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Pats on the Back for Everyone

Jared predicts the Oscar winners

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There's a reason why the ratings for the Oscars have kept going down over the last few years. A lot of that has to do with the fact that critics and audiences rarely agree on what constitutes a great film anymore. Just pick any movie on Rotten Tomatoes and compare the critics' score with the audience one to see how wildly they differ. I don't think the average audience member wants to tune into something where they think the winners are wildly out of touch with what movies are actually popular with filmgoers.

So this year, I'm breaking my predictions down into two categories: what I think will win and what I think should win. Let's see how closely they align. Play at home if you're so inclined!


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

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

What Should Win: "Dune"- The effects team built a world unlike any seen before.
What Will Win: "Dune"- The work is just too strong to ignore, but the popularity of "Spider-Man" could possibly give it a leg up.


BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT:

  • "Ala Kachuu- Take and Run"
  • "The Dress"
  • "The Long Goodbye"
  • "On My Mind"
  • "Please Hold"

What Should Win: "On My Mind" is such a lovely short that I'm just rooting for its good-natured meditation on loss.

What Will Win: "Take and Run" is topical and important which means the timing on it will probably give it the win.


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM:

  • "Affairs of the Art"
  • "Bestia"
  • "Boxballet"
  • "Robin Robin"
  • "The Windshield Wiper"

What Should Win: "Boxballet" is a gorgeous little love story, but it's from Russia which makes me think it doesn't stand a chance.

What Will Win: "Robin Robin" is a crowd pleaser and is the most polished with stunning stop-motion animation.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM:

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

What Should Win: I would be happy with either "Audible" or "Lead Me Home" to win, but I'm giving the edge to "Lead Me Home" because of the raw and unsentimental tone as it looks at the homelessness epidemic.

What Will Win: "Audible" is one of the most gorgeously produced docs I've ever seen, which could put it in the lead.


BEST DOCUMENTARY:

  • "Flee"
  • "Summer of Soul"
  • "Attica"
  • "Writing With Fire"
  • "Ascension"

What Should Win: "Flee" is unforgettable and an important look at the immigrant experience.

What Will Win: "I think "Flee" has this, but "Summer of Soul" is such a miraculous discovery that I couldn't be upset if Questlove took home a statue.


BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM:

  • "Drive My Car"
  • "Flee"
  • "The Hand of God"
  • "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom"
  • "The Worst Person in the World"

What Should Win: "Drive My Car" is a masterpiece and only gets better with subsequent viewings.

What Will Win: "Drive My Car" has this locked.


BEST SOUND:

  • "West Side Story"
  • "Dune"
  • "Belfast"
  • "No Time to Die"
  • "The Power of the Dog"

What Should Win: "Dune" has sounds in it I've never heard before.

What Will Win: "West Side Story" will take this because Academy voters love a musical.


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

  • "Dune"
  • "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
  • "West Side Story"
  • "Nightmare Alley"
  • "The Power of the Dog"

What Should Win: The sets in "Nightmare Alley" are breathtaking,

What Will Win: "West Side Story" just looks so good that it's going to take this.

BEST EDITING:

  • "The Power of the Dog"
  • "Don't Look Up"
  • "Dune"
  • "King Richard"
  • "Tic, Tic...Boom"

What Should Win: "Dune" teaches a masterclass on taking massive source material and whittling it down to its essence.

What Will Win: "The Power of the Dog" because it has the momentum.


BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:

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

What Should Win: I don't mean to beat the drum too hard on "Dune," but there's some next-level makeup work in that film.

What Will Win: "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" makes Jessica Chastain almost unrecognizable, which voters love.

A fantastic ”The Power of the Dog" leads the pack in Oscar noms. - COURTESY OF NETFLIX
  • Courtesy of Netflix
  • A fantastic ”The Power of the Dog" leads the pack in Oscar noms.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

  • "Cruella"
  • "Dune"
  • "Cyrano"
  • "Nightmare Alley"
  • "West Side Story"

What Should Win: "Dune" creates entire worlds, cultures and belief structures with its costuming.

What Will Win: I wouldn't be surprised if "Cruella" took this because the costumes are astounding, but I have a feeling "West Side Story" has it on lock.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

  • "Be Alive" from "King Richard"
  • "Dos Oruguitas" from "Encanto"
  • "Down to Joy" from "Belfast"
  • "No Time to Die" from "No Time to Die"
  • "Somehow You Do" from "Four Good Days"

What Should Win: I personally absolutely love Billie Eilish's Bond theme song, but I'm in the minority.

What Will Win: "Encanto" is in the business of earworms.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

  • "Don't Look Up"
  • "Dune"
  • "Encanto"
  • "Parallel Mothers"
  • "The Power of the Dog"

What Should Win: "The Power of the Dog's" score sets the tone for the entire film.

What Will Win: "Encanto" might have this, but the score in "Dog" is just so damn good.


BEST ANIMATED FILM:

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

What Should Win: "The Mitchells vs. the Machines" is my personal favorite animated film of the year. Funny, heartfelt and everything in between.

What Will Win: "Encanto" has this without question, but it would be nice if "Flee" got the upset.


BEST ACTOR:

  • Javier Bardem for "Being the Ricardos"
  • Benedict Cumberbatch for "The Power of the Dog"
  • Will Smith for "King Richard"
  • Andrew Garfield for "Tic, Tic...Boom"
  • Denzel Washington for "The Tragedy of Macbeth"

Who Should Win: Cumberbatch is chameleonic, but Will Smith does some truly amazing work.

Who Will Win: It's Smith's turn for an Oscar but it wouldn't surprise me if Bandersnatch crept in and won it.

BEST ACTRESS:

  • Nicole Kidman for "Being the Ricardos"
  • Jessica Chastain for "The Eyes of Tammy Faye"
  • Olivia Colman for "The Lost Daughter"
  • Penelope Cruz for "Parallel Mothers"
  • Kristen Stewart for "Spencer"

Who Should Win: Colman absolutely destroyed me in "The Lost Daughter," but she's always incredible.

Who Will Win: Chastain disappears under makeup in "Tammy Faye" and the voters love it when that happens.

"Don't Look Up" nominated for Best Picture. - COURTESY OF NETFLIX
  • Courtesy of Netflix
  • "Don't Look Up" nominated for Best Picture.

BEST PICTURE:

  • "Belfast"
  • "CODA"
  • "Don't Look Up"
  • "Drive My Car"
  • "Dune"
  • "King Richard"
  • "Licorice Pizza"
  • "Nightmare Alley"
  • "The Power of the Dog"
  • "West Side Story"

What Should Win: Of the available choices, "Drive My Car" is kinda inarguably the best picture of the year.

What Will Win: "The Power of the Dog" has been winning all the awards, so there's no reason to think the Oscars will be any different.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

  • "Dune"
  • "West Side Story"
  • "Nightmare Alley"
  • "The Power of the Dog"
  • "The Tragedy of Macbeth"

What Should Win: "Macbeth" and "Dune" both do astounding things with shadow and color.

What Will Win: "West Side Story" looks like a timeless piece of cinema, so this might have it.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

  • "The Worst Person in the World"
  • "Licorice Pizza"
  • "King Richard"
  • "Belfast"
  • "Don't Look Up"

What Should Win: Without question "TWPitW" has the best script of all of these choices. It finds truth in the most personal of moments.

What Will Win: "Licorice Pizza" might take this for the nostalgia factor.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

  • "CODA"
  • "Drive My Car"
  • "Dune"
  • "The Lost Daughter"
  • "The Power of the Dog"

What Should Win: "The Lost Daughter" just tells such a transcendent story that it's hard not to root for it.

What Will Win: ""The Power of the Dog" is the critical darling on this list.


BEST DIRECTOR:

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

Who Should Win: "Drive My Car" has the finest moment in a film all year (the finale performance of "Vanya"), so I have to go with that.

Who Will Win: A week ago I would have said Jane Campion, but she's been putting her foot in her mouth lately, so now I wouldn't be surprised if Spielberg took it. I hope I'm wrong and Hamaguchi takes the gold.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

  • Ciaran Hinds for "Belfast"
  • Troy Kotsur for "CODA"
  • Jesse Plemons for "The Power of the Dog"
  • J.K. Simmons for "Being the Ricardos"
  • Kodi-Smit McPhee for "The Power of the Dog"

Who Should Win: Kotsur without question.

Who Will Win: Kotsur without question.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

  • Jessie Buckley for "The Lost Daughter"
  • Ariana DeBose for "West Side Story"
  • Judi Dench for "Belfast"
  • Kirsten Dunst for "The Power of the Dog"
  • Aunjanue Ellis for "King Richard"

Who Should Win: Dunst gives the performance of her career in "Dog." She's flawless.

Who Will Win: I think Dunst has this, but DeBose might get an upset.

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