Lenny’s Take on Oscar: The Annual Academy Awards Forecast 2022

By Leonard Feigenblatt ~ The 94th annual Academy Awards will be presented live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday March 27, 2022. The show will be hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Fire Island’s own Wanda Sykes. Interestingly enough all three hosts have a New York connection, with Hall a graduate of Fordham University and her Masters at NYU; Schumer is a Long Island native from Rockville Centre; and of course Sykes resides on Fire Island’s Cherry Grove.This year the Academy will present honorary Academy Awards to actors Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullmann and will present the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to actor Danny Glover.Let’s take a look at the competitive categories and see who’s nominated and who is most likely to win and who should have been nominated.BEST PICTURE

  • “Belfast”
  • “CODA”
  • “Don’t Look Up”
  • “Drive My Car”
  • “Dune”
  • “King Richard”
  • “Licorice Pizza”
  • “Nightmare Alley”
  • “The Power of the Dog”
  • “West Side Story”

Will Win: The race is between “The Power of the Dog”, “CODA” and “Belfast:” with “The Power of the Dog” winning in the end.Should Win: “West Side Story”BEST DIRECTOR

  • Kenneth Branagh – “Belfast”
  • Ryusuke Hamaguchi – “Drive My Car”
  • Paul Thomas Anderson – “Licorice Pizza”
  • Jane Campion – “The Power of the Dog”
  • Stephen Spielberg – “West Side Story”

Will Win: A lock for Jane Campion, who will become the third woman (Kathryn Bigelow – “The Hurt Locker” 2010 and Chloe Zhao – “Nomadland” 2021) and the only woman to be nominated twice (1994 for “The Piano”) to win for directing.Should Win: The master Steven Spielberg. Steven Spielberg is the first director nominated for the Best Director Academy Award in six different decades.Should have been Nominated: Lin Manuel Miranda – for his stunning directorial debut – “Tick, Tick…Boom!”Denis Villanueve – “Dune”: “Dune” is very likely to win many of the technical Academy Awards (visual effects, sound, score, maybe, cinematography) so to not nominate the director of the film, is a serious omission.BEST ACTOR

  • Javier Bardem – “Being the Ricardos”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Power of the Dog”
  • Andrew Garfield – “Tick, Tick…Boom!”
  • Will Smith – “King Richard”
  • Denzel Washington – “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Will Win: Will SmithShould Win: Andrew GarfieldShould have been Nominated: Leonardo DiCaprio – “Don’t Look Up”BEST ACTRESS

  • Jessica Chastain – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
  • Olivia Colman – “The Lost Daughter”
  • Penelope Cruz – “Parallel Mothers”
  • Nicole Kidman – “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kristen Stewart – “Spencer”

Will and Should Win: This is a close race between Olivia Colman, Kristin Stewart and Jessica Chastain, with Jessica Chastain squeaking through at the end.Should have been Nominated: Lady Gaga – “House of Gucci”Renate Reinsve – “The Worst Person in the World”BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Ciaran Hinds – “Belfast”
  • Troy Kotsur – “CODA”
  • Jesse Plemmons – “The Power of the Dog”
  • K. Simmons – “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kodi Smith-McPhee – “The Power of the Dog”

Will and Should Win: Troy Kotsur.  His only competition being Kodi Smith-McPheeShould have been Nominated: Jared Leto – “House of Gucci”Jamie Dornan – “Belfast”BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jessie Buckley – “The Lost Daughter”
  • Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story”
  • Judi Dench – “Belfast”
  • Kristen Dunst – “The Power of the Dog”
  • Aunjanue Ellis – “King Richard”

Will and Should Win: Ariana DeBose – Ariana will be the second person to win for playing Anita in “West Side Story.” Rita Moreno was the first Latina actress to win the Oscar for the same role in 1962.Should have been Nominated: Caitriona Balfe – “Belfast”BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • “CODA” – Sian Heder
  • “Drive My Car” – Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
  • “Dune” – Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts
  • “The Lost Daughter” – Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • “The Power of the Dog” – Jane Campion

Will Win: This will be a close race between Jane Campion, Maggie Gyllenhall and Sian Heder.  Even though Sian has been picking up steam of late, Jane Campion should be victorious.Should Win: Sian HederBEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • “Belfast” – Kenneth Branagh
  • “Don’t Look Up” – Adam MacKay, David Sirota
  • “King Richard” – Zach Baylis
  • “Licorice Pizza” – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Worst Person in the World” – Joachim Trier, Eskimo Vogt

Will Win: The race is between Kenneth Branagh and Paul Thomas Anderson, with Paul Thomas Anderson narrowly winning.Should Win: Kenneth BranaghBEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

  • “Drive My Car” – Japan
  • “Flee” – Denmark
  • “The Hand of God” – Italy
  • “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” – Bhutan
  • “The Worst Person in the World” – Norway

Will Win: “Drive My Car”Should Win: “The Worst Person in the World” Of course, the audience ultimately decides what films are the winners by what endures over time. Happy viewing everybody!