The Oscars: Final Predictions

By Christian DiMartino

The Oscar nominations are coming out on Tuesday, February 8th. As we might know, this is always a subject that I find myself getting really invested in. Even though over time I’ve grown to realize more and more that they’re a load of crap. What do I mean? Well they just seem to nominate movies that sound like they should nominated for Oscars, rather than movies that should actually be nominated. It all depends on the best campaign, and which studio forks out more money. Sometimes though, they do actually choose to recognize the best in film. Other times, they nominate Bohemian Crap-s**tty.

I gotta say it though, I’m not really looking forward to the nominations this year. I could be proven wrong, and maybe they’ll make some interesting, surprising choices. But judging from the precursor awards so far, that doesn’t seem likely. The ball is essentially in the Academy’s court, and after a dismal ceremony last year with some of the lowest ratings they’ve seen, they need a win. They need a slate of movies that are going to grab people’s attention. Last year was a weird year in which even I wasn’t invested, but they nominated some damn good movies that people barely knew about. This year, they have a pretty good selection they could choose from… and they’re probably not going to.

I’m all in on The Power of the Dog, Dune, Belfast, West Side Story, and Licorice Pizza. Even if I don’t love some of those, the admiration is certainly there. I’m less enthusiastic about the love that Coda, Tick, Tick… Boom!, Being the Ricardos, and Don’t Look Up have been getting. Being the Ricardos is… fine. It’s fine across the board, but who left that movie blown away? Not many, but it’s probably getting a Best Picture nomination. Who has seen Coda? Don’t know, but it’s in. Who likes Don’t Look Up? Not sure, but the Academy seems to love whatever their new lord and savior Adam McKay touches, so it’s in. Tick, Tick… Boom! probably is the least likely, but there is a lot of love for it apparently. For me it falls into the “it’s not bad, but it’s not for me” camp.

Look, I’m not saying that the Oscars have to only nominate movies that people have seen. Because then it turns into the People’s Choice Awards. But they would be wise to recognize something like Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is one of the highest grossing movies ever, in a time where people aren’t really going to the movies. It’s a great time, and it’s special and it made people happy. It made me happy, which is no small feat. But nah, they’re probably not going to because… Coda. Or shoot, nominate something like House of Gucci. Not great, but really entertaining and it would make things interesting. Oh but, Don’t Look Up was such a subtle commentary (actually, it wasn’t), it’s in. I think the best chance that a blockbuster has, besides Dune, is No Time to Die. But Bond has never been acknowledged for the top prize, and probably isn’t going to again this time. They should really, really at least have two movies in there that people have seen and that people care about… but nah, they’re gonna go with Being the Ricardos.

Now, I have yet to see Drive My Car. Frankly, it doesn’t interest me much. It’s a three hour movie about something I barely know about, but everyone who has seen it adores it. If we’re being honest, I think this will be the last minute Best Picture inclusion. Can’t judge the movie personally yet, but the movie has been critically adored, so it’s got a shot. But… I think only a small circle of people have actually seen this movie, so again, not ideal.

I’m not gonna go in depth with all of the categories. But I am going to say that every nominations morning, there are at least a few choices that raise all three of my eyebrows (oh yeah, never mentioned that before). I expect that here. Despite the buzz surrounding Kristen Stewart’s sensational work in Spencer, I think she’s out. Instead, it’s looking more like Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos (it’s… fine, but for me she’s actually getting nominated for Big Little Lies and The Undoing), Lady Gaga for House of Gucci, Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter (my pick), Alana Haim for Licorice Pizza, and maybe as a last minute shocker, Penelope Cruz for Parallel Mothers. If I had a vote, Taylour Paige would be a contender for Zola. But I don’t, so nobody gives a s**t.

For Best Actor, Will Smith will probably finally win, and deservedly so, for King Richard. I would love it if Nicolas Cage was in the conversation for Pig, Simon Rex was along for the ride too for Red Rocket. Matt Damon also deserves love for Stillwater, Joaquin Phoenix is flawless in C’mon C’mon, and Oscar Isaac for The Card Counter. Seeing as they’ve just about all been mute though, you can expect Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog and Andrew Garfield for Tick, Tick… Boom!. In perhaps a shocking but not too shocking shocker, Leonardo DiCaprio might squeeze in there for Don’t Look Up (as mediocre as it might be, that cast isn’t) and closing out the category will be Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth. Not a lot of hype for this film, but Washington was nominated for Roman J. Israel, Esq. Anything goes.

For Supporting Actor, I’m a little less certain. Ciaran Hinds is probably a bet for Belfast, and Kodi Smitt-McPhee is a lock for The Power of the Dog. The rest is tricky. Could Bradley Cooper get in for his scene stealing awesomeness in Licorice Pizza? Probably not. Troy Kotsur is probably in for CODA, which of course does nothing for me. For the last two… I’m gonna go with two wild cards: Jared Leto for House of Gucci and Ben Affleck for The Tender Bar. Both of these are probably longshots (remember when Affleck couldn’t even muster a Best Director nod for Argo?), but it’s all I’ve got.

Supporting Actress is also a question mark. Caitriona Balfe is in for Belfast, Kirsten Dunst for The Power of the Dog, and it’s probably safe to say that Ariana Debose is the frontrunner for West Side Story. The last two are, again, a mystery. I’m going to guess Aunjenue Ellis for King Richard (to me, that’s a performance that this category is made for) and closing out the five is Ruth Negga’s great work in Passing. Not confident in any of this, but I have a good feeling.

And for the others…

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson- Licorice Pizza

Jane Campion- The Power of the Dog

Ryusuke Hamaguchi- Drive My Car

Steven Spielberg- West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve- Dune

Best Original Screenplay

Being the Ricardos

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Best Adapted Screenplay

CODA

Drive My Car

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Best Editing

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Dune

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Best Score

Don’t Look Up

Dune

The French Dispatch

Encanto

The Power of the Dog

Best Cinematography

Belfast

Dune

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Best Sound

A Quiet Place Part II

Dune

No Time to Die

Spider-Man: No Way Home

West Side Story

Best Art Direction

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The French Dispatch

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Best Costume Design

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story

Best Make- Up

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The Suicide Squad

Best Visual Effects

Dune

Free Guy

Godzilla vs. Kong

The Matrix Resurrections

Spider-Man: No Way Home

3 responses to “The Oscars: Final Predictions”

  1. What are your thoughts on the Best Original Song nominees?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m on board with Billie and Lin Manuel… can’t say I remember the others. I do with they’d stop nominated Diane warren until she wins again 😂you?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah I’m thinking “No Time To Die” is gonna win considering the last two Bond themes winning meaning they’re automatically a lock for this award now and the industry loves showering Billie Eilish in awards. “Dos Oruguitas” is a good second favorite considering how big Encanto has been with the music and that it would give Lin Manuel Miranda the full EGOT and very clearly wants it. But considering the biggest song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” isn’t nominated will probably keep Miranda from getting the EGOT for now even though to be fair the song was submitted well before “Bruno” took off and fits into Disney tradition of promoting the ballad from its movies. “Be Alive” is fine and perhaps being Beyoncé’s first Oscar nomination will give her a chance but not against Billie and Lin Manuel. Having just seen Belfast, the Van Morrison soundtrack was a cool addition and the song nominated definitely feels like what he would’ve put out in the period of the film’s setting but considering the competition and his public stances against COVID protections that’ll probably keep him from winning. Diane Warren hasn’t actually won an Original Song Oscar which is probably why the Academy keeps nominating her. Notably, her nominations are split into two parts with the first half of her nominations being for major hit Hot 100 songs like “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” or “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” while the second half have been for non hit songs from very small movies and documentaries. Granted, I’m not all that big with Diane Warren written songs with the ballad heavy nature of them but I also wish they could just give her the damn award already so they can stop taking up space every year in the category. There’s this podcast I was listening to about the category I think you’d like featuring one of my favorite music critics Chris Molanphy https://open.spotify.com/episode/1eKbgEg1nzWJfZXeq6ACnD?si=3j6VIE54Sb-rT_TbPkdC-A

    Like

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