body who tends to nominate him) and poorly delayed release date may result in a film that peaks too late for him to get the necessary buzz for a nomination.

With SAG and Golden Globe nominations, Javier Bardem could find himself in that slot if Being The Ricardos overperforms (and a recent pattern of the Academy nominating four out of five of the Golden Globe Drama nominees). Lastly, Leonardo DiCaprio, despite missing SAG, showed his dominance by likely being amongst the top two actors at BAFTA. With his impactful name serving as the face of an impactful film that is sure to garner much Academy support in Don’t Look Up, one should not be surprised if he is the one to make the appearance on nomination morning.

How will the rest of the categories fare? Read on to find out!

BEST PICTURE

Editor’s Picks:

1. Belfast
2. The Power of The Dog
3. Dune
4. Don’t Look Up
5. Licorice Pizza
6. West Side Story

7. CODA
8. King Richard

9. Tick, Tick… Boom!
10. Being The Ricardos

Alternates:

Next In Line: 

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • No Time To Die

BEST ACTOR

Editor’s Picks:

1. Will Smith (King Richard)
2. Andrew Garfield (Tick Tick Boom)
3. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)
4. Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)
5. Javier Bardem (Being The Ricardos)

Alternates: 

  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up)
  • Peter Dinklage (Cyrano)

Next In Line: 

  • Nicolas Cage (Pig)
  • Jude Hill (Belfast)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (C’mon C’mon)

BEST ACTRESS

Editor’s Picks:

1. Nicole Kidman (Being The Ricardos)
2. Lady Gaga (House of Gucci)
3. Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)
4. Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)
5. Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Alternates: 

  • Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza)
  • Rachel Zegler (West Side Story)

Next In Line: 

  • Jennifer Hudson (Respect)
  • Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person In The World)
  • Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Editor’s Picks:

1. Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)
2. Caitriona Balfe (Belfast)
3. Kirsten Dunst (The Power of The Dog)
4. Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)
5. Ruth Negga (Passing)

Next In Line: 

  • Meryl Streep (Don’t Look Up)
  • Marlee Matlin (CODA)
  • Judi Dench (Belfast)
  • Rita Moreno (West Side Story)
  • Ann Dowd (Mass)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Editor’s Picks:

1. Kodi Smitt-McPhee (The Power of The Dog)
2. Troy Kotsur (CODA)
3. Ciaran Hinds (Belfast)
4. Jared Leto (House of Gucci)

5. Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza)

Next In Line: 

  • Jaime Dornan (Belfast)
  • Jesse Plemmons (The Power of The Dog)
  • Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar)
  • Mike Faist (West Side Story)
  • J.K. Simmons (Being The Ricardos)

BEST DIRECTOR

Editor’s Picks:

1. Jane Campion (The Power of The Dog)
2. Denis Villeneuve (Dune)
3. Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
4. Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
5. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)

Alternates: 

  • Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)
  • Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up)
  • Guillermo Del Toro (Nightmare Alley)

Next In Line: 

  • Joel Coen (The Tragedy of Macbeth)
  • Sian Heder (CODA)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Editor’s Picks:

1. Don’t Look Up
2. Belfast
3. Licorice Pizza
4. Being The Ricardos
5. King Richard

Next In Line: 

  • The French Dispatch
  • Mass
  • C’mon C’mon
  • Spencer
  • Parallel Mothers

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Editor’s Picks:

1. The Power of The Dog
2. Dune
3. CODA
4. The Lost Daughter
5. Drive My Car

Alternate: 

  • West Side Story

Next In Line: 

  • Tick, Tick… Boom!
  • Passing
  • House of Gucci
  • Nightmare Alley

BEST EDITING

Editor’s Picks:

1. Dune
2. Belfast
3. The Power of The Dog
4. Licorice Pizza
5. Don’t Look Up

Alternates: 

  • West Side Story
  • No Time To Die

Next In Line: 

  • King Richard
  • Tick, Tick… Boom
  • Being The Ricardos

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Editor’s Picks:

1. Dune
2. The Tragedy of Macbeth
3. The Power of The Dog
4. Belfast
5. Nightmare Alley

Next In Line: 

  • West Side Story
  • The French Dispatch
  • Passing
  • Licorice Pizza
  • The Green Knight

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Editor’s Picks:

1. Cruella
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. House of Gucci
5. Cyrano

Next In Line: 

  • Spencer
  • Nightmare Alley
  • The French Dispatch
  • The Last Duel
  • Last Night In Soho

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Editor’s Picks:

  1. Encanto
  2. Flee
  3. The Mitchells vs The Machines
  4. Luca
  5. Raya and The Last Dragon

Next In Line: 

  • Sing 2
  • Belle
  • The Summit of The Gods
  • Ron’s Gone Wrong
  • Vivo

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Editor’s Picks:

1. West Side Story
2. Nightmare Alley
3. Dune
4. The French Dispatch
5. The Tragedy of Macbeth

  • Belfast
  • Licorice Pizza
  • Spencer
  • The Last Duel
  • House of Gucci

Next In Line: 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Editor’s Picks:

1. Dune
2. The Matrix Resurrections
3. No Time To Die
4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
5. Free Guy

Next In Line: 

  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Godzilla Vs Kong
  • Eternals
  • Black Widow

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Editor’s Picks:

1. The Eyes of Tammy Faye
2. House of Gucci
3. Dune
4. Coming 2 America
5. Cruella

Next In Line: 

  • West Side Story
  • The Suicide Squad
  • Cyrano
  • Nightmare Alley
  • No Time To Die

BEST SOUND

Editor’s Picks:

1. Dune
2. West Side Story
3. Belfast
4. No Time To Die
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Next In Line: 

  • A Quiet Place: Part II
  • Tick, Tick, Boom!
  • The Matrix Resurrections
  • The Power of The Dog
  • Last Night In Soho

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Editor’s Picks:

1. Dune 
2. The Power of The Dog
3. Don’t Look Up
4. The French Dispatch
5. Encanto

Next In Line: 

  • No Time To Die
  • Being The Ricardos
  • Spencer
  • King Richard
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Editor’s Picks:

1. No Time To Die (No Time To Die)
2. Be Alive (King Richard)
3. Dos Oruguitas (Encanto)
4. Down To Joy (Belfast)
5. Just Look Up (Don’t Look Up)

Next In Line: 

  • Beyond The Shore (CODA)
  • Somehow You Do (Four Good Days)
  • Here I Am (Respect)
  • Guns Go Bang (The Harder They Fall)
  • So May We Start (Anette)

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

Editor’s Picks:

1. Drive My Car
2. The Worst Person In The World
3. A Hero
4. The Hand of God
5. Flee

Next In Line: 

  • Compartment No. 6
  • I’m Your Man
  • Prayers for the Stolen
  • Playground
  • The Good Boss

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Editor’s Picks:

1. The Rescue
2. Flee
3. Procession
4. Ascension
5.
Summer of Soul

Next In Line: 

  • Attica
  • President
  • The First Wave
  • In The Same Breath
  • Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry

The Final Award Winners of 2021:

Follow Awards Editor Diego Andaluz on Twitter: @thediegoandaluz

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