The date of this year’s Oscars have been moved up an extra two weeks from the 2021 awards. The pandemic is in the midst of dying down and more people are heading back to the theatres. This year was better for me for movie watching. I saw enough films to make up 93 of this year’s 125 nominations! I only streamed one contender this year and it was just yesterday!
This year’s Oscars are to be held on Sunday March 12th. Jimmy Kimmel returns to host for the first time in five years. What’s your guess the Will Smith slap will be in many of the jokes? Yes, it was a shocker last year, but I know the Will Smith/Chris Rock rivalry is something that goes way back! We can’t get enough of these Hollywood feuds, can we? The show promises to be good. Hope it’s not as long as last year’s. And to think last year they did all sorts.of tricks in an attempt to shorten it! Boy did it fail! Anyways this year’s Oscars should be enjoyable and those attending Oscar parties should have fun. So without further ado, here are my picks for the winners of the 2022 Academy Awards:
The annual tradition for Olly Gibbs to do an image of the ten Best Picture nominees is back for the tenth and last time! What can I say? All good things must come to an end! Great stuff with this year’s ten! And thanks for the great images over the years. I’m happy to have seen nine of the Best Picture nominees on the big screen. It always looks better on the big screen. I wrote two sets of reviews of the Best Picture nominees: one from All Quiet to Everything Everywhere; the other from The Fabelmans to Women Talking. In the meantime here are my opinions of the Oscar chances of the ten Best Picture nominees:
All Quiet On The Western Front – Last year, West Side Story was the reboot of a former Best Picture winner to get nominated. This year, it’s All Quiet On The Western Front. It does seem odd for a World War I drama to get a reboot but after you see it, it makes sense. We live in a time of great cynicism of our leaders. Often we wonder what the point of war is all about. Is it about the people? Or the leaders’ egos? It comes at a good time now as Ukraine is undergoing a war all for the sake of a President’s lust for power. This is a film that is deserving to win Best Picture but there are others that have better chances.
Avatar: The Way Of Water – The first Avatar movie was worthy of winning Best Picture, and it almost did! The sequel faced a challenge of bringing back the magic of the first Avatar while creating a story that differs from the first. The film succeeds in delivering a new story and returning the audience to the world they experienced watching the first. The thing is the film has a lot of technical nominations but is the only Best Picture nominee without a single acting, directing or writing nomination. It’s because of that I don’t consider it a favorite to win Best Picture.
The Banshees Of Inisherin– Normally the Academy turns up their nose to comedies. I find that funny because if you ask any actor, they will say comedy is the hardest thing to do! This year, there are two comedies that are frontrunners to win Best Picture. Additionally, both of the heavily-favored comedies have four acting nominations to boot! First up is The Banshees Of Inisherin. It starts as a story that seems boring; a lifelong friendship ended because one thinks the other is dull. As the story develops, the rivalry gets more intense and bizarre. Like why would someone with a grudge want to cut their fingers off? Its twists and turns and surprises all around make this a bizarre tragicomedy and the film I predict to be the Most Likely Upsetter to my pick to win.
Elvis – Is it possible.to make a movie about The King that looks like material that belongs on the big screen? Baz Luhrmann answers that with a big fat “Yes!” A lot of the best material of the film comes from the direction and creativity of Luhrmann. Top highlight, however, is the dead-on performance of Austin Butler. His performance of Elvis through the various stages of his life was eye-catching and would keep your attention. This film was loaded with Oscar buzz from the start but just like Power Of The Dog last year, its buzz faded fast.
Everything Everywhere All At Once – I know I mentioned it’s very hard for comedies to get Oscar love. Well try a movie that involves going through various alternating universes. Doesn’t sound like a top Oscar contender, does it? Well, that’s what Everything Everywhere All At Once is! It’s a ‘film of the absurd,’ but a very entertaining one as Evelyn goes through her various alternate lives in entertaining style. Very well done and very entertaining. That’s why I give it my Should Win and Will Win pick!
The Fabelmans- Normally a film about a filmmaker as a child directed by that very filmmaker would first come across as egotistical. However we’re talking Steven Spielberg. For those whoever wondered what inspired his most thrilling and most remarkable works, there’s your answer. At a time when people have been so down about so many things happening in the world and even near where they live, the film is a reminder that the dream is worth shooting for. That having a great imagination can still go far. Even in a time of great pessimism right now.. Even during the most difficult times. A film like this would normally be considered worthy of Best Picture and it was a heavy favorite at one point, but it tuned out to be the biggest fader thanks to low box office results.
Tár – This is an accomplishment for director Todd Field. It seemed like he was bound to have a major Oscar contender any time soon, but it was a matter of waiting. Finally he does it with Tár. The cornerstone of the film is the performance of Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár. It’s through her performance we’re drawn to a story of a musical conductor’s rise to the top and sudden downfall. It’s also Field’s direction that makes the film on of the best of the year. Despite it being great, there are other films that have better chances to win Best Picture.
Top Gun: Maverick – The norm for Hollywood sequels for big hits is to wait two years, possibly three. There have been other films with longer waits, but they’ve mostly been flops. Now a sequel for Top Gun 36 years after the original seems hard to buy. I know there’s a lot of rebooting happening, especially of entertainment from the 80’s, but would a sequel for Top Gun work after this much time? Tom Cruise, director Eric Kosinski and the dream team of writers proved that it can. It can create a believable story set in the present and bring back the excitement of the first with adding new flares. Exciting film to watch and may have good chances of winning Best Picture, but normally the Academy doesn’t reward a film like this Best Picture.
Triangle Of Sadness- This is a film that caught a lot of people by surprise. A shocking story of a young model/influencer couple on a cruise with the mega-rich and they get lost at sea. The film consists of a lot of bizarre humor from the food choices of the rich to their behavior to the bizarre sinking of the ship to even the death of the donkey on the island. One can say this film is the crowning achievement for director Ruben Ostlund. It’s a dark comedy that comes as more entertaining than one would expect. It has a lot of Best Picture qualities, but its chances are slim compared to many others.
Women Talking – This is another film that will catch one by surprise. This is a well-directed story that touches on a topic that’s rarely talked about. It’s also a shocking reminder that even is these times of modernization, there are still these religious communities that have their own society and own rules separate from the outside world and a clearly dominated by the patriarchy. This story also shows how women who had been denied so much are able to achieve their own empowerment when they band together. It’s a slow story that catches your intrigue over time. Despite it, I feel it’s the film with some of the least chances of winning Best Picture.
Should Win and Will Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything, Everywhere All At Once
The Academy has been known to have interesting picks for their Award winners. Sometimes they will give it to the legends with a lengthy career and sometimes they’ll give it to newcomers with a fresh unique idea. This year, it looks like the favorite to win the Best Director Oscar is a duo of directors known as “The Daniels.” Kwan and Scheinert have had their start with doing music videos and short films that caught a lot of eyes. They’ve only had one other feature-length film they directed together. This film is not only the best they directed together, but also an excellent film-of-the-absurd that people will find very entertaining. Even if most won’t understand it, they will love the comedy of it. This is a very complex story which must have been difficult to put all together, but The Daniels mastered it! Deserving Oscar winners.
Should Win and Will Win: Brendan Fraser – The Whale
The most interesting thing about this year’s nominees is that sixteen of the twenty acting nominations are for first-time nominees: the most ever! The Best Actor category, which is normally the most veteran-friendly category and has the least first-time nominations, is completely filled with first-time nominees! For this category I pick Brendan Fraser’s performance to win. Many people were not up for seeing The Whale. I can understand because it is a depressing story based on a stage play. Fraser does an excellent performance of a 600 lb. man who’s coming close to the end of his life and comes to terms with a lot of hard truths in his life while attempting to make peace with the people around him. He also plays his role as an oversized person with sensitivity and with respect. Usually the Best Actor category is one of the most decisive categories, but this has been a tough battle between Fraser and Austin Butler in Elvis. The Oscar year began with Butler the heavy favorite as Elvis but I feel it’s Fraser’s turn on Oscar night.
Should Win and Will Win: Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once
This year achieved a feat of four Asian actors receiving Oscar nominations for the first time! Three of them are from Everything Everywhere All At Once. Michelle Yeoh herself made history as the first Asian actress to be nominated in the Best Actress category! It’s easy to see why she is nominated. Her story is very complex going from a simple business owner to travelling through so many universes as she contemplates the life she could have had. Those who’ve seen the movie will know this is a very complex thing to do to deliver a performance with so many complex characters and put it all together. Michelle is very deserving of the win.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Should Win and Will Win: Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everything Everywhere All At Once is not only the story of Evelyn. It’s also of her family in the many universes, including her husband Waymond in the Alphaverse. Quan delivers a performance that adds to the story and is also able to steal the show from Evelyn at times. This role is also the role Ke Huy has been waiting a long time for. Until now, he’s been mostly remembered as a child actor for roles like Short Round in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom and Richard “Data” Wang in The Goonies. Over time, he took on a career in film production but only recently returned to acting. It was Crazy Rich Asians, the film that starred his co-star Michelle Yeoh, that made him want to return! The timing couldn’t have been better because this performance is worthy of the Oscar win!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Should Win: Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Will Win: Kerry Condon – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Very often the major Oscar category that’s hardest to predict is the Supporting Actress category. Favorites often do win in this category, but this is a category with some of the most shocking upsets. This year still leaves many undecided. Angela Bassett won the Golden Globe. Jamie Lee Curtis of Everything Everywhere All At Once won the SAG Award. Kerry Condon won the BAFTA (British Academy Award). Those three are the biggest favorites. I myself feel Angela Bassett deserves to win because of how well she played Queen Ramonda. I feel it will go to Kerry Condon. Even though I don’t have her as my Should Win pick, I feel she’s still deserving as the sister who is helpful to Padraic and his friends and seeks a life outside of Inisherin.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Should Win and Will Win: Sarah Polley – Women Talking
This is the film with the most Canadian content.The film is based off a novel from Manitoba-writer Miriam Toews. The writer/director is Sarah Polley. Most Canadians still remember her as Sarah Stanley from Road To Avonlea, but she’s grown into a major force in directing and writing. This is a powerful story where most of the action takes place in a single room and is involved in making a tense decision. The story is full of fear, anger, hurt, frustration and hope. This is a film with an important message to send and it does so with a story that’s full of depth and human emotion. That’s why I feel Polley will be a deserving Oscar winner tomorrow.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Should Win and Will Win: The Daniels – Everything Everywhere All At Once
This is another tight category as it’s the Daniels against Martin McDonagh’s script for The Banshees Of Inisherin. I predict that to be the script most likely to upset. I still have a feeling that Everything Everywhere All At Once will be the script that wins. It’s a complex story that goes over so many universes and yet still manages to pull it all together at the end. It’s because of this complexity that I predict the Daniels to take the Oscar in this category.
Alright. Now that I’m done speaking my mind on the major categories, I will be straightforward and give straight predictions of the technical categories. Only in very few categories where I feel I’m qualified to make such a judgement will you see me give a Should Win pick. So here goes:
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Should Win and Will Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Should Win: Roger Deakins – Empire of Light
Will Win: Mandy Walker – Elvis
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Should Win: Ruth E. Carter – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Will Win: Catherine Martin – Elvis
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Will Win: Navalny
BEST FILM EDITING
Should Win and Will Win: Paul Rogers – Everything Everywhere All At Once
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Will Win: All Quiet On The Western Front (Germany)
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Will Win: Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signnoretti – Elvis
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Should Win: Volker Bertelman – All Quiet On The Western Front
Will Win: Justin Hurwitz – Babylon
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Should Win: “Hold My Hand” – Top Gun: Maverick
Will Win: “Naatu Naatu” – RRR
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Will Win: Florencia Martin and Anthony Carlino – Babylon
Will Win: Top Gun: Maverick
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Should Win and Will Win: Avatar: The Way Of Water
BEST AMINATED SHORT FILM and BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
Predictions can be seen in this blog. Click here.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Prediction can be seen in this blog. Click here.
JUST ONE MORE – MOST LIKELY OSCAR UPSETTERS
Sometimes I like predicting which upsets will happen to my main predictions for wins. I know I predict Dune to clean up in all of its technical categories but the Oscars have always had a surprise or two and I’m expecting surprises for this year. Here are the six biggest surprises I anticipate, and they’re listed in category order:
- Austin Butler for Best Actor in Elvis
- Jamie Lee Curtis for Best Supporting Actress in Everything Everywhere All At Once
- Martin McDonagh for Best Original Screenplay for The Banshees Of Inisherin
- James Friend for Best Cinematography for All Quiet On The Western Front
- Top Gun: Maverick for Best Visual Effects
- Ice Merchants for Best Animated Short Film
And there you have it! Those are my predictions for the 95th Academy Awards. Tune in tomorrow night where you can see the winners and maybe a spontaneous shocker!