94th Academy Awards: Final Predictions

I get it. We’re almost in April. You’ve probably already started to think about this year’s films and whether or not films like The Batman can secure an Oscar nomination next year. But AMPAS nevertheless decided that the Oscars ceremony celebrating 2021 films was to be held this upcoming Sunday. It’s been a long awards season, and it feels like some of the original frontrunners — like The Power of the Dog — have fallen behind in the race for the biggest award of the night. Now it looks like the crowd-pleasing CODA has overtaken the spotlight from the truly cinematic Netflix flick directed by Jane Campion. In this article, I’ll give you my final predictions for the 94th Academy Awards, along with some longer explanations for the biggest categories. Hollywood’s biggest night is almost here, but who will win? Read below to find out what I think will happen.

Best Live-Action Short

  • Predicted Winner: The Long Goodbye.

Best Documentary Short

  • Predicted Winner: The Queen of Basketball.

Best Animated Short

  • Predicted Winner: Robin Robin.

Best International Film

  • Predicted Winner: Drive My Car.

Best Documentary Film

  • Predicted Winner: Flee.

Look, I know. This may be my heart making a prediction more so than my head. I just don’t want Flee to go home empty-handed. I think it is too tough an ask to overcome so many popular animated films in the next category, but I think it has a better chance here, even though Summer of Soul is far and away the prediction favorite for most.

Best Animated Feature

  • Predicted Winner: Encanto.

Best Visual Effects

  • Predicted Winner: Dune.

Best Sound

  • Predicted Winner: Dune.

Best Original Song

  • Predicted Winner: “No Time to Die,” – No Time to Die.

Best Original Score

  • Predicted Winner: Dune.

Best Production Design

  • Predicted Winner: Dune.

Dune is incredible and probably my favorite film of 2021, and I think it’s going to have a Mad Max: Fury Road-like time at the Oscars. That said, there are some films that could cause an upset. Don’t be surprised if Nightmare Alley wins here, or if The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, or West Side Story surprises in Best Cinematography for example.

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

  • Predicted Winner: The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Best Film Editing

  • Predicted Winner: Dune.

Best Costume Design

  • Predicted Winner: Cruella.

Best Cinematograhy

  • Predicted Winner: Dune.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Predicted Winner: Don’t Look Up.

This one is really tough. Since I’m a Scandinavian, I’d love for Norway’s The Worst Person in the World to get the win, and if enough people see it then it could happen. But I think this is a three-film-race between Belfast, the BAFTA-winning Licorice Pizza, and WGA-winner Don’t Look Up, and I’m going with the Netflix flick. Many people on ‘Film Twitter’ would lose their minds if this happens, and I have a feeling it might.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Predicted Winner: CODA.

I’m going with the BAFTA and WGA winner here. But don’t be surprised if The Power of the Dog or Drive My Car gets the win. However, if CODA is going to win Best Picture, then I think it needs this category.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Predicted Winner: Troy Kotsur – CODA.

CODA and Kotsur are feeling the love right now with huge wins at the SAGs and BAFTAs. Kodi Smit-McPhee was the frontrunner for so long, but people seem to be backing away from The Power of the Dog at its most crucial moment.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Predicted Winner: Ariana DeBose – West Side Story.

This one has been sewn up for so many weeks. Good for her!

Best Lead Actor

  • Predicted Winner: Will Smith – King Richard.

I think Will Smith is great in King Richard, but he’s been the frontrunner for this category for so long that I kind of want to see a surprise winner here. However, don’t count on it. This is Will Smith’s Oscar, and everyone who’s predicting knows it. I don’t think there is enough love for Garfield and Cumberbatch’s performances in AMPAS to pull off an upset.

Best Lead Actress

  • Predicted Winner: Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

I really don’t know about this category. As you may know, not a single actress from a Best Picture nominated film is nominated for this category. This could mean that it’s anyone’s game. Jessica Chastain seems to be the current frontrunner thanks to her SAG award win, but have enough people seen The Eyes of Tammy Faye? Nicole Kidman also got a boost with her Golden Globe win, but I just don’t see it happening. I also wasn’t particularly impressed by her performance. I still think they should’ve nominated Rachel Zegler or Jodie Comer, but I digress. Anyway, I think both Kristen Stewart and especially Penelope Cruz could pull off a surprise win here. Almost anything could happen in this category, but I’m going with the safe pick.

Best Director

  • Predicted Winner: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog.

I feel pretty good about this prediction. However, Campion did make it a little bit difficult on herself with her controversial comments about the Williams sisters. Could this mean that someone else could take the award? Sure, it could. But I doubt it. However, if she misses out, I suspect that Steven Spielberg could be the winner here, or, if the international members of AMPAS can decide the outcome, Ryusuke Hamaguchi could also win for Drive My Car. But I think Spielberg is the more likely runner-up behind Campion.

Best Picture

  • Predicted Winner: CODA.

Is there still a Netflix bias? It certainly feels that way. So many times now a deserving Netflix film has been overlooked for Best Picture at the actual ceremony, even if those films have scored plenty of nominations. Unfortunately, while I still think Jane Campion will win Best Director, I no longer feel comfortable predicting The Power of the Dog for Best Picture. It feels like people admire the film but have very little love for it, which makes it easier for crowd-pleasing flicks like CODA, King Richard, and West Side Story to pull off an upset, even though they’ve previously been trailing behind during awards season.

– Article Written by Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.

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