Movies

The 2022 Oscar Nominations We Think Will Happen (And One For Each Category That We’d Like To Happen)

The nominations for the 94th Academy Awards will be announced tomorrow morning, so you have less than 24 hours to prepare for “Why It’s Good / Bad That Spider-Man: No Way Home Was / Wasn’t Nominated for Best Picture” think pieces. Leaving aside whether it should or shouldn’t be up for the Oscars’ biggest prize, I don’t think it will be — but I do think two of its stars will compete against each other for Best Actor. Below, you’ll find predictions for 11 major categories, broken down by who I think will (not necessarily should) be nominated and one long-shot nomination that I’d like to come true.

Now, before you yell at me, Jackass Forever wasn’t eligible, but maybe next year.

Best Picture

Being the Ricardos
Belfast
CODA
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick… BOOM!
West Side Story

The Long-Shot Nomination: Drive My Car, because it’s the rare three-hour movie that earns every second of its runtime.

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)
Denis Villeneuve (Dune)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Julia Ducournau (Titane), because there’s a reason her horror movie about a serial killer who has sex with a car, and then becomes pregnant with the car’s baby, won the prestigious Palme d’Or — it’s remarkable.

Best Actor

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)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Simon Rex (Red Rocket), because porn star-turned-VJ-turned-Scary Movie star-turned-rapper is impressive, but porn star-turned-VJ-turned-Scary Movie star-turned-rapper-turned-Oscar winner is a multi-hyphenate for the ages.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)
Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)
Lady Gaga (House of Gucci)
Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)
Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World), because the Worst Person deserves Best Actress after giving the year’s finest performance.

Best Supporting Actor

Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar)
Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza)
Ciaran Hinds (Belfast)
Troy Kotsur (CODA)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Jared Leto (House of Gucci), because I genuinely can’t tell if he’s giving the best or worst performance I’ve ever seen in a major motion picture.

Best Supporting Actress

Caitríona Balfe (Belfast)
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)
Kristen Dunst (The Power of the Dog)
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)
Ruth Negga (Passing)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), because Jessie Buckley is going to get an Oscar someday — why wait?

Best Original Screenplay

Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
Zach Baylin (King Richard)
Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up)
Aaron Sorkin (Being the Ricardos)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch), or Asghar Farhadi (A Hero), or Ducournau (Titane), or Paul Schrader (The Card Counter), or Michael Sarnoski and Vanessa Block (Pig), because if McKay or Sorkin’s overblown screenplays win, I will scream.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter)
Ryusuke Hamaguchi and and Takamasa Oe (Drive My Car)
Sian Heder (CODA)
Denis Villeneuve, Erith Roth, and Jon Spaihts (Dune)

The Long-Shot Nomination: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe (Drive My Car), because see: Best Picture.

Best Animated Feature

Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

The Long-Shot Nomination: Belle, because “U” is a bop.

Best International Feature

A Hero
Drive My Car
Flee
The Hand of God
The Worst Person in the World

The Long-Shot Nomination: Lamb, because maybe the titular lamb will show up.

The first round of Oscar nominations begin on Tuesday, February 8, at 8:18 a.m. EST/5:18 a.m. PST, followed by the second batch at 8:31 a.m. EST/5:31 a.m. PST. You can watch at the link below. Maybe a host (or hosts) will be revealed, too.

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