Oscars 2022: Who Will Win, Who Should Win (or How Would I Vote)

Who Would Win–Who Should Win (How Would I Vote as Oscar Historian?)

The likely winners (Oscar politics) versus the most deserving winners (critical acclaim) respectively, ahead of the 94th Oscar show this Sunday, March 27.

the Oscar telecast: Good or mediocre, long or short, make sure to watch. (It’s good for your health).

Best Picture

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In Oscar’s entire history, only 10 films have ever received more nominations than The Power of the Dog, this year’s leading movie, claiming 12 nominations, including 4 in the acting categories.

Coda Cast

Photo: Cast of CODA

But it’s a polarizing film that may not play as well on the Academy’s preferential ballot as CODA, whose sincere story and terrific have charmed viewers, reducing many of them to tears.

Either film would become the third female-directed best picture and first ever from a streamer.

SHOULD WIN: Drive My Car

No film is more deserving than Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s masterwork about processing grief through art and unexpected human connection, in this case between a middle aged director and the younger lover of his late wife.

Based on a Murakami short story, enriched with strands of Chekhov, this is a gracefully multi-nuanced meditation that takes its time to develop its characters and ultimately gain its considerable emotional power.

My ranking of the 10 Best Picture nominees in terms of their overall artistic quality:

1. Drive My Car, A (*****)

2. The Power of the Dog, A (*****)

3. CODA, A- (****)

4. Dune, A- (****)

5. Tick Tick Boom, B+ (***1/2*)

6. King Richard, B+ (***1/2*)

7. West Side Story, B+ (***1/2*)

8. Belfast, B (***)

9. Nightmare Alley, B (***)

10. Don’t Look Up, C (*)

For the Record:

Don’t Look Up is one of the worst films in history to be ever nominated for the Best Picture.



If CODA wins, as I predict, it would be a major triumph for the American Independent Cinema in general, and the Sundance Film Festival, where it world premiered and won awards, in particular.

The movie is particularly thematically and emotionally effective in its representation of deaf storytelling.

The only way to encourage the making of more movies about marginalized people is to recognize them when they are so accomplished.


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Levy’s Forecast of All the Categories

Best Picture: CODA

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Actor: Will Smith, King Richard

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Best Original Screenplay: Belfast

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Power of the Dog

Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Best Cinematography: The Power of the Dog

Best Costume Design: Dune

Best Film Editing: Dune

Best Production Design: Dune

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Score: Dune

Best Song: “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Best Sound: Dune

Best Visual Effects: Dune

Best Animated Short: Robin Robin

Best Documentary Short: The Queen of Basketball 

Best Live-Action Short: The Long Goodbye