Timothee Chalamet standing in the desert in the movie 'Dune'

Our 2022 Oscar Predictions Are Here!

An unscientific and highly biased look at who will bring home a trophy.
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Grab your Bronco Henry costume and your themed cocktail (Dune-tinis, anyone?): The 2022 Academy Awards are airing tonight on ABC. While the popularity of Hollywood’s biggest awards show has waned in recent years, it’s still an entertaining evening for cinephiles and pop culture fans. Tonight’s show will be hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes, a first for the awards show. And the Oscars has already had their share of controversy this year, with the unpopular decision to pull eight categories from the live broadcast.

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With the awards just hours away, we’ve got your picks for tonight’s winners. These results have been tabulated in a thoroughly unscientific way – no charts, no graphs, no psychic octopi. Just a bunch of pop culture nerds making their best guesses. Will they be accurate? You’ll have to tune in to find out! In the meantime, here’s what our ballot is going to look like:

Best Picture: CODA

Emilia Jones hanging out a car window in CODA
(image: Apple TV+)

CODA started the awards season as an underdog, up against prestige pictures like The Power of the Dog and West Side Story. But the heartfelt, uplifting family film has been quietly picking up awards all season, and the film strikes an emotional chord with viewers. If there’s an upset in the major categories, it will be this one.

Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion and Benedict Cumberbatch
(screencap/The Lincoln Film Center)

Campion has swept this category throughout the season for her tense, gorgeously shot Western. She’s pretty much a lock for the award, despite her cringe-worthy comments about the Williams sisters at the Critics Choice Awards. Campion will win not just for this film, but for her impressive body of work as one of the industry’s best known female directors.

Best Actor: Will Smith, King Richard

Wil Smith as Richard Williams in 'King Richard'
(image: Warner Bros.)

Will Smith is one of the biggest film stars of his generation, and while he was nominated for 2001’s Ali, he has never won an Oscar. That changes tonight, thanks to his terrific performance as the father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams. It’s hard to imagine anyone beating Smith tonight, but Benedict Cumberbatch may be the dark horse candidate for his role in The Power of the Dog.

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Jessica Chastain wears a pink feathered robe and full makeup lying in bed, looking angry as Tammy Faye Bakker in 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye'
(image: Searchlight Pictures)

There are certain performances that Academy voters always take a shine to: biopics of controversial figures and roles that see an actor donning heavy makeup and prosthetics. The Eyes of Tammy Faye accomplishes both, with its lead Jessica Chastain buried under mountains of make-up for her role as televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. But it’s Chastain’s excellent performance, both hilarious and heartbreaking, that truly steals the show. This is the third nomination for Chastain, and her win looks promising.

Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Troy Kotsur in 'CODA'
(image: Apple TV+)

Kotsur has swept the awards season as the warm, silly patriarch of the family in CODA. And the supporting actor categories are often a way of paying tribute to a well-liked film that may not be competing in other major categories. However, its a well-deserved win for Kotsur, a veteran character actor.

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Ariana DeBose in 'West Side Story'
(image: 20th Century Films)

DeBose is another performer who has completely swept this category, and with good reason. Her performance as Anita in Spielberg’s West Side Story is a star turn, filled with energy and emotion. DeBose understood the assignment and brought everything to role, cementing her status as a triple threat. And there’s a lovely bit of Oscar symmetry in DeBose winning the award for the very same role Rita Moreno won for in the 1961 version of the film.

Original Screenplay: Don’t Look Up

The cast of Don't Look Up talking to the president
(image: Netflix)

Despite its mixed reviews, Hollywood has a soft spot for satires. And Adam McKay’s film has already scooped up this award at the WGAs. Don’t Look Up seems to be a safe bet, with Licorice Pizza as a possible contender as well (the film was well reviewed but didn’t receive major noms).

Adapted Screenplay: CODA

the cast of CODA
(image: Apple TV+)

CODA‘s script is fresh and funny, hitting all the right beats. The film generates so much goodwill, it’s easy to see it picking up another trophy in this category, as it did at the WGAs.

As for the rest, our best bets for International Feature is Drive My Car, which also secured a best picture nomination. Best animated feature will likely be Encanto, which we love, but we’re crossing our fingers for Netflix’s breakout hit The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

And for the technical categories (sound, cinematography, special effects) I think it’s going to be a clean sweep for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Much like category sweeper Mad Max: Fury Road, Dune delivered cerebral science fiction with stunningly original visuals. It’s hard to imagine the film not taking home several trophies.

What are your predictions for tonight’s awards show? Let us know in the comments!

(images: Warner Bros.)

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Image of Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.