Full Circle Predictions: 94th Academy Awards

It’s awards season, and we here at Full Circle Cinema have a host of differing opinions regarding who wins big at this year’s ceremonies. With Full Circle Forecast, we break down the nominees for the biggest categories, along with personal predictions for who we think will bring home the coveted statuettes. As awards season draws to a close, we’re approaching the biggest cinematic celebration of 2022: The 94th Academy Awards, often affectionately referred to as the Oscars. With plenty of categories featuring surprising names, as well as some pretty glaring oversights and rebuffs, here are our picks in the biggest categories.

Best Picture

Prediction: CODA

One of the most striking and tender portraits of a family from last year, CODA made history at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin and Daniel Durant are now the first deaf/hard of hearing artists to win at the ceremony. Granted, Apple TV+ is also looking to collect Oscars with the powerful image. In his Full Circle review of the film, Josie Melendez says “CODA is worthy of a standing ovation, and it was the perfect selection to kick off the 2021 festival. It will most likely become an instant classic for many.

Best Director

  • Kenneth Branagh– Belfast
  • Ryusuke Hamaguchi – drive my car
  • Paul Thomas Anderson– Licorice Pizza
  • Jeanne Campion- The power of the dog
  • Steven Spielberg- West Side Story

Prediction: Jeanne Campion- The power of the dog

The power of the dog'  Director Jane Campion Talks Benedict Cumberbatch Casting, NZ Filming Change |  Features |  Screen

The Oscars have been criticized over the years for avoiding female directors in the predominantly male category. However, while there is a lot of work to be done, the critically acclaimed Jane Campion stands head and shoulders above the men alongside her in the Best Director race. Campion delivered a memorable western that still has people talking, even months after it premiered on Netflix. Full Circle Associate Editor Ileana Melendez says “there is no doubt that Campion masterfully crafted an exquisitely atmospheric film, painting a portrait of a Western America at the dawn of the Great Depression” in his review of the feature.

READ: ‘The Batman’ Spoiler Review: “An epic crime thriller”

Best actor

  • Javier Bardem– Be the Ricardos
  • Benedict Cumberbatch- The power of the dog
  • Andrew Garfield- youick, tic… Boom!
  • Will Smith– King Richard
  • Denzel Washington- Macbeth’s Tragedy

Prediction: Will Smith– King Richard

Will Smith on 'King Richard'  and his secret fear of his career - The New York Times

Will Smith is, quite frankly, one of the most prolific actors of all time. Thanks to incredible performances in films like Ali and The pursuit of happiness, the first rapper to win a Grammy, is today as well known as a dramatic performer as he is a musician. However, his most recent turn as the charismatic and driven father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard earned him universal critical acclaim. While many fans including myself see Andrew Garfield’s performance in tick, tick...BOOM! as a sentimental favorite, the momentum is on Smith’s side, following wins at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. This will be Will Smith’s first Oscar win.

Best Actress

  • Jessica Chastain – Tammy Faye’s eyes
  • Olivia Colman – The lost girl
  • Penelope Cruz- Parallel mothers
  • Nicole Kidman- Be the Ricardos
  • Kristen Stewart – spencer

Prediction: Jessica Chastain – Tammy Faye’s eyes

Jessica Chastain on the use of prostheses in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

While it’s no different for her to turn in indelible performances, Jessica Chastain taps into a whole different gear with her role in Tammy Faye’s eyes. Chastain stuns as she seemingly transforms into an evangelist with full gusto, alongside the aforementioned Andrew Garfield. Plus, the actress effectively blends the camp, hype, drama, and humanity of Tammy Faye Messner. She manages to allow Tammy Faye’s eyes stand out in a year filled with biopics.

READ: The 15 best Full Circle movies of 2021

Best Supporting Actor

  • Ciaran Hinds – Belfast like Pop
  • Troy Kotsur – CODA
  • Jesse Plemons- The power of the dog
  • JK Simmons– Be the Ricardos
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee – The power of the dog

Prediction: Troy Kotsur – CODA

Troy Kotsur on his impactful contribution for One 'CODA'  Scene - Variety

Troy Kotsur already boasts the Gotham Award for Outstanding Supporting Performance and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Second Role. Making history along the way, Kotsur also provided some genuinely heartwarming moments during those respective awards shows. However, more than that, her performance is both heartbreaking and inspiring. It proves that hearing-impaired actors are, in fact, just as good at locking viewers onto their television screens as those without.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jessie Buckley– The lost girl
  • Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
  • Judi Dench- Belfast
  • Kirsten Dunst- The power of the dog
  • Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Prediction: Ariana DeBose – West Side Story

West Side Story'  Stars Ariana DeBose and Rachel Zegler defend their remake : NPR

Ariana DeBose is the talk of the town, and rightly so. His work in Steven Spielberg West Side Story is one of the brightest spots in a movie that, admittedly, has its issues. Channeling the iconic Rita Moreno while adding a touch of her unique brand of talent and charm, DeBose pulls off a career-defining performance as Anita. Unsurprisingly, DeBose became the first openly queer, Afro-Latin woman of color to win the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. Additionally, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. Moreover, the actress is wisely capitalizing on the success of her West Side Story role by joining the Marvel Universe as Calypso in Kraven the hunter. Without a doubt, we should be looking for DeBose continuing that upward trajectory with a monumental Oscar win as well.

READ: ‘West Side Story’ (2021) review: ‘One step forward, one huge step back’

Best Animated Feature

Prediction: Encanto

Ticket Office: Disney's 'Encanto'  Disappoints with just $40 million debut

Encanto literally took the world by storm (thanks, Pepa). With Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” becoming Disney’s longest-running chart-topper in the United States Billboard Hot 100 history, the cultural phenomenon has secured its place in history. However, the story of a family reuniting in the beautifully colorful country of Colombia is intertwined with a heartbreaking tale of love, loss and loyalty. Certainly, Encanto is one of the best offerings in the Disney animation canon.

In her review, the associate editor of Full Circle Ileana Melendez says “EncantoThe strength of lies in its wonderful lineup of characters that allow a wider range of Latino kids to see themselves on the big screen. The rhythmic songs grow inside you, carried by some of the best animated musical sequences to be released in recent years.

READ: ‘Encanto’ review: ‘A simply joyful celebration’

Additional Quick Predictions:

  • International feature film: drive my car (Japan)
  • original song: “Dos Oruguitas” by Encanto – Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • production design: Dunes – Set design: Patrice Vermette; Set decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
  • Visual effects: Spider-Man: No Coming Home – Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick
  • costume design: alley of nightmares –Luis Sequeira
  • Documentary report: Summer of Soul (…or, when the revolution couldn’t be televised) – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Din
  • Cinematography: Dunes –Greig Fraser

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these choices? Be sure to let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below! – Christian Hubbard

The 94th Academy Awards will air live on March 27, 2022 and will be hosted by Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall and Amy Schumer.


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