Oscars 2022: Who Will Win? Who Should Win? Best Director, Best Actor

Levy Road to Gold

Best Director

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Jane Campion SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE

WILL WIN: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Twenty-eight years after being nominated for The Piano, the trailblazing Jane Campion became the first female director ever nominated for this award a second time.

Having swept every prize, including the Directors Guild Award, she’s the safest bet of the night and will become the third woman to take home this category’s Oscar.

SHOULD WIN: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

I am going with Jane Campion — not just because the ranks of Oscar-winning women directors are so thin. Campion draws indelible performances from her leads while reconsidering the myths of the West through blistering lens of corrosive masculinity, repressed sexuality and tale of queer revenge.

Best Actor

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Will Smith in King Richard COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.

WILL WIN: Will Smith, King Richard

Playing a colorful, inspirational real-life character always helps with Oscar voters.

Both Will Smith (King Richard) and Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick … Boom!) gave career-best performances. Smith has been around longer, hails from a best picture nominee and dominated the precursors, so edge to him.

SHOULD WIN: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Will Smith is terrific as the father driving his daughters to excellence in King Richard. But Cumberbatch towers above the rest with his portrayal of a hardened man, defined by seething hatred, self-denial, and yearning.