Oscars 2022 Predictions: Who Will Win In Each Race?

Who knows what surprises might be in store this Sunday?

Oscars 2022 Predictions
Illustration by Steven Fiche

    The days right before the Oscars are maybe the most fascinating time of awards season, that calm before the storm when it feels like so much is certain — yet also not certain at all. Every year, the prognosticators do their best to say they definitely know who will win in each category, and every year they’re usually right… Except for the times when they get it totally, totally wrong.

    So here’s Consequence‘s contribution to that grand tradition, with picks below for all 23 categories (including the ones that ABC can’t be bothered to televise). These represent our best guesses, based on conventional wisdom, awards already won, and a healthy dose of gut feeling. Everyone’s a winner on Oscar night!

    Liz Shannon Miller

    Best Picture

    Benedict Cumberbatch Power of the Dog BAFTAs interview Ukraine refugees

    Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog (Netflix)


    Don’t Look Up
    Drive My Car
    King Richard
    Licorice Pizza
    Nightmare Alley
    CONSEQUENCE’S PICK: The Power of the Dog
    West Side Story

    When it comes to the Academy Awards, there’s no such thing as a slam-dunk nomination. Every year, the ceremony is bound to contain a healthy dose of surprises and upsets. But as far as sure things go, The Power of the Dog taking home the golden statue for Best Picture is pretty much as close as you can get.

    The atmospheric, slow-burn Western, based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, was an instant hit when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in September of 2021. It was lauded primarily for its dextrous and unique script, its luscious cinematography, and its four main performances: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee — all of whom are also nominated for acting Oscars this year. It doesn’t hurt, too, that it was beloved Australian director Jane Campion’s first feature since 2009.


    The Power of the Dog earned a Best Picture and Best Director award at both the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes. Going on to win an Academy Award next is just the natural progression of things. — Aurora Amidon


    West Side Story Review

    West Side Story (20th Century Studios)

    Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
    Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
    Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
    Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
    CONSEQUENCE’S PICK: Steven Spielberg, West Side Story


    Steven Spielberg established himself as one of the greatest directors of all time by the 1990s — and ever since, he hasn’t stopped proving it. He deserves that same recognition for West Side Story, a remake that audiences were praising for its cinematography, performances, and editing for months on end. Jane Campion’s directing on The Power of the Dog was similarly masterful, so it’s bound to be a tight race, where even something like Campion’s controversial comments at the CCAs could make the difference. — A.A.

    Actor in a Leading Role

    will smith king richard hbo max warner bros venus and serena williams trailer watch

    King Richard (Warner Bros.)

    Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos
    Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
    Andrew Garfield, tick, tick… Boom!
    CONSEQUENCE’S PICK: Will Smith, King Richard
    Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth


    He’s one of the most charismatic men in the world, he’s won nearly every notable precursor this year, and his work in King Richard is career-defining, as he captures the love, passion, and a touch of ego that drove Richard Williams to help his daughters become the tennis legends they are today. This is his third Oscar nomination — the odds are good that Will Smith will earn his first win, thanks to this film. — L.S.M.

    Actress in a Leading Role

    The Lost Daughter Olivia Colman

    The Lost Daughter (Netflix)

    Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
    CONSEQUENCE’S PICK: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
    Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
    Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
    Kristen Stewart, Spencer


    This category might be the tightest race of this year’s Academy Awards. From Jessica Chastain’s impressively transformative performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, to Kristen Stewart’s critically acclaimed portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer, not to mention Penélope Cruz’s subtle and heartbreaking performance in Parallel Mothers, there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer.

    But when it comes down to it, it looks like Olivia Colman might just take home the statue for her portrayal of Leda, a middle-aged Classics professor with dark secrets galore in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter. Not only is Colman easily one of the most beloved actresses of all time, but her performance in the film is truly a tour de force. She’s effortlessly funny, fearlessly strange, and does epic meltdowns in a way that only Colman could. Her exceptional talent, paired with her general popularity, is bound to earn her a shining accolade this year. — A.A.

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