Oscars 2022: Karen Peterson’s First Predictions for the 94th Academy Awards

Now that we are in October and the 94th Academy Awards are just under six months away, we are enthusiastically watching the buzz, reactions, festival awards and more as we start to imagine what the Oscars will look like in 2022. This year’s eligibility period is two months shorter than usual, since last year’s awards extended into February. The 94th awards will include films released from March 1 — December 31, 2021.

We’ll be taking a closer look at each of these categories and their long lists of contenders over the next couple of weeks. It’s hard to know quite yet how many films will be eligible. Last year saw a staggering 500+ films submitted for Best Picture, and with the temporary rule continuing to allow day and date releases, that number may just increase.

This is also the year that the Best Picture lineup goes back to 10 nominees. There is no longer that pesky 5% threshold. Going forward (until they change the rules again), the top 10 vote getters will be our nominees. Additionally, at the time of this writing we are still waiting for countries and territories around the world to make their official selections and so it is impossible to begin to guess which films will be nominated in the International Film category.

With all that in mind, here are our first predictions for the 94th Academy Awards in (almost) all categories:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Belfast” (Focus Features)
  2. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple Original Films)
  3. “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
  4. “King Richard” (Warner Bros)
  5. “Dune” (Warner Bros)
  6. “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  7. “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
  8. “C’mon C’mon” (A24)
  9. “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix)
  10. “Flee” (Neon)

Runners Up:

11. “House of Gucci” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
12. “CODA” (Apple)
13. “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
14. “Spencer” (Neon)
15. “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)
16. “Cyrano” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
17. “A Hero” (Amazon Studios)
18. “Mass” (Bleecker Street)
19. “The French Dispatch” (Searchlight Pictures)
20. “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast” (Focus Features)
  2. Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
  3. Joel Coen, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple)
  4. Pedro Almodóvar, “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  5. Reinaldo Marcus Green, “King Richard” (Warner Bros.)

Runners Up:

6. Denis Villeneuve, “Dune” (Warner Bros)
7. Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
8. Lin-Manuel Miranda, “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix)
9. Mike Mills, “C’mon C’mon” (A24)
10. Ridley Scott, “House of Gucci” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Will Smith, “King Richard” (Warner Bros)
  2. Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple)
  3. Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
  4. Peter Dinklage, “Cyrano” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
  5. Nicolas Cage, “Pig” (Neon)

Runners Up:

6. Jamie Dornan, “Belfast” (Focus Features)
7. Andrew Garfield, “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix)
8. Leonardo DiCaprio, “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)
9. Adam Driver, “House of Gucci” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
10. Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)

Best Actress

  1. Kristen Stewart, “Spencer” (Neon)
  2. Lady Gaga, “House of Gucci” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
  3. Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight Pictures)
  4. Penélope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  5. Frances McDormand, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple)

Runners Up:

6. Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
7. Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
8. Jennifer Lawrence, “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)
9. Emilia Jones, “CODA” (Apple)
10. Jennifer Hudson, “Respect” (Netflix)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Ciarán Hinds, “Belfast” (Focus Features)
  2. Bradley Cooper, “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
  3. Andrew Garfield, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight Pictures)
  4. Jason Isaacs, “Mass” (Bleecker Street)
  5. Ben Affleck, “The Tender Bar” (Amazon Studios)

Runners Up:

6. Corey Hawkins, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple)
7. Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
8. J.K. Simmons, “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
9. Jesse Plemons, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
10. Jeffrey Wright, “The French Dispatch” (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Ann Dowd, “Mass” (Bleecker Street)
  2. Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
  3. Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard” (Warner Bros)
  4. Caitriona Balfe, “Belfast” (Focus Features)
  5. Marlee Matlin, “CODA” (Apple)

Runners Up:

6. Judi Dench, “Belfast,” Focus Features”
7. Martha Plimpton, “Mass” (Bleecker Street)
8. Dakota Johnson, “the Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
9. Ruth Negga, “Passing” (Netflix)
10. Regina King, “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Belfast” (Focus Features); Kenneth Branagh
  2. “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics); Pedro Almodóvar
  3. “Licorice Pizza” (UA Releasing/MGM); Paul Thomas Anderson
  4. “King Richard” (Warner Bros); Zach Baylin
  5. “C’mon C’mon” (A24); Mike Mills

Runners Up:

6. “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix); Adam McKay, David Sirota
7. “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon); Aaron Sorkin
8. “Spencer” (Neon); Steven Knight
9. “Bergman Island” (IFC Films); Mia Hansen-Løve
10. “A Hero” (Amazon Studios); Asghar Farhadi

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix); Jane Campion
  2. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple); Joel Coen
  3. “Dune” (Warner Bros); Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth
  4. “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix); Steven Levenson
  5. “House of Gucci” (United Artists/MGM); Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna

Runners Up:

6. “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix); Maggie Gyllenhaal
7. “Passing” (Netflix); Rebecca Hall
8. “The Tender Bar” (Amazon Studios); William Monahan
9. “The Green Knight” (A24); David Lowery
10. “CODA” (Apple); Sian Heder

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Flee” (Neon)
  2. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” (Netflix)
  3. “Encanto” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  4. “Raya and the Last Dragon” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  5. “Belle” (GKIDS)

Runners Up:

6. “Luca” (Disney/Pixar)
7. “The Summit of the Gods” (Netflix)
8. “Vivo” (Netflix)
9. “Cryptozoo” (Magnolia Pictures)
10. “Ron’s Gone Wrong” (20th Century Studios)

Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Dune” (Warner Bros); Greig Fraser
  2. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple); Bruno Delbonnel
  3. “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix); Ari Wegner
  4. “Belfast” (Focus Features); Haris Zambarloukos
  5. “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios); Janusz Kaminski

Runners Up:

6. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures); Dan Laustsen
7. “C’mon C’mon” (A24); Robbie Ryan
8. “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists/MGM); Michael Bauman and Paul Thomas Anderson
9. “Cyrano” (United Artists/MGM); Seamus McGarvey
10. “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix); Alice Brooks

Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Spencer” (Neon); Jacqueline Durran
  2. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24); Mary Zophres)
  3. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures); Luis Sequeira
  4. “Belfast” (Focus Features); Charlotte Walter
  5. “House of Gucci” (United Artists/MGM); Janty Yates

Runners Up:

6. “Dune” (Warner Bros); Jacqueline West)
7. “Cyrano” (United Artists/MGM); Massimo Cantini Parrini
8. “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists/MGM); Mark Bridges
9. “Last Night in Soho” (Focus Features); Odile Dicks-Mireaux
10. “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios); Paul Tazewell

Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Dune” (Warner Bros); Joe Walker
  2. “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix); Peter Sciberras
  3. “Belfast” (Focus Features); Úna Ní Dhonghaíle
  4. “King Richard” (Warner Bros); Pamela Martin
  5. “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix); Myron Kerstein, Andrew Weisblum

Runners Up:

6. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures); Cam McLauchlin
7. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple); Lucian Johnston
8. “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix); Hank Corwin
9. “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics); Teresa Font
10. “C’mon C’mon” (A24); Jennifer Vecchiarello

Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight Pictures)
  2. “Dune” (Warner Bros)
  3. “Spencer” (Neon)
  4. “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
  5. “King Richard” (Warner Bros)

Runners Up:

6. “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists/MGM)
7. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures)
8. “House of Gucci” (United Artists/MGM)
9. “Last Night in Soho” (Focus Features)
10. “Respect” (United Artists/MGM)

Music – Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Jonny Greenwood, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
  2. Hans Zimmer, “Dune” (Warner Bros)
  3. Carter Burwell, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple)
  4. Nicholas Britell, “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)
  5. Kris Bowers, “King Richard” (Warner Bros)

Runners Up:

6. Jonny Greenwood, “Spencer” (Neon)
7. Jonny Greenwood, “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists/MGM)
8. Alexandre Desplat, “Nightmare Alley”
9. Alberto Iglesias, “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics)
10. Alexandre Desplat, “The French Dispatch” (Searchlight Pictures)

Music – Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Down to Joy” from “Belfast” (Focus Features)
  2. “No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die” (MGM)
  3. “Be Alive” from “King Richard” (Warner Bros)
  4. “Every Letter” from “Cyrano” (United Artists/MGM)
  5. “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days” (Vertical Entertainment)

Runners Up:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from “CODA” (Apple)
7. “So May We Start” from “Annette” (Amazon Studios)
8. “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” from “Respect” (MGM)
9. “The Anonymous Ones” from “Dear Evan Hansen” (Universal Pictures)
10. “Columbia, Mi Encanto” from “Encanto” (Walt Disney Animation)

Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Dune” (Warner Bros)
  2. “Belfast” (Focus Features)
  3. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures)
  4. “Cyrano” (United Artists/MGM)
  5. “The French Dispatch” (Searchlight Pictures)

Runners Up:

6. “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists/MGM)
7. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (A24/Apple)
8. “House of Gucci” (United Artists/MGM)
9. “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)
10. “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)

Sound

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Dune” (Warner Bros)
  2. “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
  3. “The Matrix: Resurrections” (Warner Bros)
  4. “Eternals” (Marvel)
  5. “Belfast” (Focus Features)

Runners Up:

6. “tick, tick…Boom!” (Netflix)
7. “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)
8. “Cyrano” (United Artists/MGM)
9. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures)
10. “The Last Duel” (20th Century Studios)

Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Dune” (Warner Bros)
  2. “Eternals” (Marvel)
  3. “The Matrix: Resurrections” (Warner Bros)
  4. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Marvel)
  5. “Godzilla vs. Kong” (Warner Bros)

Runners Up:

6. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Marvel)
7. “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures)
8. “A Quiet Place II” (Paramount Pictures
9. “The Tomorrow War” (Amazon Studios)
10. “The Suicide Squad” (Warner Bros)

Best International Feature Film

Coming soon!

Be sure to check out the latest submissions from each country and territory here.

Best Documentary Feature Film

Coming soon!

Best Animated Short Film

Coming soon!

Documentary Short Subject

Coming soon!

Short Film – Live Action

Coming soon!

The 94th Academy Awards will be held Sunday, March 26, 2022.

Written by
Karen Peterson is the Awards Editor for We Live Entertainment. She previously worked as the Assistant Editor at Awards Circuit, now owned by Variety. Her work can also be found at Citizen Dame and at the Watch and Talk podcast. Her non-awards season hobbies include Angels baseball, taking pictures of other peoples' pets, and tweeting about The Bachelor franchise.

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