Ahead of the Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, here are predictions for who could win every award at the 2022 Oscars. The end of movie awards season is near, as the Oscars represent the last major awards ceremony that hasn’t happened yet. With the 94th Academy Awards happening at the end of March, the ceremony once again comes on the heels of every other major awards show already taking place. Thanks to these precursor awards, people can look towards recent trends and various data to predict who will win the 2022 Oscars.
The Academy announced the Oscar nominees for the 94th annual ceremony at the beginning of February. It was thanks to these nominations that a few major contenders emerged right away. Netflix’s The Power of the Dog led the way with 12 nominations, while Warner Bros.’ Dune impressed with 10 nominations despite director Denis Villeneuve being among the biggest Oscars snubs. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, and the Will Smith-starring sports drama King Richard also impressed as the only other movies to secure more than five nominations. While these films might stand above the rest of the pack, several other «underdogs» are in a strong position to walk away with at least one 2022 Oscars win.
As many films continue to trend upwards as Academy members begin filling out their ballots, there are also others that are losing momentum. And while there are several category winners that are viewed as locks by pundits and odds, some major awards – including Best Picture and Best Actress – are still very much up in the air. Ahead of the 2022 Oscars ceremony, here are our predictions for which movie will win in every category.
Nominees: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story
In the first year of the Academy Awards returning to a mandated 10 nominees, the 2022 Best Picture Oscar race has been quite unexpected. After receiving a year-leading 12 nominations, it seemed that The Power of the Dog was in the perfect spot to take home the top prize (and more) at the 94th Academy Awards. It won big at the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and a variety of other critics groups. However, Netflix’s acclaimed slow-burn western has lost momentum leading up to the final ceremony, as Apple TV+’s CODA has come on incredibly strong. It took the top prize from awards shows for Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood Critics Association following the film’s early win at the Sundance Film Festival. CODA‘s contention to win Best Picture really solidified after it beat The Power of the Dog for the PGA Awards’ Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. With the support of producers and actors (the largest branch of the Academy) and a feel-good story, CODA‘s Best Picture winner chance looks likely after a late surge.
Will and should win: CODA
Could win: The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: tick, tick…BOOM!
Nominees: Kenneth Branagh, Belfast; Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car; Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza; Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog; Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
Jane Campion has long been viewed as the frontrunner for Best Director. She’s essentially swept awards season to solidify this position and likely guarantee that The Power of the Dog walks away with one major win. Despite some controversial comments made by Campion during her acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards, her path to winning Best Director should not waver. She is a former nominee for The Piano at the 1994 Oscars, where she lost to Steven Spielberg for Schindler’s List. Since Spielberg has not picked up any major awards for his directing on West Side Story, Campion should get her chance to take home a golden statue now. If she does, Jane Campion will be the third woman to win Best Director, following Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Chloé Zhao’s win last year for Nomadland.
Will and should win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Could win: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Should’ve been nominated: Denis Villeneuve, Dune
Nominees: Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos; Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog; Andrew Garfield, tick, tick…BOOM!; Will Smith, King Richard; Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Best Actor race isn’t much of a race at all for the 2022 Oscars, as Will Smith’s King Richard performance is widely considered a lock to win. Despite some competition from Benedict Cumberbatch, Smith seems poised to finally win an Oscar. He was previously nominated for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness but failed to take home the victory. His transformational performance as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, has rightfully positioned him as the frontrunner to win all along. He won the same award from BAFTA, BFCA, Golden Globe, and SAG. Since he’s also played the game and campaigned hard for Best Actor win, it’ll come as a big shock if anyone other than Will Smith wins this category – but the 2021 Oscars proved a Best Actor surprise winner is never out of the question.
Will and should win: Will Smith, King Richard
Could win: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: Nicolas Cage, Pig
Nominees: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye; Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter; Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers; Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos; Kristen Stewart, Spencer
The Best Actress race, meanwhile, is much more competitive and difficult to predict. Kristen Stewart became the early frontrunner for to be a 2022 Oscars winner thanks to her performance in Spencer. It brought her career-best praise, but Pablo Larraín’s movie ultimately became a bit more divisive. This opened the door for Jessica Chastain to make a run to finally win an Oscar after two previous nominations for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty. While Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, and Nicole Kidman are all former Oscar winners, only Kidman has picked up any major pre-Oscars awards. Meanwhile, Jessica Chastain’s transformational look for The Eyes of Tammy Faye is something the Academy loves to reward. Chastain’s momentum has picked up leading up to the ceremony with wins at BFCA and SAG.
Will and should win: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Could win: Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Should’ve been nominated: Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Ciarán Hinds, Belfast; Troy Kotsur, CODA; Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog; J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos; Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
There is also a tight race for the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2022 Oscars. Troy Kotsur and Kodi Smit-McPhee are the two frontrunners for the award, and it is Kotsur who looks to be pulling away. He’s won at BAFTA, BFCA, HCA, and the all-important SAG, along with a variety of other critics groups. Kodi Smit-McPhee did take home a win at the Golden Globes and his own array of critics awards, but momentum is certainly on Kotsur’s side. Our predictions strengthen this case, as CODA has limited nominations and voters could vote for it in other categories to support a possible Best Picture win.
Will and should win: Troy Kotsur, CODA
Could win: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter; Ariana DeBose, West Side Story; Judi Dench, Belfast; Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog; Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
When it comes to predicting the 2022 Oscars winner for Best Supporting Actress, Ariana DeBose is the clear favorite. Her performance as Anita in West Side Story is a standout from Spielberg’s remake, which has earned her great acclaim ever since the movie was released. There is also a history of an Oscars win with this role, as Rita Moreno won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1962 for playing Anita in the original musical. Arian DeBose winning at BAFTA, BFCA, Golden Globes, HCA, and SAG would make her losing this award quite the surprise.
Will and should win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Could win: Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: Ruth Negga, Passing
Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: Siân Heder, CODA; Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car; Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth, Dune; Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter; Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
One of the tightest races to predict a 2022 Oscars winner for is Best Adapted Screenplay. Other than Dune‘s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel, the other nominees have all won some type of major award. CODA won at BAFTA, HCA, and WGA; Drive My Car won at the Cannes Film Festival; The Lost Daughter won at the Venice Film Festival; The Power of the Dog won BFCA. The Power of the Dog adapts the book by Thomas Savage’s and looked to be the frontrunner for a period of time (especially since Campion has a won a screenplay Oscar before), but CODA‘s late surge in popularity has now brought it squarely into contention here as well. Heder’s adaptation of the French film La Famille Bélier has a slight edge in head-to-head outcomes at major awards shows. CODA winning Adapted Screenplay could also support its Best Picture chances unless voters give The Power of the Dog another trophy to make its Best Picture loss a bit easier to accept.
Will and should win: Siân Heder, CODA
Could win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: Tony Kushner, West Side Story
Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: Kenneth Branagh, Belfast; Adam McKay and David Sirota, Don’t Look Up; Zach Baylin, King Richard; Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza; Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier, The Worst Person in the World
There is uncertainty waiting with the Best Original Screenplay. Predicting the 2022 Oscars winner in this category is difficult, as there are arguments in favor of Belfast, Don’t Look Up, and Licorice Pizza. Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, based on his childhood, won at BFCA and the Golden Globes, while Don’t Look Up beat King Richard and Licorice Pizza at the WGAs. Licorice Pizza provided a bit of an upset by beating Belfast at the BAFTAs, though. It’s a murky race as a result, especially since these three films (plus King Richard) have Best Picture nominations but aren’t considered strong contenders to win. However, this should be the place that Belfast secures an Oscars win.
Will and should win: Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Could win: Adam McKay and David Sirota, Don’t Look Up
Should’ve been nominated: Aaron Sorkin, Being the Ricardos
Best Animated Feature Film
Nominees: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Raya and the Last Dragon
Predicting the winner of the 2022 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film is tough as well. The two main contenders for the award are Encanto and The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Disney’s animated movie has become a massive cultural hit, is represented at the Oscars in other categories, and won at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and PGAs. Netflix’s animated movie produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller has earned great acclaim and won at BFCA and HCA and dominated at the Annie Awards. While there is a lot of support behind The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Disney has dominated the category for years and Encanto has seems to have the support to continue that.
Will and should win: Encanto
Could win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Should’ve been nominated: Vivo
Best International Feature Film
Nominees: Drive My Car, Flee, The Hand of God, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, The Worst Person in the World
The 2022 Oscars represent a strong year for international movies, but one is widely believed to be in pole position to win. The final five nominees included selections from Japan, Denmark, Italy, Bhutan, and Norway. Japan’s Drive My Car is the clear frontrunner to win the Best International Feature Film Oscar. It is the lone nominee to also have a Best Picture nomination, while it also secured director and screenplay nominations for Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Although Drive My Car might not win in any of those other categories, it’s support within the Academy is quite clear and should propel the movie to an Oscar win. Flee and The Worst Person in the World might also have additional Oscar nominations too, but wins at BAFTA, BFCA, Golden Globes, and HCA point to Drive My Car‘s favorable position.
Will and should win: Drive My Car
Could win: Flee
Should’ve been nominated: A Hero
Nominees: Greig Fraser, Dune; Dan Laustsen, Nightmare Alley; Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog; Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth; Janusz Kaminski, West Side Story
The cinematography 2022 Oscar winner could go in a number of directions. Kaminski is the Academy favorite of the group based on the past, as he’s won twice and has four other nominations, while The Tragedy of Macbeth marks Delbonnel’s sixth nomination with no wins. Laustsen and Fraser are both former nominees, while Wegner has her first nomination this year. Grieg Fraser’s work on Dune has made him the frontrunner, as he secured a massive win at the American Society of Cinematographers after also winning at BAFTA and HCA. If someone is going to upset Fraser, Wegner’s BFCA win could propel her to a win, while Delbonnel could finally get the Oscar his resume deserves.
Will and should win: Greig Fraser, Dune
Could win: Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: Haris Zambarloukos, Belfast
Best Film Editing
Nominees: Hank Corwin, Don’t Look Up; Joe Walker, Dune; Pamela Martin, King Richard; Peter Sciberras, The Power of the Dog; Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum, tick, tick…BOOM!
The editing race for the 2022 Oscars will see someone walk away with their first Academy Award no matter who wins. Corwin and Walker have both been nominated twice before, while Martin and Weisblum have single nominations in the past and Sciberras and Kerstein represent first-time nominees. Without much Oscars history in this group, voters could follow the American Cinema Editors awards, which gave King Richard and tick, tick…BOOM! top honors for drama and comedy. Since they are competing against each other in this instance, King Richard‘s Best Picture nomination gives it a slight edge over Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut.
Will and should win: Pamela Martin, King Richard
Could win: Andrew Weisblum, tick, tick…BOOM!
Should’ve been nominated: Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn, West Side Story
Best Music (Original Score)
Nominees: Nicholas Britell, Don’t Look Up; Hans Zimmer, Dune; Germaine Franco, Encanto; Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers; Johnny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog
Despite not being shown during the main ceremony, the 2022 Oscar winner for best original score should see Hans Zimmer secure his second Academy Award. Zimmer’s Dune score has been viewed as the favorite to win ever since its October 2021 release and will mark his first win since 1995 when The Lion King won. He’s had nine other nominations since then, so it is finally time for the Academy voters to reward him again. This will mean that four-time nominee Alberto Iglesias, three-time nominee Nicholas Britell, two-time nominee Johnny Greenwood, and first-time nominee Germaine Franco will still be left looking for their first wins, but Zimmer’s incredible Dune score is difficult to deny.
Will and should win: Hans Zimmer, Dune
Could win: Johnny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog
Should’ve been nominated: Alexandre Desplat, The French Dispatch
Best Original Song
Nominees: «Be Alive,» King Richard; «Dos Oruguitas,» Encanto; «Down to Joy,» Belfast; «No Time To Die,» No Time To Die; «Somehow You Do,» Four Good Days
The Best Original Song Oscar has some major star power behind it, as Beyoncé, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Van Morrison, Billie Eilish, and Diane Warren are behind this year’s nominees. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Diane Warren have Oscar nominations in their past but no wins, so the Academy could reward one of them for the first time. And while Beyoncé and Van Morrison are music legends, it seems that Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell’s «No Time To Die» song for No Time To Die is going to take home the statue. Predicting it to win the 2022 Oscars comes after the intro song won at the BFCAs and Golden Globes as well as the Society of Composers and Lyricists Awards.
Will and should win: «No Time To Die,» No Time To Die
Could win: «Dos Oruguitas,» Encanto
Should’ve been nominated: “Guns Go Bang,” The Harder They Fall
Nominees: Belfast, Dune, No Time To Die, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story
The 2022 Oscars also mark the second ceremony since the Academy Awards combined Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing into a single category. Dune‘s sound team of Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill, and Ron Bartlett are the favorites to walk away with a win. Sound played a big part in Denis Villeneuve’s movie bringing the world of Arrakis to life and led to the film winning at BAFTA, the Association of Motion Picture Sound, and Motion Picture Sound Editors. Industry support should keep Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi movie as the favorite to win this 2022 Oscar.
Will and should win: Dune
Could win: West Side Story
Should’ve been nominated: tick, tick…BOOM!
Best Production Design
Nominees: Dune, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story
There is also a strong belief that Dune will win another technical category at the 2022 Oscars for its production design. Thanks to its sci-fi setting, Zsuzsanna Sipos and Patrice Vermette were the only movie team that had to create a completely original-looking world, including new locations, buildings, and vehicles. Dune has won similar awards at BAFTA, BFCA, and the Art Directors Guild. Nightmare Alley could potentially pull an upset after its own ADG win, but there doesn’t seem to be enough momentum for Guillermo del Toro’s horror movie to snatch a victory like The Shape of Water did at the 2018 Oscars.
Will and should win: Dune
Could win: Nightmare Alley
Should’ve been nominated: The French Dispatch
Best Costume Design
Nominees: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, Nightmare Alley, West Side Story
Predicting the 2022 Oscar winner for Best Costumes is not too difficult, as Disney’s live-action remake Cruella has been a huge hit in this circle of Hollywood. It certainly helps that Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil origin story is wrapped into the world of fashion and allows her to wear numerous spectacular costumes. That factor combined with the period setting for Cruella should see Disney’s movie walk away with an Oscar win. If there is going to be an upset, the Academy likes creating new worlds and period pieces, so Dune or West Side Story could deliver a surprise.
Will and should win: Cruella
Could win: Dune
Should’ve been nominated: House of Gucci
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Nominees: Coming 2 America, Cruella, Dune, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, House of Gucci
Based on our 2022 Oscar winner predictions, The Eyes of Tammy Faye will secure its second win thanks to its makeup and hairstyling. Jessica Chastain’s makeup-heavy performance is aided by incredible makeup, prosthetics, wigs, and more. This has been a huge selling point for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, so the movie could follow a similar path as Darkest Hour, which rewarded Gary Oldman’s performance and the makeup for his Winston Churchill transformation. If the movie falters here, Cruella could sweep this corner of the technical categories and secure wins in makeup and costumes.
Will and should win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Could win: Cruella
Should’ve been nominated: Nightmare Alley
Best Visual Effects
Nominees: Dune, Free Guy, No Time To Die, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home
Dune‘s dominance in the technical categories should continue with a win for Best Visual Effects. While there are bigger hits that rely more on CGI in this category, that is not typically where Academy voters put their support. Dune‘s impressive mixture of practical effects and CGI is much more in line with what the Oscars usually rewards. Many might look at Shang-Chi and Spider-Man: No Way Home as strong contenders due to their heavy reliance on CGI, but a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has never won an Oscar in this category. As a result, No Time To Die has the best chance of pulling an upset, as Free Guy‘s VFX are more noticeable, while Daniel Craig’s final Bond movie seamlessly incorporated them into the real world.
Will and should win: Dune
Could win: No Time To Die
Should’ve been nominated: Godzilla vs. Kong
Best Documentary (Feature)
Nominees: Ascension, Attica, Flee, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Writing with Fire
The Best Documentary Feature Oscars seems to be locked up for Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). The documentary from Searchlight Pictures and Questlove based around the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival has dominated awards season. Even though Flee received two additional Oscar nominations, Summer of Soul has routinely won at precursor awards shows, is a hit with critics, and has a bit of star power behind it.
Will and should win: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Could win: Flee
Should’ve been nominated: The Rescue
Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Nominees: Audible, Lead Me Home, The Queen of Basketball, Three Songs of Benazir, When We Were Bullies
Predicting the 2022 Oscars winner for Best Documentary Short Subject is not as crystal clear. Audible and The Queen of Basketball are largely viewed as the favorites of the group. The Queen of Basketball won Critics’ Choice, where it beat Netflix’s Audible. Both are inspiring stories centered around sports, and while Audible could fit in nicely to the 2022 Oscars shining a light on the deaf community with CODA, The Queen of Basketball has made a strong push to position itself as the odds on favorite and would celebrate Lusia Harris’ life again after her death earlier this year.
Will and should win: The Queen of Basketball
Could win: Audible
Should’ve been nominated: Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis
Best Short Film (Animated)
Nominees: Affairs of the Art, Bestia, Boxballet, Robin Robin, The Windshield Wiper
The 2022 Best Animated Short Film Oscar also does not have a major frontrunner. There seems to be some growing momentum for Netflix’s Robin Robin, but the 32-minute runtime for the «short» could keep it from taking home the Oscar. The animated shorts Boxballet and Affairs of the Art have some wins in their past through various critics circles and festivals, so either of them could potentially win here too.
Will and should win: Robin Robin
Could win: Boxballet
Should’ve been nominated: Us Again
Best Short Film (Live Action)
Nominees: Ala Kachuu – Take and Run, The Dress, The Long Goodbye, On My Mind, Please Hold
The Best Live Action Short Film Oscar winner seems to be trending towards The Long Goodbye. The short film boasts some timely star power with Riz Ahmed, who the Academy gave an Oscar nomination to last year for Sound of Metal. Several of the other nominees could potentially pull an upset, but On My Mind could be next in line for a win since director Martin Strange-Hansen has won in the category before Der er en yndig mand.
Will and should win: The Long Goodbye
Could win: On My Mind
Should’ve been nominated: When the Sun Sets