On Sunday night the 94th Academy Awards will take place from 8 to 11 p.m EST. Three of Lumiantion’s staff members, Jayme, Drew and Camryn, have made their picks below. Check back next week to see how they did.
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”)
Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”)
Andrew Garfield (“tick, tick…BOOM!”)
Will Smith (“King Richard”)
Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”)
Jayme: Will Smith
The five nominees for this category are strong contenders for Best Actor, but Will Smith is the frontrunner for this year’s award show for his role in “King Richard.” Smith takes the screen as Richard Williams with a mesmerizing performance that has already won him multiple awards.
Drew: Andrew Garfield
I’ve heard non-stop about how accurately Jonathan Larson’s mannerisms are mimicked by Garfield, and that’s an impressive feat. A lot of people say this role solidified their opinion of him as an actor, so I could definitely see him winning this.
Camryn: Will Smith
Will Smith will likely take this one for “King Richard”. Smith’s performance was remarkable and reminded viewers of why he is such a beloved actor.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”)
Troy Kotsur (“CODA”)
Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”)
J. K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”)
Jayme: Troy Kotsur
Kotsur has already swept multiple awards for his role in “CODA.” I predict he’ll be taking home the award for this category once again.
Drew: Troy Kotsur
Kotsur delivers an extremely emotional performance, and these are the types of performances that win awards. I think he has the most talk around his character of the nominees.
Camryn: Kodi Smit-McPhee
Smit-McPhee might be the unlikely winner here. The young actor was an ideal choice for an intellectual teen with a tortured twist. Despite being only 25 years old, Smit-McFee could take this one for such a standout role.
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)
Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”)
Penélope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”)
Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”)
Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”)
Jayme: Olivia Colman
Jessica Chastain is in the lead as the predicted winner for this category, but fan-favorite Olivia Colman has drawn eyes thanks to her breathtaking performance in “The Lost Daughter.” I have a feeling this category is going to have the audience on the edge of their seats.
Drew: Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain really transformed for her role and got into the mindset of the character. This kind of acting I find most impressive and think she deserves the award. It seems that the majority of critics feel the same way.
Camryn: Jessica Chastain
Though I am tempted to choose Stewart for her portrayal of Princess Diana, I have to go with Jessica Chastain’s depiction of Tammy Faye. Unlike the entirety of Stewart’s performance, Chastain truly had me transported into a new world in which she is Tammy Faye herself. Her makeup and costume surely helped; however, her accent and acting ability really shined in this role.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”)
Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)
Judi Dench (“Belfast”)
Kristen Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)
Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)
Jayme: Ariana DeBose
Anyone who has seen “West Side Story” knows that DeBose was a highlight of the film. She deserves the award for lighting up the screen with her performance in the already bright and colorful film.
Drew: Ariana DeBose
DeBose’s performance was without a doubt one of the most memorable parts of “West Side Story” and I personally felt like she did a better job than the two leading roles.
Camryn: Ariana DeBose
Although “West Side Story” was not entirely well-received, DeBose’s performance in the film surely was. The Broadway star’s talent of singing, dancing and acting all came together so well.
Animated Feature Film
“The Mitchells vs. The Machines”
“Raya and the Last Dragon”
All I got to say is that we don’t talk about Bruno. Disney’s latest animated feature is a fan favorite for all ages for its lovable characters, memorable music, and message about the importance of family and cultural identity.
“Encanto” was a very straightforward, fun movie. The animation throughout was beautiful, and the music was very catchy. I feel it achieved everything it wanted to achieve and deserves the praise and attention it has gotten.
I’m imagining that “Encanto” probably has this in the bag just because of its extreme popularity. However, “Flee” was so original and powerful that I think that it is the true winner for this category, even if it does not take home the trophy here.
“Dune” – Greig Fraser
“Nightmare Alley” – Dan Lausten
“The Power of the Dog” – Ari Wegner
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” – Bruno Delbonnel
“West Side Story” – Janusz Kaminski
Jayme: “The Power of the Dog”
This is another category with stiff competition. But I’m rooting for Ari Wagner for her work on “The Power of the Dog.” If she wins she will be the first woman in her role to ever take home the award, and it would be well deserved.
“Dune” is a film that should be seen in theaters to properly appreciate the incredible visuals. The accompanying cinematography added so much to the worldbuilding and story and did an incredible job drawing me into the universe.
Camryn: “Nightmare Alley”
Although “Nightmare Alley” took place over many different settings the camera work did not make it feel choppy or not unified. In fact, the movie flowed so well in a large part because of the cinematography. I would be surprised if this one did not win here.
“Cruella” – Jenny Beavan
“Cyrano” – Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
“Dune” – Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
“Nightmare Alley” – Luis Sequeira
“West Side Story” – Paul Tazewell
“Cruella” was just as much about the costumes as it was the story in a film that brings to life the origin of one of Disney’s most iconic villains. I mean, come on, it’s set in the fashion industry after all.
In any movie with a fictional world, you can typically expect the costumes to be more imaginative, and “Dune” delivered with some sleek yet almost outfits and gadgets that managed to seem futuristic yet rudimentary in accordance with the setting.
The way that “Dune” used costume design to create a well-crafted science fiction universe should earn them this Oscar.
“Belfast” – Kenneth Branagh
“Drive My Car” – Ryusuke Hamaguchi
“Licorice Pizza” – Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Power of the Dog” – Jane Campion
“West Side Story” – Steven Spielberg
Jayme: Jane Campion
While there are many big names in this category, I feel that Jane Campion is a big front-runner to take home the award for her work on “The Power of the Dog.” I think it would be surprising if she doesn’t.
Drew: Paul Thomas Anderson
Considering this was the breakout role for both of the lead actors, I can acknowledge that Paul Thomas Anderson did a great job utilizing them despite not being particularly a big fan of the film.
Camryn: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
This will hopefully take this one with ease. Since this movie is probably too artsy for the best picture category, I’m betting that it can get at least some of the recognition that it deserves by winning best directing.
“Don’t Look Up”
“Drive My Car”
“The Power of the Dog”
“West Side Story”
Jayme: “The Power of the Dog”
This category took a lot of debate for me. Across the board, these films are all deserving of Best Picture, from the inspiring stories told in “King Richard” and “CODA” to the visually pleasing “Dune” and “West Side Story.” In the end, I believe the vicious western “The Power of the Dog” will be the one to take home the award, but I also think “CODA” has a chance to steal the win.
Drew: “The Power of the Dog”
Pretty much everyone agrees that this movie is the most likely to win the Oscar, and understandably so. Coming-of-age stories are very appealing to a lot of people (including myself) and the setting and time period are realized magnificently. My favorite movie of the year was personally “Pig”, but it wasn’t nominated.
Camryn: “The Power of the Dog”
“The Power of the Dog” is likely to win this one. It is somehow a coming-of-age story for the young and older on the gorgeous backdrop of a 1925 Montana. The Netflix original was so masterful that I hope it takes the big win of the night.