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2022 Oscar Category Rankings

February 6, 2022

With Oscar nominations being announced tomorrow, I’ll go ahead and post my rankings in every category (except the shorts – which I’ve seen none of – and editing – which I know nothing about). These are not my predictions, they are simply who and what I would nominate if it were solely up to me. I’ll note likely snubs and some likely nominations I feel are overrated. Some of the technical categories I don’t have too much to stay about.

Haven’t Seen: Ascension, Attica, Belfast, C’mon C’mon, Cyrano, Drive My Car, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Free Guy, The Hand of God, King Richard, The Lost Daughter, Lunana, Parallel Mothers, The Rescue, Westside Story, The Worst Person in the World, Writing With Fire, Yuni

Best Picture
*Dune
*Licorice Pizza
Shiva Baby
*CODA

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Pig
Titane
The Last Duel
Mass

Comments: There are probably 3 or 4 films I haven’t seen yet that will get a nomination here (Belfast, King Richard, Westside Story). The Power of the Dog is a big favorite in basically everything, but it’s a film I didn’t connect with like that on my first watch. I’m planning to give it another go – especially if it gets showered with nominations – but for now, I just don’t see it as a top 10 film of 2021. I loved Shiva Baby but it’s getting absolutely no awards attention. Damn shame. Titane didn’t even make the International Feature Film shortlist and I just can’t wrap my mind around that one.

Nominees:
Belfast
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
Westside Story

Best Actor
Nicholas Cage, Pig
Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
*Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth
*Andrew Garfield, tick, tick… BOOM!
*Benedict Cumberbatch, Power of the Dog

Comments: Will Smith is the only lock nominee I haven’t seen. Cooper Hoffman and Nicholas Cage look like solid snub candidates.

Nominated:
Will Smith, King Richard
Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Best Actress
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Alaina Haim, Licorice Pizza
Emilia Jones, CODA
Jodie Comer, The Last Duel

Comments: I really don’t know what to expect here other than for Lady Gaga to get nominated. Kristen Stewart gave the best performance I’ve seen and the Screen Actor’s Guild didn’t even nominate her so I’m pretty lost on that one. Olivia Colman, Jessica Chastain, and Rachel Zegler all have good chances of a nomination for films I haven’t seen yet. I’m fully expecting Jones – who I just moved back into my top 5 after watching CODA again – and Comer to come up short here.

Nominated:
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Best Director
*Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Denis Villeneuve, Dune
Ridley Scott, The Last Duel
Julia Ducourneau, Titane
Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Comments: The Tragedy of Macbeth didn’t even crack my top 10 of the year, but I have to respect Joel Coen for making a movie filled with nothing but Shakespeare dialogue so compelling – it’s beautiful and captivating. Plus, Denzel is on record saying he didn’t even know what he was saying and he somehow still gives one of the best performances of the year. I’m pretty sure that’s good direction! Titane drawing dead here. Probably Ridley Scott too. Jane Campion is for sure getting nominated for The Power of the Dog and probably Kenneth Branagh for Belfast.

Nominated:
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor
Jason Isaacs, Mass
*Troy Kotsur, CODA
Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
Ben Affleck, The Last Duel
Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley

Comments: It’s kind of hard for me to make a good list here. I can only find three performances that I truly loved and the rest I just liked. There are a handful of supporting roles that could fill my last two slots here and I’d feel mostly the same about all of them. Actors that all have nomination chances that I didn’t love: Kodi Smit-McPhee (a favorite), J.K. Simmons, Timothy Spall, Jared Leto, etc. That’s why it’s getting to be really upsetting when Jason Isaacs’ amazing performance gets snubbed. I’m gonna take that personally.

Nominated:
Ciaran Hinds, Belfast
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress
Martha Plimpton, Mass
Ruth Negga, Passing
Ann Dowd, Mass
Marlee Matlin, CODA
*Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Comments: Yes. Mass was an acting masterclass and it might somehow end up with zero nominations. Unforgivable if that happens. There are a lot of top candidates here I’m yet to see (Caitriona Balfe, Aunjanue Ellis, Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno, Judi Dench).

Nominated:
Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Best Original Screenplay
*Licorice Pizza
Titane
Pig
*Don’t Look Up
Being the Ricardos

Comments: Licorice Pizza is the most fun movie of the year. Titane was the most inventive. Pig was a wild ride with some incredible dialogue-heavy scenes. I didn’t love Don’t Look Up but it has a smart and funny script. And Sorkin is Sorkin. Belfast will be here also, but I haven’t seen it.

Nominated:
Belfast
King Richard
The Worst Person in the World

Best Adapted Screenplay
Shiva Baby
*Dune
*CODA
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley

Comments: Dune, The Power of the Dog, and *gasp* CODA all look like locks here.

Nominated:
Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog

Best Animated Feature
*Flee
*Luca
*The Mitchells vs. The Machines
*Raya and the Last Dragon
*Encanto

Comments: I’ll actually be surprised if these aren’t the exact five nominees.

Best Documentary Feature
*Flee
The Alpinist
Billie Eilish
*Summer of Soul
Val

Comments: The shortlist of 15 films is already public knowledge. Flee, Summer of Soul, and Billie Eilish are the only ones in my rankings that made the cut. The Rescue and Flee feel like pretty safe nominations but I can’t call anything else.

Nominated:
Ascension
Attica
Writing With Fire

Best International Feature
Titane
*Flee

Comments: Uhm. Yeah. And Titane didn’t even make the shortlist which is an absolute outrage. Flee will get nominated. Drive My Car and The Worst Person in the World are two of my most anticipated movies right now. A Hero and The Hand of God look like nominees here.

Nominated:
Drive My Car
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World


Best Cinematography
*The Tragedy of Macbeth
*Dune
*The Power of the Dog

*Nightmare Alley
The Last Duel

Comments: All these films looked great and I actually did watch enough of Belfast (I had to walk out because of a medical emergency) to know it will get nominated here also. This is also one of the categories where I’m totally on board with a The Power of the Dog nom.

Nominated:
West Side Story

Best Production Design
*Dune
*Nightmare Alley
The French Dispatch
The Last Duel
*The Tragedy of Macbeth

Comments: Dune is just a technical masterpiece so it will be nominated in everything. I was lukewarm on The French Dispatch but it definitely looked cool and the sets were great.

Nominated:
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best Costume Design
*Cruella
Spencer
*Dune
House of Gucci

*Nightmare Alley

Comments: When I watched Cruella I was blown away by the makeup and costumes. And then I did some Oscar buzz research and it seemed like everyone was ready to snub it. Now it’s on all the lists for both categories. I’m not really sure what happened to make everyone come around but I’m glad they are seeing the light.

Nominated:
Cyrano
West Side Story


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
*House of Gucci
*Cruella
*Dune
Being the Ricardos
The Suicide Squad

Comments: The Eyes of Tammy Faye is the big one I haven’t seen yet.

Nominated:
Coming 2 America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Visual Effects
*Dune
*Shang Chi
*Spider-Man: No Way Home
Godzilla Vs. Kong
Eternals


Nominated:
Free Guy
No Time to Die

Best Original Score
*Dune
The French Dispatch
Spencer
Candyman
*The Power of the Dog


Nominated:
Don’t Look Up
Encanto
Parallel Mothers

Best Sound
*Dune
*No Time to Die
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Shang Chi
A Quiet Place Part II

Nominated:
Belfast
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

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