Don’t Look Up (or Scroll Down)… It’s Another Guy Predicting the Oscar Nominations

The Oscars released their shortlist of nominees in a bunch of categories last month, and it’s already disappointed me. Don’t look for Luca for Best Original Score. Don’t look for “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto or “Surface Pressure” either. And Oscar nods usually drop the ball well beyond animated flicks. So, on Tuesday morning expect the expected. Sorry to Debbie Downer it here so I’ll just try to bright side it for the six people who will find themselves to this article.

Dune is going to get the most nominations — that I know. Why? Because I’m an insider. Not really, but it checks all the right boxes for all the technical awards as well as Best Picture and Director. It’s this year’s Fury Road. What else do I know? Little but I’ve been predicting the Oscars since I was 12 so here I go, here I go, here I go again as Salt N Peppa used to say… Expect some surprises.

Best Film
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of The Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Surprise Nominee: If any movie is going to displace Nightmare Alley or Macbeth it’s Drive My Car or even more likely Tick, Tick…Boom!

Best Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch — The Power of the Dog
Peter Dinklage — Cyrano
Andrew Garfield — Tick, Tick…Boom!
Will Smith — King Richard
Denzel Washington — The Tragedy of Macbeth

Surprise Nominee: I’m going out on a limb without consequences of any kind thinking Dinklage is going to get Javier Bardem’s Being the Ricardos slot but it may very well be the latter here. You can never count out Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Swan Song) or Academy darling Leonardo DiCaprio, who is utterly brilliant and understated in Don’t Look Up.

Best Actress
Lady Gaga — House of Gucci
Olivia Colman — The Lost Daughter
Jennifer Hudson — Respect
Nicole Kidman — Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart — Spencer

Surprise Nominee:
Stewart was the favorite early on and then disappeared. I’m going to say she somehow slides back in and displaces Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Don’t count out Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza) or Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) here either. It feels like centuries since Respect came out, and frankly I didn’t love that movie so I hope Zegler nabs the role for a far better performance.

Best Supporting Actor
Bradley Cooper — Licorice Pizza
Mike Faist — West Side Story
Ciaran Hinds — Belfast
Troy Kotsur — Coda
Kodi Smit-McPhee — The Power of the Dog

Surprise Nominee: Few are picking Faist but I think his star-making performance is epic and I don’t use that word lightly. I just can’t see Jared Leto earning for House of Gucci for rocking an Italian accent and dressing up like Dennis Franz. A more likely actor to land Faist’s position? Smit-McPhee’s co-star Jesse Plemons.

Best Supporting Actress
Caitriona Balfe — Belfast
Ariana Debose — West Side Story
Kirsten Dunst — The Power of the Dog
Kathryn Hunter — The Tragedy of Macbeth
Aunjanue Ellis — King Richard

Surprise Nominee: I’m going to say Dunst will be rewarded here but there’s a lot of competition. It’s arguably the best category. There’s Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter, Ann Dowd for Mass, and Ruth Negga for Passing who could easily slide in. Rita Moreno could make history for West Side Story as well. Something tells me Hunter will be the ultimate surprise nod here for her scene-stealing performance but don’t be surprised if she’s left off and SAG nominee Negga slides right in.

Best Director
Kenneth Branagh — Belfast
Jane Campion — The Power of the Dog
Paul Thomas Anderson — Licorice Pizza
Denis Villeneuve — Dune
Steven Spielberg — West Side Story

Surprise Nominee: I’m not sold that Anderson is going to make the cut this year. I really want to put Ryusuke Hamaguchi in his spot for Drive My Car but then I realize that I have no repercussions if I don’t. Lucky me. It’s also possible Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter) slides in but she’s a shoo-in for a screenplay nod so count on her more likely there.

Best Original Screenplay:
Being the Ricardos
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza

Best Adapted Screenplay
Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog



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Jon Chattman

He once enjoyed a Reuben sandwich with Randy “Macho Man” Savage, has written eight books, hosts his own music series, and is a proud dad. He can’t ride a bike.