Ella Buckley’s Oscars Predictions 2022
Ella Buckley considers the recently announced nominations for the 94th Academy Awards and offers her predictions for the big three categories.
Although the Academy may not always get their nominations right (or their award winners, for that matter) I do love the Oscars and the awards season in general. For me, it is as an excuse or an opportunity to spend the beginning of the New Year in the cinemas, watching as many nominated films as possible. I love to formulate my own opinion on the films selected; casting my own ‘vote’ as if I was a member of the Academy myself.
As the world gets slightly more back to normal following the curbing of restrictions, it’s been amazing to be back in front of the big screen, immersed in such wonderful works as Denis Villeneuve’s remake of the space opera classic, Dune, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 70s coming-of-age, Licorice Pizza, and Guillermo Del Toro’s fantastical 1940s Noir, Nightmare Alley, as they unfurled before me.
However, lots of my favourite films have also appeared within the confines of the smaller screen of my laptop, with some nominations accessible only through streaming sites. This year, I’ve especially enjoyed the emphasis Netflix in particular has placed on the powerful performances and direction of women. It’s an emphasis that has, in my view, been justly rewarded, with Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter) and Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog) both receiving nominations alongside the women who directed them – Maggie Gyllenhaal in her directorial debut and Jane Campion, making a comeback 12 years after her last film release, Bright Star (2009).
As Bong Joon-Ho wished to cut his Best Director Oscar into pieces to give to his fellow nominees, I wish I could do the same with my prediction.
Best Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Through I’ve enjoyed many films and series with Benedict Cumberbatch, I can’t say I’ve ever been blown away by any of his performances – that is, until I watched The Power of the Dog. Cumberbatch is exceptional, playing the intimidating, brooding rancher, Phil Burbank, he dominates the screen.
Best Actress – Kristen Stewart, Spencer
As much grief as Stewart gets for her portrayal as Bella Swan in the Twilight Saga, her characterisation of Lady Diana Spencer is powerful, showing Diana’s infamous struggles with the Windsors, as well as revealing something of her personal demons. I think, I hope, Stewart will follow in the steps of Natalie Portman – who, also under the direction of Pablo Larraín, won the same Oscar for playing Jackie Kennedy – bringing to light not just the stories but also the interior struggles of such important women.
Best Picture – The Power of the Dog
With the gravitas of a classic Western, phenomenal performances from all its cast members (and the Oscar nominations to prove it), a harrowing Soundtrack from Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, in The Power of the Dog, I truly believe Campion has created a modern classic; here’s hoping it receives the recognition it deserves. The slow building tension and atmosphere Campion has created alongside the breath-taking visuals of Montana’s mountains, this is a work that demonstrates just how big and powerful a film can feel – even whilst being experience on the small screen at home. The forerunner of the nominations chart, accruing twelve in total, The Power of the Dog would also be Netflix’s first ever Best Picture win.