Maybe that’s why I’m not especially stoked about the upcoming Oscar ceremonies (Sunday, March. 27). Not only has public interest in the Academy Awards waned, but we're almost three months into 2022. We’ve already seen numerous award shows and scanned dozens of critics' year-end lists. We've also witnessed any number of promotional pushes for various of last year’s movies.
So I’m going to be as brief as possible with my Oscar predictions, which I offer with the hope that this year’s telecast will be reasonably entertaining, produce a few surprises, and help restore public confidence in movies.
Here are my predictions in the major categories:
CODA beats The Power of the Dog.
I’m a fan of CODA but it’s difficult not to argue that Power of the Dog isn’t better directed, deeper, and more enriched by cinema artistry. But Power of the Dog also has detractors and this might be the year in which a feel-good movie that displays both intelligence and emotion prevails.
Possible surprise: Belfast. Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical movie has a chance if neither CODA nor The Power of the Dog has enough votes to carry the day. More visually accomplished than CODA and devoted to a message of reconciliation, Belfast might represent a compromise choice for voters who were put off by Power of the Dog but still want a movie that leans toward art.
Jane Campion will win for The Power of the Dog.
Sian Heder, who directed CODA, isn’t even nominated, so ….
Will Smith wins for King Richard.
Would I vote for him? No. But I’m not an Academy voter. A more deserving candidate (Benedict Cumberbatch for Power of the Dog) doesn’t seem to have been gaining momentum during the interminable awards season.
Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
If I had a vote, I’d cast it for Penelope Cruz for her work in Parallel Mothers.
Best Supporting Actor
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Who can beat him? Probably no one.
Best Supporting Actress
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Would I be disappointed if Aunjanue Ellis won for King Richard? Not at all.
Best Foreign Film
Drive My Car
Best Original Screenplay
Best adapted Screenplay
Best Animated Movie
Summer of Soul
Best possible evening: I’m wrong on all counts and have to spend most of Monday trying to figure out what happened.