Oscar Predictions: What Rex Thinks

LemonWade’s longtime Academy Awards expert Rex Okpodu gives us his final predictions for the 2022 edition of the Oscars, which will be held this Sunday in Los Angeles. Thank you, Rex!

In what has turned out to be the longest Oscar season in recent history, one film has stood out not only with the most nominations but with winning almost all the precursors for which it was nominated except the Producers Guild of America (PGA) award. What that in mind, the smart money will be on “The Power of the Dog” becoming the first Netflix winner of best picture. Yet pundits can’t help recognizing the late surge from the crowd-pleasing “CODA” which won the Screen Actors Build (SAG) ensemble award (which doesn’t necessarily mean the best picture Oscar) but shows support from the acting branch which is the largest in the Academy. For “CODA” to pull off this win, it will need to add the fiercely competitive Adapted Screenplay category to its almost inevitable win for Supporting Actor by “CODA”‘s Troy Kotsur (winner of SAG, Bafta, and Critics Choice). Mention must be made of the other contender, “Belfast,” which won the Audience Award at the Toronto film festival, sometimes a good indicator for best picture. But “Belfast” underperformed in the precursors and looks likely to settle for either a sole win in the Original Screenplay category or to go home empty-handed.


Best Picture:

Predicted Winner: “CODA”

Alternate Winner: “The Power of the Dog”

Longshot: “Belfast”

The Other Nominees:

“Don’t Look Up”


“King Richard”

“Licorice Pizza”

“Nightmare Alley”

“West Side Story”

Achievement in Directing:

Predicted Winner: Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”)

Alternate Winner: Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”)

Longshot: Ryusuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”)

Campion has swept the precursors in this category so it will be a shock if she loses.

The Other Nominees:

Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”)

Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”)

Actor in a Lead Role:

Predicted Winner: Will Smith (“King Richard”)

Alternate Winner: Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”)

Longshot: Andrew Garfield (“tick tick…boom”)

Smith’s portrayal of Richard Williams (father to tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams) has won all the precursors so he can start writing his Oscar-night acceptance speech.

The Other Nominees:

Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”)

Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”)

Actress in a Lead Role:

Predicted Winner: Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)

Alternate Winner: Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”)

Longshot: Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”)

This category has been the most exciting to predict all season. None of the nominees are in best picture contenders, which usually helps determine the strength of nominees. Bafta, which has some crossover membership with the Academy, did not nominate any of the Oscar contenders. Kidman won the Globe for Best Actress/Drama then stalled, leaving Chastain to win the Critics Choice and the SAG. The smart money is on her — this is her third Oscar nomination.

The Other Nominees:

Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”)

Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”)

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Predicted Winner: Troy Kotsur (“CODA”)

Alternate Winner: Kodi Smit-Mcphee (“The Power of the Dog”)

Longshot: Ciaran Hinds (“Belfast”)

Kotsur has the upper hand having won the Bafta, Critics Choice, and SAG.

The Other Nominees:

Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”)

J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”)

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Predicted Winner: Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)

Alternate Winner: Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)

Longshot: Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)

As with Will Smith and Jane Campion, it will be a shock if DeBose does not win.

The Other Nominees:

Jesse Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”)

Judi Dench (“Belfast”)

Original Screenplay:

Predicted Winner: “Belfast”

Alternate Winner: “Licorice Pizza”

Longshot: “King Richard”

These contenders are interesting insofar as they will point toward the Best Picture winner: in recent years, the Best Picture winner often takes a screenplay and/or acting award. The only exceptions in the past decade have been “LaLa Land” (2016) and “The Shape of Water” (2018).

Other Nominees:

“Don’t Look Up”

“The Worst Person in the World”

Adapted Screenplay:

Predicted Winner: “CODA”

Alternate Winner: “The Power of the Dog”

Longshot: “The Lost Daughter”

This category is even more exciting than Original Screenplay. In addition to best picture and best supporting actor (which would mean all three categories in which it is nominated), “CODA” may win the screenplay award. I must also mention the possibility of Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”), as this category is often given as a boost to up-and-coming writers in Hollywood.

Other Nominees:

“Drive My Car”


Best International Feature:

Predicted Winner: “Drive My Car” (Japan)

Alternate Winner: “Flee” (Denmark)

Longshot: “The Hand of God”

Other Nominees:

“The Worst Person in the World” (Norway)

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan)

Remaining Categories (Winners Only)

Best Animated Feature: “Encanto”

Best Documentary Feature: “Summer of Soul”

Best Documentary Short: “The Queen of Basketball

Best Animated Short: “The Windshield Wiper”

Best Live Action Short: “The Long Goodbye”

Best Cinematography: “The Power of the Dog”

Best Costume Design: “Cruella”

Best Editing: “tick tick…boom”

Best Production Design: “Dune”

Best Makeup and Styling: “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Best Original Score: “Dune”

Best Original Song: “No Time To Die”

Best Sound: “Dune”

Best Visual Effects: “Dune”

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