Tonight, we will finally know who has won at the 94th Academy Awards. This has been a long and tiring race, and one that has only started to become interesting in the final few weeks with the introduction of a major competitor to The Power of the Dog. There are four categories that I want to quickly give my thought process on before I share my full final predictions.
Best Picture: If you want to be smart, predict CODA to win Best Picture. It has SAG and PGA, it has major support from BAFTA and has been gaining momentum at an incredible pace. I just personally struggle to see how a film that had such widespread love from the Academy in the nomination list to get in for the likes of Sound and Production Design does not have more general support, and I am personally sticking with The Power of the Dog to take home Best Picture at the end of the night.
Best Actress: Yes, there is clear momentum building from the anonymous ballots almonst unanimously voting for Penélope Cruz in Parallel Mothers. However, that would be predicting a Marcia Gay Harden situation where Cruz failed to be nominated for the Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA and Critics Choice and still coming out on top at the end. In contrast, Chastain has the transformation performance – which will be tied with a Makeup and Hairstyling win for The Eyes of Tammy Faye – as well as a compelling narrative to earn her first win. With SAG and Critics Choice backing her, I don’t see a reason as to why this wouldn’t be her year.
Best Original Screenplay: This is the category that I am taking my major ‘No Guts No Glory’ pick in because the category is so fluid. Belfast missed the British voting group with BAFTA, Licorice Pizza missed a potentially easy WGA win and yet the film that did win it, Don’t Look Up, may not get support from enough members of the Academy to push it over to the edge. Therefore, I am deciding to take a risk and predict the film that is not only my favourite of the year, but that I could see real passion for if enough members of the Academy go for it – The Worst Person in the World.
Best Adapted Screenplay: I am using this category to cover my basis in the case that CODA does end up winning Best Picture. Considering the film only got three nominations, I truly believe that CODA needs to win Best Adapted Screenplay to win Best Picture. On the other hand, I think Best Director is already potentially strong enough of a win that The Power of the Dog does not require this win as much. With CODA winning the BAFTA and WGA here, I feel more confident about this win than the potential Best Picture winner.
With those summaries out of the way, I am now happy to share my full predictions for the 94th Academy Awards.
Best Picture: The Power of the Dog
Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Best Actor: Will Smith, King Richard
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur, CODA
Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Best Original Screenplay: The Worst Person in the World
Best Adapted Screenplay: CODA
Best Animated Feature Film: Encanto
Best International Feature Film: Drive My Car (Japan)
Best Documentary Feature: Summer of Soul
Best Cinematography: Dune
Best Costume Design: Cruella
Best Film Editing: King Richard
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Original Score: Dune
Best Original Song: No Time to Die from No Time to Die
Best Production Design: Dune
Best Sound: Dune
Best Visual Effects: Dune
Best Animated Short Film: Robin Robin
Best Documentary Short Subject: The Queen of Basketball
Best Live Action Short Film: The Long Goodbye