Predictions of the Nominees for the 94th Academy Awards

8 FEBRUARY 2022 – Post has been updated to reflect nominations and give thoughts in bold

It’s that time again. Tomorrow morning, the nominations for the 94th Academy Awards are going to be announced. Because guessing the nominees is half the fun with Oscar speculation, I provide below my final predictions – some stone-cold, some completely uncertain (I once again declare that I have no idea what the fuck I am doing with the Short Film slates) but I feel like the locks are there. I am a bit too tired lately to provide any editorial insight on my slate by slate predictions – to say nothing of how I didn’t post a review since the year began – but I will offer a few nuggets:
– I’m playing fast and loose with Hamaguchi’s director-no Picture nomination (it could easily go to Paul Thomas Anderson) but I have a feeling Drive My Car‘s got that Cold War momentum without having that Roma/Parasite momentum.
– Watching CODA go from Sundance darling to completely buried release that ruined my early prediction of it waltzing to the top prize to returning back into the conversation enough to make it a confident certainty on the slate was a roller-coaster for me. In spite of that movie being garbage.
– Now that we’re certain Lin-Manuel Miranda has no chance at a Directing Oscar, we gotta cut down his chances for a Original Song Oscar. Go Billie!
– I am very tickled by the certainty that Jared Leto will receive an Oscar nomination and a Razzie nomination for the same performance, even when it’s the only performance in House of Gucci that is active camp. Hahaha, I’m so stupid.

Watch this space tomorrow afternoon for me to take stock of what I got wrong and what my thoughts are on the slate itself.



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

RESULTS: 8/10 – Missed Drive My Car and The Tragedy of Macbeth

At this point, I think it’s clear: with 10 nominees being mandated from here on forth (no empty slots), there’s no way I should be predicting a Director nomination without an adjacent Picture nomination (however interesting that kept things). Anyway, I am definitely sad to see The Tragedy of Macbeth go – expected as it should have been since the Coens haven’t been an Oscar darling in over a decade now – and that leaves me to just be rooting for The Power of the Dog here, which is enough of a frontrunner to not make that a hopeless pine.


  • Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
  • Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
  • Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
  • Hamaguchi Ryusuke – Drive My Car
  • Steven Spielberg – West Side Story
  • Denis Villeneuve – Dune

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Anderson

If I was expecting one of nods to be dropped in favorite of Anderson (which shouldn’t be here… easily the worst nominee), it was Spielberg or Hamaguchi rather than Villeneuve. Maybe my second biggest shocking of the morning behind Jared Leto’s dropping.


  • Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
  • Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
  • Lady Gaga – House of Gucci
  • Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
  • Kristen Stewart – Spencer

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Cruz

I’m not sad Lady Gaga missed out (she’s not good, y’all) but I did look forward to more of her insane Awards season interviews about how affecting this production was and now that’s all done. Would trade all of Will Smith talking about his love life to Gaga discussing the mental process behind “Dracula cooka da meatball”.


  • 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


What can I say? Nailed it.


  • Caitriona Balfe Judi Dench – Belfast
  • Ariana deBose – West Side Story
  • Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
  • Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard
  • Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
  • Ruth Negga – Passing

RESULTS: 3/5 – Missed Buckley and Dench

And with that, Passing fades out of the Awards season. I didn’t love it but I did find it an extremely interesting film and can’t see what’s wrong with rewarding something as weird as that one. Buckley is a pretty fine performance, if one anchored to my least favorite element of her movie. Meanwhile, I’m just dazed that after all that momentum Balfe was carrying in her run, she got knocked away by Dench’s prestige.


  • Bradley Cooper – Licorice Pizza
  • Ciarán Hinds – Belfast
  • Troy Kotsur – CODA
  • Jared Leto – House of Gucci
  • Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog
  • J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

RESULTS: 3/5, missed Plemons and Simmons

Double Power of the Dog nomination is very satisfying to me and even more satisfying is seeing it cost Cooper’s nomination for an extremely overrated performance. Leto, I’m surprisingly a bit sad to see go – to say nothing of my shock… his nomination was one of my absolute locks for months now – as I did think he was the one good performance in Gucci and certainly a better one that Simmons in Ricardos (plus that novelty of an Oscar AND Razzie nomination would have been delectable), but I also generally don’t like Leto as either actor or human being so I’m not that sad.


  • Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
  • Zach Baylin – King Richard
  • Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
  • Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up
  • Aaron Sorkin – Being the Ricardos
  • Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier – The Worst Person in the World

RESULTS: 4/5, missed The Worst Person in the World

Goddamn, The Oscars really went full-on “yeah, I like Sorkin, Sorkin my own dick” here. If I’m being honest, I was looking forward to Sorkin’s screenplay being my horse in what looked like an otherwise weak slate but I am jazzed after rooting for Joachim Trier since Reprise to finally see him get Oscar love beyond International Film.


  • Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter
  • Sian Heder – CODA
  • Hamaguchi Ryusuke – Drive My Car
  • Tony Kushner – West Side Story
  • Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, & Eric Roth – Dune

RESULTS: 4/5, missed CODA

Tony Kushner is probably wiping his tears with his Pulitzer if there ARE any tears and honestly his screenplay for West Side Story is the worst thing I’ve seen him write yet. But for a movie that was clearly as much – if not more of – a passion project for him as Spielberg, it must suck to see this nomination slip away.


  • Bruno Delbonnel – The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Greig Fraser – Dune
  • Janusz Kaminski – West Side Story
  • Dan Laustsen – Nightmare Alley
  • Ari Wegner – The Power of the Dog
  • Haris Zambarloukos – Belfast

RESULTS: 4/5, missed West Side Story

With every missed nomination, the likelihood of Belfast taking the Best Picture Oscar home next month fades and the strength behind The Power of the Dog snatching that shit grows. Especially glad to see Macbeth hold fast in this category.


  • Nicholas Britell – Don’t Look Up
  • Alexandre Desplat – The French Dispatch
  • Germaine Franco – Encanto
  • Jonny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog
  • Alberto Iglesias – Parallel Mothers
  • Hans Zimmer – Dune

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Don’t Look Up

I honestly don’t have much to say about this. Kind of sad that Desplat was shut out, but I mean The French Dispatch had a very week run this season despite how great it is.


  • Stefan Dechant – The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Tamara Deverell – Nightmare Alley
  • Grant Major – The Power of the Dog
  • Adam Stockhausen – The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun
  • Adam Stockhausen – West Side Story
  • Patrice Vermette – Dune

RESULTS: 4/5, missed The Power of the Dog

This snub for French Dispatch certainly hurts way more, but again it was a weak awards run.


  • Jenny Beavan – Cruella
  • Bob Morgan & Jacqueline West – Dune
  • Massimo Cantini Parrini & Jacqueline Durran – Cyrano
  • Luis Sequeira – Nightmare Alley
  • Paul Tazewell – West Side Story
  • Janty Yates – House of Gucci

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Nightmare Alley

Damn, there’s some poetry in the movie about Gucci losing a costume nod.


  • Hank Corwin – Don’t Look Up
  • Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – Belfast
  • Myron Kerstein & Andrew Weisblum – Tick, Tick… Boom!
  • Pamela Martin – King Richard
  • Peter Sciberras – The Power of the Dog
  • Joe Walker – Dune

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Tick, Tick… Boom!

Feeling Belfast‘s chance of leaving Oscar night with the top prize slip away with this snub, losing an Editing nomination to a movie that doesn’t have either a Picture or Director nomination.


  • Coming 2 America
  • Cruella
  • Dune
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • House of Gucci


Just looked for the make-uppiest movies that were not Suicide Squad. Bullseye.


  • Belfast
  • Dune
  • No Time to Die
  • The Power of the Dog
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • West Side Story

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Belfast

HAHAHAHAHAHHA, Suck it Spider-Man! Hope Kevin Feige is mad.


  • Dune
  • Eternals
  • Free Guy
  • No Time to Die
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Shang-Chi

Goddamn, Eternals is being treated as such a black sheep by the film industry it almost makes me feel bad for a movie I really don’t care for. Especially since it was the first time in a LOOOONG while where an MCU film had actually great visual effects, certainly better than Shang-Chi (which is a better movie overall) and Spider-Man (which is infinitely worse as a movie and still not the worst in a slate that includes fucking Free Guy).


  • Belle
  • Encanto
  • Flee
  • Luca
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines
  • Raya and the Last Dragon

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Luca

I should have known better. No way Disney was going to cede one inch to more than one international picture and Flee would have been the obvious call for a non-English movie to make it here with the amount of critical acclaim it got. Sadly I’m not all that enthusiastic about Flee but it’s looking like the one I’ll have to root for here.


  • Compartment No. 6 (Finland)
  • Drive My Car (Japan)
  • Flee (Denmark)
  • The Hand of God (Italy)
  • A Hero (Iran)
  • Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)
  • The Worst Person in the World (Norway)

RESULTS: 3/5, missed The Hand of God and Lunana

Asghar Farhadi’s long-time Oscar love appears to have reached an end. Shame… I haven’t seen Lunana yet but A Hero is way better than any of the other four nominees.


  • Ascension
  • Attica
  • Flee
  • Procession
  • The Rescue
  • Summer of Soul (or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
  • Writing with Fire

RESULTS: 3/5, missed Attica and Writing with Fire

Honestly, having a movie like Procession go through the meat parade of the Oscars may have been tasteless anyway, but it is something I encourage those who are able to watch it. Meanwhile, I should have waited to watch The Rescue, I guess, since it doesn’t count towards my Oscar completionism (or not… I did like the movie).


  • “Be Alive” – King Richard
  • “Dos Oruguitas” – Encanto
  • “Down to Joy” – Belfast
  • “Here I Am” – Respect
  • “No Time to Die” – No Time to Die
  • “Somehow You Do” – Four Good Days

RESULTS: 4/5, missed “Somehow You Do”

There’s always one movie that I’ve never fucking heard of suddenly showing up in this slate so a 4/5 is kind of par for the course. But it’s usually a low-key documentary, Four Good Days is some indie drama that I in fact recall seeing the trailer for now that I’ve had a look at the poster and was looking forward to never thinking about it again. Heck, maybe Glenn Close is mad it didn’t get the Oscar nod she’d have liked.


  • Audible
  • Lead Me Home
  • The Queen of Basketball
  • Terror Contagion
  • Three Songs for Benazir
  • When We Were Bullies

RESULTS: 4/5, missed Lead Me Home

Way too surprised at how close I got to a perfect score.


  • Affairs of the Art
  • Bestia
  • Boxballet
  • Mum Is Pouring Rain
  • Namoo
  • Robin Robin
  • Us Again
  • The Windshield Wiper

RESULTS: 2/5, missed Affairs of the Art, Boxballet, and The Windshield Wiper

Whelp, like I said, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. But you must admit it’s really surprising the Disney entry Us Again didn’t make it.


  • Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
  • The Dress
  • Frimas
  • Les Grandes Claques
  • The Long Goodbye
  • On My Mind
  • Please Hold
  • Stenofonen
  • When the Sun Sets

RESULTS: 1/5, missed Ala Kachuu, The Dress, On My Mind, and Please Hold

Hahaha, I ain’t heard of none of these motherfuckers in any short category.

See y’all next month!