The Academy Awards, or the Oscars, are the most prestigious creative awards in the film business in Hollywood. Within the membership of about 10,000 people, seventeen branches are represented: Members-at-large, actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentarians, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects, and writers.
In the post-pandemic era, the 2021 Oscars held in April were a roller-coaster of emotions. Over the course of three socially distanced hours, we witnessed Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) become the first woman of color to win Best Director, Frances McDormand howl at the moon, Yuh-Jung Youn flirt with Brad Pitt, and an absent Anthony Hopkins win Best Actor against the clear favorite, Chadwick Boseman. So, what could be in store for us in the year 2022? With plenty of blockbuster titles, powerful female characters, and some performances that will tug at your heartstrings, there is plenty to debate.
Several films that appeared to be slam dunks, failed to impress critics, or engage viewers. In contrast, others that critics widely panned seem to be doing extraordinarily well in the industry. The fact that hundreds of regional and national critics groups have named their judgments for the finest in film during the last year in the previous few weeks has added to the confusion, and their picks have veered quite a bit from what was thought to be this year’s Oscar narrative.
Because of the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Oscars were moved for the second year in succession. Instead of being held at the end of February, the awards will be held a month later, on March 27, 2022. The move also avoids scheduling conflicts with the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics, scheduled for mid-February.
The 94th Academy Awards will begin at 5 p.m. PT on March 27. The specific format of the 2022 Oscars has yet to be determined, but the Academy has revealed that Emmy winner Glenn Weiss will direct the show for the seventh year in a row. In addition, after three years of hostless ceremonies it was revealed yesterday that Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes will be this year’s emcees.
The Oscars will be held live and in–person in Los Angeles at the Dolby Theatre, reverting to their pre-pandemic form, except for eased eligibility criteria that allow films to bypass theatres and launch on streaming sites. Previously, Academy rules required that a film be shown for at least seven days in a commercial theatre in Los Angeles, with at least three screenings every day.
The build-up to the Academy Awards has become a notoriously long event. Campaigning often starts in earnest in the fall, and dozens of award shows run up to the big night from December onward. Nevertheless, there is usually a correlation between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, so that’s the best place to start if we look for potential Academy Award winners. The 79th Golden Globes were dominated by Netflix’s dark western The Power of The Dog, following an oddly quiet online event with no celebrity visitors. The film took home three awards during the ceremony, including best picture drama, best director, and best supporting actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Belfast and The Power of the Dog are set to compete for Best Picture, with King Richard, Dune, and West Side Story following closely behind. Meanwhile, the top Best Director contenders are Jane Campion and Kenneth Branagh with Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Steven Spielberg, and Paul Thomas Anderson behind them.
Will Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch are the leading competitors for Best Actor, while Olivia Colman and Nicole Kidman are likely to battle it out for Best Actress.
Top Best Supporting Actress contenders include Kirsten Dunst, Ariana DeBose, as well as Aunjanue Ellis, while Best Supporting Actor contenders include Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ciarán Hinds, and Troy Kotsur. Then there’s Best International Feature, which could go to Drive My Car, Flee or The Worst Person in the World.