Who will win, who will win – The Hollywood Reporter

Best picture

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Only 10 films have ever received more nominations than The power of the dogthis year’s nom leader with 12. But it’s a polarizing film that may not play as well in the Academy’s preference poll as CODA, whose story and cast charm everyone. Both films would be the third female-directed best picture and the first ever from a streamer. Possible spoiler: Belfast. – Scott Feinberg

MUST WIN: Drive my car

No film deserves more than Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s masterpiece of processing grief through art and unexpected human connections. Woven together from a Murakami short story adorned with threads by Chekhov, this is a gracefully modulated symphony whose emotional power washes gently over you before eventually reducing you to a puddle. – David Rooney

Best instructor

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Jane Campion
Samir Hussein / WireImage

WANT TO WIN: Jane Campion, The power of the dog

Twenty-eight years after being nominated for The piano, the groundbreaking Jane Campion became the first female director ever nominated for this award for the second time. After winning every precursor award, including the all-important Directors Guild Award, she is the safest bet of the night and becomes the third woman to take home this category’s Oscar. – SF

MUST WIN: Jane Campion, The power of the dog

I lean towards Hamaguchi for reasons mentioned above, but go with Jane Campion – not just because the line-up of Oscar-winning female directors is so thin. Campion draws indelible achievements from her four lead roles as she reconsiders the myths of the West through a blistering lens of caustic masculinity, repressed sexuality and a creepy tale of queer revenge. – DR

Best Actor

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Will Smith ind King Richard
Lent by Warner Bros.

WANT TO WIN: Will Smith, King Richard

Playing a real person – especially a colorful, inspiring character – is not a bad way to position yourself for this category’s Oscar. Both Will Smith (King Richard) and Andrew Garfield (Tik, Tik… Bum!) gave career-best performance thereby. Smith has been around for a long time, coming from a nominated for best picture and dominating the forerunners, so tip to him. – SF

MUST WIN: Benedict Cumberbatch, The power of the dog

I would like to applaud a victory for Will Smith, which is fantastic as the father drives his daughters to excellence in King Richard. But Cumberbatch towers over the rest of the field with his depiction of the hardened shell of sizzling hatred that hides a shrunken pit of self-denial and longing. – DR

Best Actress

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Jessica Chastain ind Tammy Faye’s eyes
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WANT TO WIN: Jessica Chastain, Tammy Faye’s eyes

This is perhaps the closest race, with five nominees whose films do not help to be the best picture: former winners Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz and Nicole Kidman, twice former second-place Jessica Chastain and rookie Kristen Stewart. Chastain has a bit of momentum after winning SAG and Critics Choice awards for the kind of flashy performance that voters often reward. – SF

MUST WIN: Penelope Cruz, Parallel mothers

No number of awards is too many for Olivia Colman, and Kristen Stewart’s fearless tightrope walk in Spencer was enchanting. But the glowing Cruz has always had a special symbiosis with Pedro Almodóvar, and she has never been better than here, with undulating emotions and a generosity of spirit that practically spills out of the screen. – DR

Best Supporting Actor

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Troy Kotsur ind CODA
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WANT TO WIN: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Expect a fierce ovation and visual applause when Troy Kotsur, the first deaf nominee for an acting Oscar, is announced as the winner of his role in CODA, just as he has been at all major pre-Oscars. (The only other deaf person to have won an actor Oscar: Kotsur’s CODA co-star Marlee Matlin, 35 years ago.) – SF

MUST WIN: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The power of the dog

At first, Smit-McPhee’s Peter appears as delicate as the paper flowers he makes, too weak to resist Cumberbatch’s Phil Burbank macho mockery and his fawning cowhands. But in the most exciting turn of power in the latest screen memory, Peter quietly assesses the situation and takes control of deadly efficiency. – DR

Best Supporting Actress

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Ariana DeBose as Anita in 20th Century Studios’ West Side Story.
Lent by Niko Tavernise / 20th Century Studios

WANT TO WIN: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Sixty years after Rita Moreno won the Oscar of this category for her role as Anita in West Side Story, Ariana DeBose is ready to win it for the same part in Steven Spielberg’s re-creation of that project, after winning the forerunner awards. If a disturbance were to occur, it would probably come from King Richard‘s Aunjanue Ellis. – SF

MUST WIN: Kirsten Dunst, The power of the dog

Dunst has been exploring a rich spectrum of characters since she was a child. Her latest, Rose, is like fine porcelain, polished to a shiny sheen, as the soft, gentle George (played by her real partner, Jesse Plemons) brings love into her lonely life, but quickly reveals the cracks while enduring terrorizing cruelty of her new brother-in-law. – DR

Best original manuscript

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Jamie Dornan (left) and Jude Hill in Belfast
Rob Youngson / Focus Features

WILL WIN: Belfast

You can not count Paul Thomas Anderson next Licorice pizza (BAFTA’s choice) or Adam McKay for Do not look up (The Writers Guild’s), but this seems to be the most likely place for the Academy to recognize the man behind a third-best picture candidate, Kenneth Branagh, for his autobiographical film Belfast (which has already won Critics Choice and Golden Globe awards). – SF

MUST WIN: The worst person in the world

It is rare to meet a romantic comedy so fresh, insightful and vivid with bittersweet tenderness as this reflection on the groping mistakes we make when we find out who we are. This is partly due to the brilliant Renate Reinsve as Julie, but especially the wisdom and compassion from director Joachim Trier and regular co-author Eskil Vogt’s script. – DR

Best custom script


This is a likely bell for the best picture competition as it pitches CODA (who won BAFTA and Writers Guild awards) against The power of the dog (which landed the Critics Choice Award). Beyond that, some voters would like to seize this opportunity to secure it CODASian Heder takes home a statuette that Campion will surely do for best director. – SF

MUST WIN: Drive my car

Campion’s work exploring gender and family dynamics in the midst of the loneliness of the American West excels in period storytelling with a rugged lyric that feels boldly modern. But I give edge to Hamaguchi and co-author Takamasa Oe’s extension of a sleek Murakami story to a work of fascinating emotional scope. – DR

Best Documentary

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Summer of soul
Lent by Sundance Film Festival

WILL WIN: Summer of soul

This competition is between two nominees who have been widely seen and discussed by members of the Academy: Escape (which won several doc community awards) and Summer of soul (who won BAFTA, Critics Choice, Spirit and PGA awards). Some voters do not like animation and / or subtitles, and many voters love music documents, so the smart (but not sure) bid is Questlove’s directorial debut. – SF

MUST WIN: Escape

I will rejoice in Questlove’s seemingly unstoppable victory for the happy ones Summer of soul. That said, Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s heartbreaking but hopeful story of a refugee’s difficult path to self-acceptance while struggling with his cultural roots and identity as a gay man is a testament to the complexity of this unique film. – DR

Best international feature

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Drive my car
Lent by the Cannes Film Festival

WILL WIN: Drive my car

Before Japan Drive my car, only six films recorded for this award had ever also received picture, director and script nominations. Five further won this award. The one who did not (The emigrants) lost to a movie with only one other name, for script (Finzi Continis’ have). So there is a ray of hope for Norway The worst person in the worldif not Escape. – SF

MUST WIN: Drive my car

You h. It was a strong year for this category, as evidenced by the number of excellent international films that either did not make it or were not submitted by their respective countries. But no film resonated more strongly in this time of loss and isolation than the Japanese entry. Its lack of wins would be a real shock. – DR

Best animated feature

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The Madrigals from Disney’s Charm
Lent by DISNEY


Charm is nominated in this category and also for song and score. Mitchells vs. The machines held its own at the precursor awards and has received a big push from Netflix. And Escape definitely uses animation in a unique way. The Disney block could split between Charm, Luca and Raya and the last dragonbut the smart money is still on Charm. – SF


I love all five of these, and it’s remarkable that the nominees include three films from Disney’s Umbrella that expand the cultural horizon of mainstream animation. The sour Mediterranean flavor, warmth, and deep-seated embrace of difference made Pixar’s imaginative tale of growing up most of all. – DR

Feinberg predicts the rest …

Best cinematography: The power of the dog

Best costume design: Dune

Best movie editing: Dune

Best production design: Dune

Best makeup and hair styling: Tammy Faye’s eyes

Best score: Dune

Best song: “No Time to Die” fra No time to die

Best sound: Dune

Best visual effects: Dune

Best animated short film: Robin Robin

Best short film: The queen of basketball

Best live-action short film: The long goodbye

This story first appeared in the Hollywood Reporter magazine on March 23rd. A few predictions have changed since it went into print. These choices are final. Click here to subscribe.

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