my picks for tonight’s 94th Academy Awards (the Oscars for 2021-ish’s films) (winners indicated)

UPDATE: Winners are now indicated. I correctly guessed 11 out of the 23 categories, which is exactly as well as I did last year.


previous: 03.27.22

Herewith my guesses about which nominees will take home Oscars tonight.

I haven’t seen as many of the nominated films as I’d have liked. (I continue to be affected by pandemic brain, finding it extremely difficult to focus on work, including finding headspace for movies and the subsequent headspace for reviews.) So my guesses this year about which films will win — indicated by Xes on the lefthand side — are, more than ever, about trying to put myself in the mindset of how the Academy thinks about movies. Which is often not about any pretense toward determining “objective” quality but about peer pressure; which nominee is “owed” an award after a long career of, perhaps, being slighted at awards season; and the like. Often we hear on the sly about how some Academy members don’t even bother to watch many of the nominees but vote anyway.

We’re all in the bullshit game this year. Again.


previous: 02.08.22

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — of which I am, alas, not a member — has just revealed the nominees of its 2022 awards, for films released between March 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. (The eligibility period was altered in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.) The full list of Oscar nominees is below. Links here go to my reviews, with reviews to come for most if not all those I haven’t yet reviewed.

Winners will be announced at the ceremony on March 27th. As soon as possible — but probably in the week before the ceremony — I’ll post my guesses about who might win.

Where to stream almost every Oscar nominee!

Check out my still ongoing, not yet completed ranking of 2021’s films.

(See the Academy’s site at Oscars.org and ABC’s site at Oscars.com for your further Oscar needs.)


Best Picture
[ X ] Belfast
[    ] CODA WINNER
[    ] Don’t Look Up
[    ] Drive My Car
[    ] Dune
[    ] King Richard
[    ] Licorice Pizza
[    ] Nightmare Alley
[    ] The Power of the Dog
[    ] West Side Story

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
[    ] Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
[ X ] Ariana DeBose – West Side Story WINNER
[    ] Judi Dench – Belfast
[    ] Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
[    ] Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
[    ] Ciaran Hinds – Belfast
[ X ] Troy Kotsur – CODA WINNER
[    ] Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog
[    ] J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos
[    ] Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Best International Feature Film
[    ] Drive My Car WINNER
[    ] Flee
[    ] The Hand of God
[    ] Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
[ X ] The Worst Person in the World

Best Documentary Short Subject
[    ] “Audible”
[    ] “Lead Me Home”
[    ] “The Queen of Basketball” WINNER
[    ] “Three Songs for Benazir”
[ X ] “When We Were Bullies”

Best Documentary Feature
[    ] Ascension
[    ] Attica
[ X ] Flee
[    ] Summer of Soul WINNER
[    ] Writing with Fire

Best Original Song
[    ] “Be Alive” – King Richard
[ X ] “Dos Oruguitas” – Encanto
[    ] “Down to Joy” – Belfast
[    ] “No Time To Die” – No Time to Die WINNER
[    ] “Somehow You Do” – Four Good Days

Best Animated Feature Film
[    ] Encanto WINNER
[    ] Flee
[    ] Luca
[ X ] The Mitchells vs. the Machines
[    ] Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Adapted Screenplay
[    ] CODA WINNER
[    ] Drive My Car
[    ] Dune
[ X ] The Lost Daughter
[    ] The Power of the Dog

Best Original Screenplay
[    ] Belfast WINNER
[ X ] Don’t Look Up
[    ] King Richard
[    ] Licorice Pizza
[    ] The Worst Person in the World

Best Actor in a Leading Role
[    ] Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardos
[    ] Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog
[    ] Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick… Boom!
[ X ] Will Smith – King Richard WINNER
[    ] Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actress in a Leading Role
[    ] Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye WINNER
[ X ] Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
[    ] Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
[    ] Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
[    ] Kristen Stewart – Spencer

Best Director
[    ] Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
[    ] Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
[    ] Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
[ X ] Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog WINNER
[    ] Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Best Production Design
[    ] Dune WINNER
[ X ] Nightmare Alley
[    ] The Power of the Dog
[    ] The Tragedy of Macbeth
[    ] West Side Story

Best Cinematography
[    ] Dune WINNER
[    ] Nightmare Alley
[ X ] The Power of the Dog
[    ] The Tragedy of Macbeth
[    ] West Side Story

Best Costume Design
[ X ] Cruella WINNER
[    ] Cyrano
[    ] Dune
[    ] Nightmare Alley
[    ] West Side Story

Best Sound
[    ] Belfast
[ X ] Dune WINNER
[    ] No Time to Die
[    ] The Power of the Dog
[    ] West Side Story

Best Animated Short Film
[    ] “Affairs of the Art”
[ X ] “Bestia”
[    ] “Boxballet”
[    ] “Robin Robin”
[    ] “The Windshield Wiper” WINNER

Best Live-Action Short Film
[    ] “Ala Kachuu — Take and Run”
[    ] “The Dress”
[ X ] “The Long Goodbye” WINNER
[    ] “On My Mind”
[    ] “Please Hold”

Best Original Score
[    ] Don’t Look Up
[ X ] Dune WINNER
[    ] Encanto
[    ] Parallel Mothers
[    ] The Power of the Dog

Best Visual Effects
[ X ] Dune WINNER
[    ] Free Guy
[    ] No Time to Die
[    ] Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
[    ] Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Film Editing
[    ] Don’t Look Up
[ X ] Dune WINNER
[    ] King Richard
[    ] The Power of the Dog
[    ] Tick, Tick… Boom!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
[    ] Coming 2 America
[    ] Cruella
[    ] Dune
[ X ] The Eyes of Tammy Faye WINNER
[    ] House of Gucci

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Bluejay
Bluejay
Wed, Feb 09, 2022 5:58pm

I know lots of films inevitably get snubbed and for a variety of reasons, but the total lack of recognition for Passing and for Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson feels particularly wrong.

Interesting to note how white the Best Actress category is this year, too. To echo something Bree Newsome Bass has pointed out: it is simply not possible to believe that, since Halle Berry won 21 years ago, NO Black actress has turned in an award-worthy performance.

If they’ve expanded the Best Picture category to ten nominees, why can’t they do the same for the acting categories?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Sun, Feb 13, 2022 1:50pm

The absence of Passing among the nominees is really appalling.

Danielm80
Danielm80
Thu, Feb 10, 2022 5:43am

People like to complain about the Oscars by saying that the average moviegoer hasn’t seen any of the films, and I realize that I’m not an average moviegoer, because I’ve seen almost everything, just because I’m such a huge movie fan. But this year, they’re on so many different subscription services that I can’t afford to see them all without risking my life. I wish I could believe I were overstating the dangers.

Maybe this will give studios an incentive to release the films on demand before the ceremony, but I suspect it will do the opposite. After all, as a huge movie fan, I now feel a little pressure to restart my Netflix subscription.