The Academy Awards are set to take place on March 27 at 7 pm CST. With the newly announced drastic changes to the program structure, movie lovers — myself included — are waiting in pessimistic anticipation to see if the predictions we’ve made for the Oscars come true.
Don’t get me wrong — I love the Oscars, and I believe that we will get a great crop of winners this year, but the structure and feel of the ceremony have got me less than enthused.
Let me explain.
In previous ceremonies, all 23 award categories were presented live on air. But this year, the academy decided to cut eight technical categories from the live broadcast. Instead, these technical awards will be presented before the show and edited into the main broadcast. The Fan Favorite award, voted on by the public, was also added.
I believe that cutting the technical awards from the show is disrespectful to all behind-the-camera artisans who work in the industry. It’s as if the Oscar producers are saying that the technical teams on films are less important than actors, screenwriters, directors and producers.
I believe that this is untrue because, without their technical components, films would be terrible. It angers me that these artisans, whose work is essential to filmmaking, are being pushed aside in a bid to stay more relevant.
That aside, let’s take a look at the question central to the awards themselves — who will win them?
When deciding on my predictions, I took into account precursor award wins, expert opinions and my gut feelings. All were chosen after deep consideration, but I can’t deny that they are also subject to change.
I’ll start with the two categories that are the easiest for me to predict: Supporting Actor and Actress.
Troy Kotsur, from the movie CODA, has won every major award precursor besides a Golden Globe, while Ariana DeBose has swept the major award precursors of the year for her performance in West Side Story. This puts them both in the perfect position to win their first Oscars off their first nominations. Ariana is my personal pick in this category, as I think her performance was phenomenal. If neither of these actors wins, I will consider it a major upset.
Next up is Best Director.
Jane Campion, director of The Power of the Dog, has been dominating all awards season. I expect her to claim the Oscar in the director category, making her the third woman ever to do so, and the first time that it has been done in back-to-back years.
The screenplay awards are more difficult for me to predict.
The Original Screenplay award could be a toss-up between Belfast and Licorice Pizza, with the former having more Oscar nominations, but the latter claiming the BAFTA award in this category in early March. Right now, I think Licorice Pizza is going to edge out Belfast for the top prize, seeing as its BAFTA award was significant.
The close race in Adapted Screenplay is similar to the Original Screenplay race. The Power of the Dog has been dominating all season and leads the field with 12 Oscar nominations, yet it lost the BAFTA to the less nominated film CODA, a film that has only three Oscar nominations. As of right now, I predict that The Power of the Dog will win this category, but this is somewhat of a shot in the dark.
I believe that my Best Actor and Actress award predictions are decently sound, as Will Smith has had a solid run through major award precursors with his performance in King Richard, and Jessica Chastain is the only actress to win more than one major precursor award for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
Finally, we arrive at Best Picture.
This one is tough because the front runner for most of the awards season has been The Power of the Dog. But CODA has had a late surge and I believe that it could easily sweep in and take the top prize. Right now, I am leaning towards The Power of the Dog because I think that its widespread academy support will carry it a long way. If it were up to me, this award would go to West Side Story.
This awards season has been long, and throughout it, we have been entertained by snubs, surprises and speeches — both the good and the bad. I wait in anticipation for the end of this season, and can’t wait to dig into the new films slated to be released this year.
This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a reply, please email email@example.com. Rebecca Lischynski is a first-year undergraduate student studying in the College of Arts and Science. She loves movies, musicals and movie musicals.
For the readers who are film fans like me, my complete predictions, with all technical categories, are below.
Best Picture: The Power of the Dog
Best Director: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
Best Actor: Will Smith (King Richard)
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)
Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur (CODA)
Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
Best International Feature: Drive My Car (Japan)
Best Animated Feature: Encanto
Best Documentary Feature: Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer (Dune)
Best Original Song: Dos Oruguitas (Encanto)
Best Visual Effects: Dune
Best Editing: Dune
Best Sound: Dune
Best Cinematography: The Power of the Dog
Best Production Design: Dune
Best Costume Design: Cruella
Best Makeup and Hair Design: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Animated Short Film: Robin Robin
Best Live Action Short Film: The Long Goodbye
Best Documentary Short Subject: Queen of Basketball