Oscar Picks: January 2022

Being the Ricardos
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
Licorice Pizza
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Falling off: House of Gucci, Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Rising star: Spider-Man: No Way Home

The skinny: Three stylish films from master directors look to be shoved aside in favor of more streaming films, which is not exactly an exciting proposition. But it also means Drive My Car, one of the year’s truly great films, has also found room. I suppose that’s a fair trade. But I’m not encouraged by the full-court press to get Spider-Man: No Way Home, the year’s one true blockbuster, to sneak into the Best Picture race. To quote Don Draper, “That’s what the money is for!”

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Denis Villeneuve, Dune
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Falling off: Guillermo del Toro, Joel Coen
Rising star: Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

The skinny: It would be very hard to quibble with this line-up, especially since it doesn’t include Adam McKay. But Netflix’s other late awards push could see it overtake the film in its total nominations. Gyllenhaal is basically a lock to win the Directors Guild’s Best First-Time Feature Film award, but it’s hard to know who she would edge out.

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Peter Dinklage, Cyrano
Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick Boom
Will Smith, King Richard
Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Falling off: None
Rising star: Clifton Collins Jr, Jockey

The skinny: I wouldn’t call this a weak year for the category, but there isn’t a single late-breaking gentleman that seems like he could find his way in here. Jockey has gotten some strong reviews, but once again Sony Pictures Classics is in charge. That didn’t matter when there was a movie as big as The Father, but this might just be too small for a respected character actor to find himself in the big race.

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Falling off: Frances McDormand
Rising star: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

The skinny: Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth would seem like a slam dunk. But The Tragedy of Macbeth having almost no traction pushes her aside, even though she’s clearly among the best performers. So Alana Haim has a grand coronation, richly deserved. And while there are no foreign-language performances here (a real shame, considering how many great ones there are), Penélope Cruz is right on the precipice.

Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
Ciaran Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Falling off: None
Rising star: Mike Faist, West Side Story

The skinny: While Kodi Smit-McPhee has picked up the lion’s share of critics awards, I wouldn’t call him the frontrunner. To me, it’s still between Cooper and Kotsur. Though this category could feature a bunch of names I haven’t even mentioned yet. It’s that wide open.

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
Marlee Matlin, CODA

Falling off: Jayne Houdyshell
Rising star: Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

The skinny: What I said about Smit-McPhee isn’t true of DeBose. She’s racked up a bunch of plaudits and now seems destined to win. What I’d love to see is the oft-nominated Dench take a step back to make room for Jessie Buckley, who should have a couple nods already, finally get one.

Being the Ricardos
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza

Falling off: The French Dispatch
Rising star: C’mon C’mon

The skinny: *heavy sigh*

Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Falling off: Nightmare Alley, Passing
Rising star: Dune

The skinny: Pretty absurd that two gorgeous, thorny adaptations are going to find themselves on the outside looking in, but that’s how much competition there is this year.

This entry was posted in Awards, Film, Oscars, Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.