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TV/Film Who will triumph at this year's Oscars?

Mar. 2, 2022
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After a year of delays, theater closures, and all-encompassing uncertainty, 2021 saw the cinematic world build itself back up. While some films went unseen due to the massive influx of streaming content, award buzz has been nothing but frenzied this year. So without further ado, here are the biggest films of the year—and their chances at the 94th Academy Awards.


One part ghost story and one part fable, Pablo Larraín’s Princess Diana biopic is one of the best films of the year. While it was all the rage after its TIFF premiere, the buzz surrounding Spencer and leading lady Kristen Stewart quickly died down. It did indeed manage to secure a Best Actress nomination for the leading lady, but just how likely is she to win? Although Stewart failed to score a BAFTA or SAG nomination, she still remains the most awarded woman in this year's critic circles, and while I’m not 100% sure she’ll be able to snag the Best Actress win, I believe it’s between her and Nicole Kidman—who’s nominated for the utterly dull Being the RicardosSpencer is now available to buy and rent on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play.

West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s second feature of the year took many by surprise when it debuted in theaters a few months ago. Gleaming from the magic of filmmaking and a classically familiar story, West Side Story’s Oscar chances grew exponentially. The film secured a Best Picture nomination along with some technical nominations. The standout nomination, though, is the film's Best Supporting Actress nomination for Ariana DeBose, which I feel sure she’ll win. West Side Story isn’t available on streaming services yet, but the film is still screening in theaters.

The Power of the Dog

This is one film whose chances haven’t fluctuated at all throughout awards season. Director Jane Campion was a sure choice for nomination, and I’m almost positive she is going to win the award for the night. The film received nominations in almost every major category, with Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay being its other most likely wins. While its chances in the Best Cinematography and Best Score categories aren’t finalized they ultimately should win, as Ari Wegner and Jonny Greenwood are standouts in their respective categories. I’m predicting a bit of a sweep for the film, and if there’s one movie this year to do it, The Power of the Dog is the most deserving. You can catch the film now on Netflix.


While director Denis Villenuve was snubbed in the Best Director category, I do think the sci-fi epic is going to snag something other than just a Best Visual Effects award. Best Production Design and Best Sound seem sure wins, and I believe Hans Zimmer is the strongest contender to win the award for Best Original Score. The Best Picture nomination is nice to see and a win would be stellar, but there’s no way a sci-fi opera is beating out a Western or a remake of a classic film. Dune is available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and Google Play.

The Worst Person in the World

In a perfect world where Oscar voters actually watched every film eligible for nominations, Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World would be anticipated to win Best Picture, and Renate Reinsve’s chances at getting a Best Actress nomination would be higher. Alas, we live in a cruel world. The film has slim chances at receiving wins in the two categories it was nominated for (Best International Feature and Best Original Screenplay). The film isn’t yet available for streaming, and unfortunately it received a muted theatrical release.

Licorice Pizza

One of the buzziest, discourse-heavy films of the year is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza. Starring Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, the movie is set in San Fernando Valley circa the ‘70s, and quickly picked up steam as a major awards contender upon its release. While Alana Haim didn’t find herself a first-time Best Actress nominee, the film was nominated in the standard major three categories. I don’t think it’ll win any of these, but it could upset critics with a surprise Best Picture win. While the movie isn’t yet available to stream, you can still watch it in theaters.

Drive My Car

Based on Haruki Myrakami’s story of the same name, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s newest film has quickly garnered a steady awards buzz. The Academy has no problem snubbing international features in broader categories, but this year saw a nice surprise. While I think the film only has a lock in the Best International Film category, Hamaguchi is the best bet for Best Director behind Jane Campion. Along with this, the odds are in Drive My Car’s favor to win Best Adapted Screenplay.


Every year there’s one film that seems to be an awards darling. This year, Belfast takes the spot, as the film received six Oscar nominations, with Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay among them. Unfortunately, I’m anticipating that the film could snag wins for both of these, and the big night will be extremely boring if it does. The film is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and Google Play.

Nightmare Alley

Gaining traction at a shockingly fast pace is Nightmare Alley, Guillermo Del Toro’s newest venture within his strange, cinematic world. While the film faltered at the box office, only making half of its $60-million budget, it seems Academy voters were more than pleased with what the film had to offer. The neo-noir film could pull off a surprise win in the Best Costume and Best Production Design categories, while its chances in winning the trophy for cinematography are also pretty high.