Are you ready for the most solid predictions of all time? To be honest, like most folks I have really lost all interest in the Academy Awards. I mean, if they're not honouring PIG (2021) what is even the point. But as long as this is ostensibly a film website we will cover and care about film sort of! Let's start our predictions!
Don't Look Up
Drive My Car
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Licorice Pizza doesn't really have traction, foreign directors can be successful, but only if the film is really in the zeitgeist, Spielberg is a little overhonored and West Side Story underperformed. Branagh is a solid choice, but the momentum is really behind Campion, who is an apparently beloved and underrated director, who also directed the shit out of Dog.
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
Listen, everyone is thinking Will Smith. The Academy has just dicked over handing out the honorary prize lately. They snubbed Keaton, they snubbed Dafoe. They gave it to Gary Oldman over Chalamet, which is analogous here, but Garfield is also just riding really high lately while Will Smith is kind of over. I'm just feeling Garfield, this is probably an easy category that I have messed up but I don't care anymore.
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
I dunno, this is my troll vote. She's the only interesting option here. I like Cruz, but she has a statue already and hasn't gotten a ton of buzz. This is truly up in the air and Stewart was the last one in, but now that she's in, I think she gets votes. And Spencer just got on Hulu! I think folks will watch it easy and vote it up. Or not, who cares.
Actor in a Supporting Role
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 Dog
This is maybe a done deal? I'm not super impressed by anyone else. I'm not totally impressed by Nightcrawler here either, but it'd be shocking if Dog didn't come up with any acting wins.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
I really like Buckley and Dunst, and I hope that they both return here. Pulling for Dunst in particular, but this seems to be DeBose's category to lose. With my insane picks elsewhere, hopefully this is safer.
Writing, Adapted Screenplay
CODA, Sian Heder
Drive My Car, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe
Dune, Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve
The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal
The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion
This could go CODA. I think Campion pulls it all in on the big night. It's really the most notable screenplay of the lot and the obvious answer.
Writing, Original Screenplay
Belfast, Kenneth Branagh
Don't Look Up, Adam McKay and David Sirota
Licorice Pizza, Paul Thomas Anderson
King Richard, Zach Baylin
The Worst Person in the World, Joachim Trier
Somehow PTA doesn't have an Oscar. I think that's corrected this year and this is probably gotten the most love without a clear path to any other award. The Academy just loves offbeat movies like this, and Licorice Pizza fits in that zone well. Belfast could sneak up, but this just seems like Pizza.
Animated Feature Film
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon
At one point this seemed close but Encanto has emerged as the preeminent animated film of the year. Luca and Raya were fun but neither really took off. Mitchells got a lot of hype, but never hit the big release and got mainstream buzz like Encanto. Recently also helps, it just seems like their year.
Animated Short Film
"Affairs of the Art"
"The Windshield Wiper"
Prediction: "Robin Robin"
Ugh this crap. Apparently this studio has a strong Oscar history, it was on Netflix, and is in the zone of entertainment we all like. I have a soft spot for "Affairs" and "Wiper", but let's go safe here.
Cruella, Jenny Beavan
Cyrano, Massimo Cantini Parrini
Dune, Jacqueline West
Nightmare Alley, Luis Sequeira
West Side Story, Paul Tazewell
I have a stealth favourite in Dune, if this follows Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and Black Panther (2018), but movies explicitly about fashion like Phantom Thread (2017) succeed here, too. Beavan has gotten a lot of buzz (she won for Fury Road). This used to be comfortably period, the only real contender there would be Cyrano, but that's really not that big of a film here. Cruella has the pedigree, the history, and the effort to nail this.
Live Action Short Film
"Ala Kachuu - Take and Run"
The Long Goodbye"
"On My Mind"
Prediction: "The Long Goodbye"
"The Long Goodbye" got in my head and it might to the same for voters. Riz Ahmed is in it, which is a nice boost of recognition. You and I both know no one has any idea who is going to win this.
Music, 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
I just remember the Sardukar chant more than anything in Power of the Dog. DUNE ought to win a lot of technical stuff, and while Score isn't really in that zone, it's certainly the most notable here.
No Time to Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
See above. This has the best sound. It's a bummer we don't get split categories anymore. Just less to get wrong, baby!
Dune, Greig Fraser
Nightmare Alley, Dan Lausten
The Power of the Dog, Ari Wegner
The Tragedy of Macbeth, Bruno Delbonnel
West Side Story, Janusz Kaminski
For all the hype, Pow of the D might not walk away with too much. It's reliably gorgeous and got enough exposure on the hype train to make it work. DUNE might get it, it's favored, but I'm not convinced it sweeps every technical as it's expected to.
Summer of Soul
Writing With Fire
Prediction: Summer of Soul
This is a big one between this and Flee, but folks like Questlove, it was a big movie when it came out, and is a genuinely interesting, feel good but not that good subject.
Documentary Short Subject
"Lead Me Home"
"The Queen of Basketball"
"Three Songs for Benazir"
"When We Were Bullies"
That sounds like something important, right? Let's go with that.
Don't Look Up, Hank Corwin
Dune, Joe Walker
King Richard, Pamela Martin
The Power of the Dog, Peter Sciberras
Tick, Tick... Boom!, Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum
So, music biopics have won with Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). Competitive sports movies have won with Ford v. Ferrari. Westerns haven't ever really been a thing and neither have comedies. Ugh, it does feel like Dune, which again follows the Fury Road model of crushing technical awards. I don't think it's a technical achievement on Fury Road's level, but it's probably good enough to win here.
International Feature Film
Drive My Car, Japan
The Hand of God, Italy
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, Bhutan
The Worst Person in the World, Norway
Prediction: Drive My Car
It's that thing where isn't the foreign film that gets the BP nod inherently the best International Film? Hopefully this comes deep in the night when my predictions have long since gone to shit.
Makeup and Hairstyling
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci
Coming 2 America
Is this Coming 2 America's year?! I'm tempted to go with House of Gucci, but as Hillbilly Elegy (2020) proved last year, the most make-up isn't always the best make-up, which is a mistake I made. Still, this always goes to the move that's all about it's make-up. Everyone is prediction Tammy Faye. I guess it is all about her eyes, but it's certainly a low profile movie to win an award that usually goes to the highest profile film. Ew, I hate to say I think this might go to Cruella.
Music, Original Song
"Be Alive" -- Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Darius Scott, King Richard
"Dos Oruguitas" -- Lin-Manuel Miranda, Encanto
"Down to Joy" -- Van Morrison, Belfast
"No Time to Die" -- Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell, No Time to Die
"Somehow You Do" -- Diane Warren, Four Good Days
Prediction: "Dos Oruguitas"
Everyone thinks this will go to Bond. Meh, I didn't think that song was that great. Encanto feels more of the moment. I am way too bold this year, folks.
Dune, Zsuzsanna Sipos and Patrice Vermette
Nightmare Alley, Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau
The Power of the Dog, Grant Major and Amber Richards
The Tragedy of Macbeth, Stefan Dechant and Nancy Haigh
West Side Story, Rena DeAngelo and Adam Stockhausen
Like, how is it not DUNE
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
No Time to Die
Spider-Man: No Way Home
It's such an easy slam dunk to actually honor a film that's good here. Also the sandworm and city effects in DUNE beat all these other movies.
Okay, so that's it! Locked in! Stay tuned for when we find out how I did, sometime in March with possibly a live-blog!