Roll Out the Red Carpet: Our 2022 Oscar Predictions


It’s time for the biggest night in Hollywood again — the Academy Awards. The most prestigious awards in film will be handed out on March 27, and it’s time for every film nerd’s favorite game: predicting which films and filmmakers will go home with the coveted Oscar trophies. This year, our writers Julia and Jules decided to break down each category and pick who they think will win big on Oscar night. Will they be proven correct? And where do they disagree? Read on to find out our picks for Academy Awards glory.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog
Kirsty Griffin/Netflix

Best Picture

Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Julia’s Pick: This category is anyone’s game, but I think it will come down to CODA due to its growing momentum or The Power of the Dog.

Jules’ Pick: I absolutely loved West Side Story, but judging by its track record this awards season, I don’t think it will take home the big prize. I’m rooting for CODA, whose surprise win at the SAG Awards has given it a dark horse path similar to Parasite a few years ago.

Best Directing

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Julia’s Pick: Jane Campion has been on a roll, so I think she’ll snag it for The Power of the Dog.

Jules’ Pick: Again, my wish is for Steven Spielberg to win his third Oscar for directing. West Side Story would not have worked without his experience and unique vision. However, Jane Campion has picked up a few key wins that point to her victory, so I’ll go with Campion as the winner.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Julia’s Pick: Jessica Chastain gave a wonderful performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye and is the standout for me.

Jules’ Pick: This category should come down to Jessica Chastain and Kristen Stewart. Chastain did an excellent job bringing a new perspective to Tammy Faye, who has practically become a cartoon in the media, while Stewart did the same as Princess Diana. I hope Stewart takes home the prize — she’s onscreen for the entire runtime, and since it was a character study it truly could not have worked without her stunning performance.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Barden, 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

Julia’s Pick: This is another category that could potentially swing any way, but I think Will Smith will ultimately come out triumphant.

Jules’ Pick: I understand that Will Smith has the momentum coming into Oscar voting, but of the nominees Andrew Garfield is the one that stands out to me. His performance in tick, tick…BOOM! was stunning and a complete departure from the rest of his filmography. After missing out on a nomination for The Social Network and losing the award for Hacksaw Ridge, I’m hoping this is Garfield’s year for recognition.

Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judy Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Julia’s Pick: Ariana DeBose was an absolute powerhouse in West Side Story, and she’ll keep that momentum going.

Jules’ Pick: There’s no way Ariana DeBose doesn’t take this, having won every major award for supporting actress this season. It will be well deserved.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Julia’s Pick: Troy Kotsur for CODA. He’s begun gaining traction, and I think (and hope) it leads him all the way to an Oscar win.

Jules’ Pick: Of all the categories, this one is the most up in the air (with even the nominations sparking debate). Troy Kotsur has picked up steam with a few important wins, and I think that streak will (deservedly) continue at the Oscars.

Best Original Screenplay

Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The Worst Person in the World

Julia’s Pick: While I think Belfast has a fighting chance for this category, Licorice Pizza released to widespread praise across the film community, so it’s my pick to take the win.

Jules’ Pick: As Licorice Pizza only picked up three total nominations, this will be the category it is genuinely competitive in. Many awards voters loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s nostalgia-fueled film, and this would be the category to honor it.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog

Julia’s Pick: This category will also go to either CODA or The Power of the Dog.

Jules’ Pick: My pick is Power of the Dog, though if any film could stage an upset it would be The Lost Daughter.

Chiabella James/Warner Bros.

Best Cinematography

Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Julia’s Pick: With sweeping sci-fi visuals, Dune is my pick.

Jules’ Pick: Dune will probably take this one, but I adored Dan Laustsen’s stunning work on Nightmare Alley. I’m rooting for Lausten to take home his first Oscar after missing out on a nomination for The Shape of Water.

Best Film Editing

Don’t Look Up
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick…BOOM!

Julia’s Pick: If tick, tick…BOOM! is going home with anything, this would absolutely be the category for it.

Jules’ Pick: tick, tick…BOOM! has some truly breathtaking editing work that elevates it to the top of the pack.

Best Animated Feature Film

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Julia’s Pick: Encanto will most likely win this one, though I’d love to see The Mitchells vs. the Machines take it.

Jules’ Pick: This is a category where every nominee is a deserving winner. Encanto is definitely the frontrunner, but like Julia, I am hoping that the sweet The Mitchells vs. The Machines gets its moment in the spotlight.

Best Animated Short Film

Affairs of the Art
Robin Robin
The Windshield Wiper

Julia’s Pick: While all these shorts are unique in their own ways, The Windshield Wiper has such intriguing visuals and a clever story, so it’s my pick.

Jules’ Pick: The Windshield Wiper was so interesting to watch, and its bittersweet romance drew me in. Director Alberto Mielgo also worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and there’s a clear visual link between the two. I hope it prevails, though all the nominees deserve to be here.

Best Live-Action Short Film

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye
On My Mind
Please Hold

Julia’s Pick: On My Mind is the frontrunner for me.

Jules’ Pick: “On My Mind” broke me in half, so I’m hoping it wins.

Janus Films

Best International Feature Film

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

Julia’s Pick: Drive My Car. Of its multiple nominations, this category stands out as its best bet to win.

Jules’ Pick: Drive My Car also has nominations for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director, which gives it the edge in this category. Of its four total nominations, this seems like the most realistic category for it to win, and it would be a great way to make sure the film walks away with a trophy on Oscar night.

Best Documentary Feature

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Writing with Fire

Julia’s Pick: Flee has earned praise left and right for good reason, so it’s my pick to take this category.

Jules’ Pick: Summer of Soul and Flee are the two leaders here, both winning important awards along the Oscar path. But Flee‘s inventive way of presenting its story deserves to be recognized, and I think it will take the win.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Lead Me Home
The Queen of Basketball
Three Songs for Benazir
When We Were Bullies

Julia’s Pick: Joining the Deaf representation of CODA, Audible is my pick to win. It’s a poignant documentary short that deserves all the recognition.

Jules’ Pick: In an Oscar race where Deaf representation is a major topic of conversation with multi-nominee CODA, Audible has been building deserved momentum. It follows a group of football players at the Maryland School for the Deaf, and I found it moving. It’s my pick to take home the win.

Best Original Score

Don’t Look Up
Parallel Mothers
The Power of the Dog

Julia’s Pick: This one belongs to Dune. Hans Zimmer is a master of his craft and deserves the win.

Jules’ Pick: Hans Zimmer created a truly unique score in Dune that is essential to the story, and I hope he picks up his second Oscar win (with 12 nominations total, he deserves to be honored again).

Best Original Song

“Be Alive,” King Richard
“Dos Oruguitas,” Encanto
“Down to Joy,” Belfast
“No Time to Die,” No Time to Die
“Somehow You Do,” Four Good Days

Julia’s Pick: “No Time to Die” has my vote. It was a fitting song for the end of Daniel Craig’s run as Bond and has also consistently remained in its own spotlight.

Jules’ Pick: We don’t talk about the fact that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” somehow was not submitted for this category in an incredible oversight that a publicist is kicking themselves for right now. With that monster hit out of contention, “No Time To Die” could continue its slow victory march (having been released pre-COVID in 2019, it’s remarkable how much staying power it has had).

Best Sound

No Time To Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Julia’s Pick: This win will most likely be Dune.

Jules’ Pick: Dune will most likely take this category, though I would be remiss as a musical lover to not push for West Side Story.

Laurie Sparham/Disney

Best Costume Design

Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

Julia’s Pick: I think Cruella will take this one. The costumes are wonderfully inventive and deserve recognition.

Jules’ Pick: This category in particular is like asking me to choose which child I love more. In general, I’m fine with any of these movies taking the prize, but I have a soft spot for Cruella and Nightmare Alley. Both had stunning costumes that were integral to the story. I’ll give it to Cruella and Jenny Beavan’s imaginative work.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Coming to America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

Julia’s Pick: The team behind The Eyes of Tammy Faye did incredible work, and they deserve the win.

Jules’ Pick: The Eyes of Tammy Faye does not work without its makeup design, as star Jessica Chastain recently noted. I want the brilliant team involved in creating the look of Tammy Faye to get recognized for their efforts.

Best Production Design

Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Julia’s Pick: Nightmare Alley will win for its rich and stunning settings.

Jules’ Pick: Nightmare Alley, 100%. Guillermo del Toro’s films are always a visual feast, and Nightmare Alley‘s production design team helmed by Tamara Deverell created one of the best settings in a del Toro film that I’ve seen. From a nightmarish carnival to a cold psychoanalyst’s office, every element was flawless.

Best Visual Effects

Free Guy
No Time to Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Julia’s Pick: While all of these films had stunning visuals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stands out most for me.

Jules’ Pick: All are deserving, but my love for Spider-Man: No Way Home has me rooting for it to win.

The Oscar winners will be announced on Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m CT on ABC.

I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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