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The Hollywood Insider Oscars 2022 Predictions and Picks

Photo: Oscars 2022 

While spirited debates surrounding films like ‘Nomadland’ (2020) and ‘Promising Young Woman’ (2020) may feel like only yesterday, 2021’s award season has officially commenced with festival circuits like Cannes, Venice, NYFF, TIFF, and Telluride all winding to a close and a slew of the years most anticipated releases slated to make their way to theaters in October. Despite over six months until the next ceremony scheduled for March 27 of 2022, Oscar hopefuls have already hit the campaign trail and tentative narratives have begun to coalless from the ashes of the battered fall release lineup.

With Ridley Scott’sThe Last Duel’ (2021) primed to hit theaters on October 15th, Denis Villeneuve’sDune’ (2021) and Wes Anderson’sThe French Dispatch’ (2021) slated to premiere the following weekend, and Edgar Wright’sLast Night in Soho’ looking to cap off the month on the 29th, audiences will finally have a chance to form opinions of their very own on some of 2021’s biggest hitters. Until then eager cinephiles will have to trust the opinions of a handful of pundits and critics lucky enough to catch a screener. While it may seem pointless to predicate an Academy Awards forecast on the tidings of films with a meager sprinkling of thumbs-up and thumbs-down, this article seeks to issue moviegoers a premature roadmap to the next four months of movies based on both general anticipation and positive buzz from around the industry. 

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Oscars 2022 Predictions:

Best Picture

– Favorites:

  1. The Power of the Dog’ (Jane Campion, 2021)
  2. Belfast’ (Kenneth Branaugh, 2021)
  3. ‘Dune’ (Denis Villeneuve, 2021)
  4. The Tragedy of Macbeth’ (Joel Coen, 2021)
  5. Nightmare Alley’ (Guillermo del Toro, 2021)

– Contenders:

  1. King Richard’ (Reinaldo Marcus Green, 2021)
  2. House of Gucci’ (Ridley Scott, 2021)
  3. Licorice Pizza’ (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2021) 
  4. West Side Story’ (Steven Spielberg, 2021)
  5. Don’t Look Up’ (Adam McKay, 2021)

– On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Spencer’ (Pablo Larraín, 2021)
  2. tick, tick…Boom!’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda, 2021)
  3. C’mon C’mon’ (Mike Mills, 2021)
  4. ‘The French Dispatch’ (Wes Anderson, 2021)
  5. In the Heights’ (Jon M. Chu, 2021)

Notable Exclusions: ‘CODA’ (2021), ‘Parallel Mothers’ (2021), ‘The Lost Daughter’ (2021), ‘Last Night in Soho’ (2021), ‘The Last Duel’ (2021)

Best Director

– Favorites:

  1. Jane Campion (‘The Power of the Dog’)
  2. Denis Villeneuve (‘Dune’)
  3. Kenneth Branagh (‘Belfast’)

– Contenders:

  1. Guillermo del Toro (‘Nightmare Alley’)
  2. Joel Coen (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’)
  3. Paul Thomas Anderson (‘Licorice Pizza’) 

– On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Steven Spielberg (‘West Side Story’)
  2. Pedro Almodóvar (‘Parallel Mothers’)
  3. Ridley Scott (‘House of Gucci’)

Notable Exclusions: Adam Mckay (‘Don’t Look Up’), Pablo Larraín (‘Spencer’), Maggie Gyllenhaal (‘The Lost Daughter’)

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Best Actor

– Favorites:

  1. Will Smith (‘King Richard’)
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Power of the Dog’)
  3. Denzel Washington (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’)

– Contenders:

  1. Peter Dinklage (‘Cyrano’)
  2. Bradley Cooper (‘Nightmare Alley’)
  3. Joaquin Phoenix (‘C’mon C’mon’)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Adam Driver (‘House of Gucci’)
  2. Clifton Collins Jr. (‘Jockey’)
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio (‘Don’t Look Up’)

Notable Exclusions: Andrew Garfield (‘tick, tick…Boom!’), Anthony Ramos (‘In the Heights’), Javier Bardem (‘Being the Ricardos’)

Best Actress

– Favorites:

  1. Jessica Chastain (‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’)
  2. Kristen Stewart (‘Spencer’)
  3. Frances McDormand (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’)

– Contenders:

  1. Olivia Coleman (‘The Lost Daughter’)
  2. Lady Gaga (‘House of Gucci’)
  3. Penélope Cruz (‘Parallel Mothers’)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Cate Blanchett (‘Nightmare Alley’)
  2. Jennifer Hudson (‘Respect’)
  3. Tessa Thompson (‘Passing’)

Notable Exclusions: Nicole Kidman (‘Being the Ricardos’), Rachel Zegler (‘West Side Story’), Jennifer Lawrence (‘Don’t Look Up’)

Best Supporting Actor

– Favorites:

  1. Ciarán Hinds (‘Belfast’)
  2. Jason Isaacs (‘Mass’)
  3. Richard Jenkins (‘The Humans’)

– Contenders:

  1. Jesse Plemons (‘The Power of the Dog’)
  2. Bradley Cooper (‘Licorice Pizza’)
  3. Ben Affleck (‘The Tender Bar’)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Corey Hawkins (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’)
  2. J.K. Simmons (‘Being the Ricardos’)
  3. Jared Leto (‘House of Gucci’)

Notable Exclusions: Kodi Smit-McPhee (‘The Power of the Dog’), Jamie Dornan (‘Belfast’), Idris Elba (‘The Harder They Fall’)

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Best Supporting Actress

– Favorites:

  1. Ann Dowd (‘Mass’)
  2. Kirsten Dunst (‘The Power of the Dog’)
  3. Caitrona Balfe (‘Belfast’)

– Contenders:

  1. Judi Dench (‘Belfast’)
  2. Aunjanue Ellis (‘King Richard’)
  3. Marlee Matlin (‘CODA’)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Ruth Negga (‘Passing’)
  2. Ariana DeBose (‘West Side Story’)
  3. Olga Merediz (‘In the Heights’)

Notable Exclusions: Martha Plimpton (‘Mass’), Rooney Mara (‘Nightmare Alley’), Dakota Johnson (‘The Lost Daughter’)

Best International Feature Film

– Favorites:

  1. The Worst Person in the World’ (Norway, 2021)
  2. The Hand of God’ (Italy, 2021)
  3. A Hero’ (Iran, 2021)

– Contenders:

  1. Titane’ (France, 2o21)
  2. Flee’ (Denmark, 2021)
  3. Compartment No. 6’ (Finland, 2021)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Prayers for the Stolen’ (Mexico, 2021)
  2. 7 Prisoners’ (Brazil, 2021)
  3. I’m Your Man’ (Germany, 2021)

Notable Exclusions: ‘The Good Boss’ (Spain, 2021), ‘Hive’ (Kosovo, 2021), ‘Lamb’ (Iceland, 2021)

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Best Adapted Screenplay

– Favorites:

  1. Jane Campion (‘The Power of the Dog’)
  2. Maggie Gyllenhaal (‘The Lost Daughter’)
  3. Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan (‘Nightmare Alley’)

– Contenders:

  1. Joel Coen (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’)
  2. Rebecca Hall (‘Passing’)
  3. Steven Levenson (‘tick, tick…Boom!’)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. William Monahan (‘The Tender Bar’)
  2. Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna (‘House of Gucci’)
  3. Siân Heder (‘CODA’)

Notable Exclusions: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth (‘Dune’), Tony Kushner (‘West Side Story’), Stephen Karam (‘The Humans’)

Best Original Screenplay

– Favorites:

  1. Mike Mills (C’mon C’mon)
  2. Kenneth Branagh (‘Belfast’)
  3. Paul Thomas Anderson (‘Licorice Pizza’)

– Contenders:

  1. Adam McKay, David Sirota (‘Don’t Look Up’)
  2. Aaron Sorkin (‘Being the Ricardos’)
  3. Steven Knight (‘Spencer’)

-On the Outside Looking In:

  1. Pedro Almodóvar (‘Parallel Mothers’)
  2. Zach Baylin (‘King Richard’)
  3. Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola (‘The French Dispatch’)

Notable Exclusions: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon (‘The Last Duel’), Mia Hansen-Løve (‘Bergman Island’), Sean Baker (‘Red Rocket’)

While these predictions may be rendered null and void by an unforeseen flop or last-minute upheaval of the fall release schedule, they offer a fleeting glimpse into the future filmic conversations sure to dominate the next six months. With ‘The Power of the Dog’, ‘Belfast’, ‘King Richard’, and ‘Dune’ nabbed as early Oscar favorites, the big question for the rest of the season remains whether or not they can solidify the race early on or give way to sneaky underdogs like ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’, ‘House of Gucci’, and ‘Licorice Pizza’. With most of the year’s preliminary contenders like ‘In the Heights’ and ‘CODA’ finding themselves dead in the water as the march to the Academy Awards commences, it is clear that nothing is set in stone and it truly is anyone’s game to win.

By Andrew Valianti

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

Ways to support Black Lives Matter Movement to end systemic racism

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