I know the 2021 Oscars are still two weeks away, but the prediction game never stops. It’s never too early (it’s probably too early) to start thinking about the Oscar predictions for the 2022 Oscar year. Let’s get to it.
Big names in the mix
When you have new films from Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Damien Chazelle, put those films well in the lineups. I have all three films from that trio firmly in Best Picture, but only Chazelle to miss the Best Director lineup. I would be shocked if they took up three of the five spaces, though only William Wyler has been nominated for Best Director more times than Spielberg and Scorsese.
New films from Taika Waititi, James Grey, Florian Zeller, and Darren Aronofsky should also look make a big play. As long as these films stay in the 2022 schedule, don’t be surprised if they all have a strong awards showing.
Which ladies will break through?
The Oscars have finally figured out what most of the world already knows: women directors deserve attention. Each year has had it’s breakthroughs, and I feel it’s lining up for Kelly Reichardt. Continuing a long collaboration with Michelle Williams, Reichardt might finally be able to get the Academy’s attention with Showing Up.
Elsewhere, Olivia Wilde is looking to follow up her debut with the Florence Pugh-starring Don’t Worry Darling. Similarly lauded for her debut, but quiet lately, Sarah Polley looks to get back into Oscar’s good graces with Women Talking. After I’m Your Man was shortlisted for the International Film Oscar, Maria Schrader is looking for her English-language debut She Said to turn heads as well.
Apple goes early again
After the Sundance premiere, AppleTV+ snatched up CODA and premiered it earlier than most were expecting. The slow burn strategy paid off and it picked up three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Apple is looking to follow the same strategy again by picking up Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth. It premiered to excellent reviews (I loved it too) and a June release date. A lot of eyes will see it and have plenty of time to champion its performances, especially Dakota Johnson.
Speaking of Sundance films, I am very high on the film and performances in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Emma Thompson has been just outside of the lineup since she was last nominated in 1995. I can see the narrative building with the film and the nudity involved. The headlines write themselves. I am currently predicting Thompson, while co-star Daryl McCormack could also factor in.
Blockbusters busting in
The Batman is getting a lot of positive reviews in a lot of critical spaces. Money does make an impact with the Academy, but the March release date is more of a concern. The last Best Picture nominee to debut before April was Get Out. It’s gonna need a long shelf life to be in the mix in 2023.
Similarly, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever can follow in its predecessor’s footsteps. Seven Oscar nominations is a lot of notice, and I am predicting it in a lot of craft categories, despite being bullish on the film’s overall chances.
Every time James Cameron makes a film, it gets automatically doubted. I have Avatar 2 similarly in the craft categories, but until anyone lays eyes on it, I won’t take it seriously as a Best Picture contender.