This weekend (27 March) sees the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony, with the great and good of Hollywood hoping to take home a prestigious Oscar.
You’ll be able to watch the whole thing for yourself (details on how to do that here), but which films, actors and directors are most likely to be returning to their hotel rooms with slightly bulkier luggage?
Here are our predictions for the victors in the Oscars’ most prestigious categories, as well as who the bookies think is going to be victorious.
Who’s been nominated?
Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield, Olivia Colman, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh are among the British stars who have landed Oscar nominations.
Cumberbatch received a nod for his role as a cruel rancher in Jane Campion’s western The Power Of The Dog, which leads this year’s pack with the most nominations.
Campion makes history as the first woman to be nominated for the best director Oscar twice - she was nominated for The Piano in 1994.
The Power Of The Dog, her return to the big screen following a foray into television, is nominated for 12 prizes, including best picture, while stars Kirsten Dunst, her partner Jesse Plemons and co-star Kodi Smit-McPee, are all recognised in supporting categories.
Olivia Colman, who won the best actress Oscar in 2019 for her role in The Favourite, has landed her second nomination in that category for her role as a mother reflecting on her past in The Lost Daughter.
She picked up a supporting nod last year for her turn in The Father.
She will compete for the best actress gong against Kristen Stewart for her performance as Diana, Princess of Wales in Spencer, Jessica Chastain for The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, Penelope Cruz for Parallel Mothers and Nicole Kidman for Being The Ricardos.
Dame Judi and Ciaran Hinds have both landed nominations for their performances in Sir Kenneth’s autobiographical film Belfast.
The black-and-white film, inspired by the actor’s childhood in Northern Ireland, has also landed the filmmaker best director and best original screenplay nominations, while the film is in the running for best picture, with a total of seven nods.
Hinds, who was born in Belfast, is nominated in the best supporting actor category alongside The Power Of The Dog’s Smit-McPhee and Plemons, Troy Kotsur for Coda, and JK Simmons for Being The Ricardos.
Dame Judi is nominated for the best supporting actress prize alongside Irish actress Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter, Ariana DeBose for West Side Story, Aunjanue Ellis for King Richard, and Dunst for The Power Of The Dog.
Our Oscar Predictions
Best Picture - The Power of the Dog
It’s cleaned up everywhere else it’s been nominated, so there’s no reason to suggest Jane Campion’s moody Western won’t ride off into the sunset with the Best Picture gong this year.
While it would be nice to see CODA take the win, its otherwise breezy tone isn’t really Best Picture material. That said, Green Book did win in 2019...
Best Director - Jane Campion
And while we’re on the subject, we’re fully expecting Campion to cash in on her history making nominations (only the second ever female director to be nominated for Best Picture twice).
Best Actor - Benedict Cumberbatch
The bookmakers have Will Smith down as favourite to win here, and while he would be our overdue preferred choice, the star power of Cumberbatch could nudge it.
Plus, it just wouldn’t be the Oscars without a bit of controversy, and a snub for Smith is sure to stir up debate.
Best Actress - Kristen Stewart
This year’s crop of Best Actress nominees make it perhaps the tought cateogory to predict in 2022, as none of them come from films that particularly set the movie world ablaze.
The Oscars loves a biopic though, and with the young Stewart snubbed by both Bafta and the SAG Awards, a win here would make her the first leading performance to win the Academy Award without nominations from both groups in the modern era.
Best Supporting Actor - Troy Kotsur
Kotsur’s performance in CODA has seen him scoop awards from other prestigious bodies, and brought a whole heap of awareness to the deaf community
Kotsur would be the first deaf male actor to win an Academy Award - his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin won for Children of a Lesser God in 1986 - which would make a moment as feel-good as the film he stars in.
Best Supporting Actress - Ariana DeBose
With the furore around West Side Story star Rachel Zegler not being invited to this year’s ceremony (she has since received an invite), you’d think that would have to set up Spielberg’s take on the famed musical for some kind of win.
Zegler will be hoping she gets a chance to cheer for her co-star. As too will we - as we’re predicting a DeBose win.
Best Original Screenplay - Belfast
In all honesty, choosing Belfast as our pick is born mostly from a desire to see Kenneth Branagh finally get some recognition for his semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale.
The film has received countless big-name nods throughout awards season, but is yet to win any big ones. Could it be Branagh’s night on Sunday? He’ll face stiff competition from Paul Thomas Anderson’s whip-smart Licorice Pizza script.
Best Adapted Screenplay - CODA
While CODA currently sits as a rank outsider for Best Picture, a win there would be something of a surprise.
But Sian Heder’s work should get some recognition from somewhere, and the Best Adapted Screenplay category (CODA is a remake of the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier) seems the best bet.
Best Animated Feature Film - Flee
Another tricky one to call. As the Academy continues to prove its relevance, this would be a good chance to show that it too appreciates what’s popular, and hand the award to Encanto.
Parents up and down the land will probably be glad not to hear Encanto’s name come Oscar night (’We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ is very much this decade’s ‘Let It Go’), and we have a sneaking suspicion artsy documentary/animation hybrid Flee might get the win.
Best International Feature Film - Drive My Car
Simply put, Japan’s Drive My Car is the only film from the Best International Feature category to also get a Best Director and Best Picture nomination.
Surely that makes it the default winner?
Best Documentary Feature - Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Questlove’s documentary focusing on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival does something all good documentaries do. It provides modern day context on present day issues through a historic lens, while offering an overwhelming sense of hope.
Not to mention plenty of great tunes.
Who do the bookmakers think will win?
- The Power of the Dog - 22/23
- CODA - 6/5
- Belfast - 14/1
- Jane Campion - 1/10
- Kenneth Branagh - 22/1
- Steven Spielberg - 25/1
- Will Smith - 1/14
- Benedict Cumberbatch - 36/5
- Andrew Garfield - 33/2
- Jessica Chastain - 5/4
- Nicole Kidman - 5/1
- Kristen Stewart - 9/1
Best Supporting Actor
- Troy Kotsur - 6/5
- Kodi Smit-McPhee - 49/10
- Ciaran Hinds - 25/1
Best Supporting Actress
- Ariana DeBose - 1/14
- Kirsten Dunst - 35/2
- Aunjanue Ellis - 23/1
Best Original Screenplay
- Licorice Pizza - 22/19
- Belfast - 6/4
- Don’t Look Up - 7/1
Best Adapted Screenplay
- CODA - 15/16
- The Power of the Dog - 2/1
- The Lost Daughter - 14/1
Best Animated Feature Film
- Encanto - 1/3
- The Mitchells vs the Machines - 7/1
- Flee - 14/1
Best International Feature Film
- Drive My Car - 2/17
- The Worst Person in the World - 9/1
- Flee - 33/2
Best Documentary Feature
- Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) - 1/2
- Flee - 3/1
- Attica - 20/1
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