Final 2021 Oscar Predictions

We’re less than 10 days from the 94th Academy Awards, so it is past time for me to deliver my 100% guaranteed successful Oscar winners. We will start and the top and go from there.

BEST PICTURE

This is really only a two-horse race, but The Power of the Dog has been collecting wins left and right without missing a beat. The momentum around CODA has been solidifying, but the overall industry support for The Power of the Dog should propel it forward.

Will Win: The Power of the Dog
Could Win: CODA
Dark Horse: Dune

BEST DIRECTOR

The least-competitive category all night. Campion is a sure-fire victor.

Will Win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Could Win: none
Dark Horse: none

BEST ACTOR

I’m frankly surprised the consensus has solidified around Smith. I thought the season would begin to push back against him, but that didn’t happen in any way. His acceptance speeches have done nothing to push back against it. Smith is looking pretty good.

Will Win: Will Smith, King Richard
Could Win: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Dark Horse: Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick…BOOM!

BEST ACTRESS

The only race that feels completely up in the air. If any of the five women won, it wouldn’t shock me. Six months ago, Stewart was the winner. Two months ago, it was Kidman. Then Colman and Cruz had their champions. Now, it’s leaning towards Chastain. I want to predict Stewart, but I’m not sure how much I want it vs. how much I actually believe it.

Will Win: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Could Win: Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Dark Horse: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

It seemed like Smit-McPhee was gonna walk away with the statue, but Kotsur has really settled in to frontrunner status with a series of extremely charming precursor speeches. Should be smooth sailing through for Kotsur.

Will Win: Troy Kotsur, CODA
Could Win: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
Dark Horse: None

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

DeBose hasn’t missed anywhere and there is no reason to think she’ll miss here.

Will Win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Could Win: None
Dark Horse: None

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

With all the backlash and anti-backlash around Licorice Pizza and Belfast, I was tempted to throw a shot in the dark at The Worst Person in the World, but this seems like the best chance for PTA to finally get his long-deserved Oscar. But, this would be the best place to honor Branagh, so that wouldn’t surprise me either.

Will Win: Licorice Pizza
Could Win: Belfast
Dark Horse: The Worst Person in the World

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

This obviously comes before Best Picture in the ceremony, so we will know a lot about what happens after this category is complete. If CODA ends up triumphant, the rumblings will start in earnest.

Will Win: The Power of the Dog
Could Win: CODA
Dark Horse: The Lost Daughter

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Academy has a chance to make some real history with Wegner, but the crafts have been so geared towards Dune, I don’t feel 100% comfortable.

Will Win: The Power of the Dog
Could Win: Dune
Dark Horse: The Tragedy of Macbeth

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Remember when Cruella debuted and everyone said this was in the bag? Then Dune came along and dominated every craft it could. This is probably Cruella‘s best chance at avoiding a shutout.

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: Cruella
Dark Horse: West Side Story

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

One of the easier categories to predict. It hasn’t missed anything all year.

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: The Power of the Dog
Dark Horse: The Tragedy of Macbeth

BEST FILM EDITING

This is where the CODA detractors point to separating The Power of the Dog from the pack. Actual film editing is not really a part of the conversation anymore. It’s more of a Best Picture precursor. If Tick, Tick…BOOM! pulls off an upset, I will happily admit I was wrong.

Will Win: The Power of the Dog
Could Win: Dune
Dark Horse: Tick, Tick…BOOM!

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

No Way Home‘s best chance at an Oscar, though it would be far-fetched

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: No Time to Die
Dark Horse: Spider-Man: No Way Home

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

Look out for this category. Just how CODA winning Adapted Screenplay could signal a Best Picture win, The Eyes of Tammy Faye walking away with the statue could lead to a Chastain Best Actress trophy.

Will Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Could Win: Dune
Dark Horse: Coming 2 America

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Don’t overthink it

Will Win: Drive My Car
Could Win: None
Dark Horse: None

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

I don’t feel confident about any direction this category can go. When in doubt, guess Dune

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: Parallel Mothers
Dark Horse: The Power of the Dog

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Billie Eilish has won every precursor. She’ll win again.

Will Win: “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die
Could Win: None
Dark Horse: None

BEST SOUND

Maybe the best shot for No Time to Die for an Oscar outside of Original Song. If The Power of the Dog wins a few of these, Best Picture might be an afterthought.

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: No Time to Die
Dark Horse: The Power of the Dog

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Two weeks ago, I would have said Encanto dominates, but The Mitchells vs. the Machines has gotten some late momentum. That being said, they are performing two Encanto songs on the broadcast. It would be foolish to think that doesn’t mean something.

Will Win: Encanto
Could Win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Dark Horse: Flee

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

No idea where they lean. Hard to bet against Netflix and Aardman.

Will Win: Robin Robin
Could Win: Affairs of the Art
Dark Horse: BoxBallet

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Poor Flee. Three nominations and this is as close as it can get. If it surprises anywhere, it probably would be here.

Will Win: Summer of Soul…
Could Win: Flee
Dark Horse: Attica

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

These three feel like the best shot. The warm intimacy of The Queen of Basketball should win out with the big names supporting it.

Will Win: The Queen of Basketball
Could Win: Lead Me Home
Dark Horse: Audible

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Riz Ahmed gets a well-deserved Oscar. I would be shocked if anyone else won.

Will Win: The Long Goodbye
Could Win: On My Mind
Dark Horse: Please Hold

Final Tally

The Power of the Dog – 5 wins
Dune – 5 wins
The Eyes of Tammy Faye – 2 wins
King Richard – 1 win
CODA – 1 win
West Side Story – 1 win
Licorice Pizza – 1 win
No Time to Die – 1 win
Drive My Car – 1 win
Encanto – 1 win
Summer of Soul… – 1 win
Robin Robin – 1 win
The Queen of Basketball – 1 win
The Long Goodbye – 1 win

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