In advance of tonight’s 95th Oscars (which will honor the films released in 2022), I present to you: (1) my predictions for the biggest awards of the night (Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor), including a discussion of the current betting odds in each of those categories; (2) a list of Oscar acting snubs and other noteworthy performances from 2022; and (3) my personal ballot for all categories in which I have seen each film/performance (14 of the 23 total categories, with a total of 91 of the 120 nominees and 86.67% of the non-short nominees).
Rather than releasing the list of my favorite films from 2022 with this post, I will publish it separately this week. So be on the lookout for that post, which will provide reviews of my 15 favorite movies of the year and include a complete ranking of all 89 films I saw from this year’s Oscars eligibility period. With that said, check out this post in greater detail below, and make sure to tune into the 95th Academy Awards tonight at 7:00 p.m. (CST) on ABC, live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Enjoy the show, film fans!
Who Could, Should, and Will Take Home Film’s Biggest Awards
Who Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front OR The Banshees of Inisherin OR Top Gun: Maverick
This year, the Best Picture category has a clear frontrunner: Everything Everywhere All at Once. However, if there’s a chance any film could score an upset, it is unclear which one would do it. All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Top Gun: Maverick are all tied at +1400 for the second-best odds.
Who Should Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
This is now one of my favorite movies of all time. Enough said.
Who Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
At -1500 frontrunner odds, the Daniels have already secured this award at the British Academy Film Awards, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and the Golden Globe Awards. A24 is hours away from securing its second Oscar win for Best Picture, after Moonlight won six years ago.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Who Could Win: Cate Blanchett
There is a clear two-horse race in this category, and either Michelle Yeoh or Cate Blanchett will take home the Academy Award. Blanchett won at the British Academy Film Awards, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and the Golden Globes (in the drama category). While Michelle Yeoh is a slight betting favorite, Blanchett is scoring +190 odds to win her third Oscar.
Who Should Win: Michelle Yeoh
This is simply a perfect movie, and one of its greatest strengths is its acting performances. The core in that department is Michelle Yeoh, who delivers one of the most exceptional performances of the year.
Who Will Win: Michelle Yeoh
I truly think this category could go either way, but in the end, with -275 betting odds, I’m taking Michelle Yeoh to land her first Oscar.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Who Could Win: Austin Butler
Another tight race this year is for Best Actor, where Brendan Fraser (-200) and Austin Butler (+150) will duke it out. Fraser is currently the frontrunner, but don’t count Butler out—his performance as Elvis Presley has already secured him awards at the British Academy Film Awards and the Golden Globe Awards (in the drama category).
Who Should Win: Colin Farrell
Although I really did enjoy both performances from Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser this year, if I had a vote, it would go to Colin Farrell for his stellar and profound work in The Banshees of Inisherin. Although Farrell won’t land the award (he’s currently getting third-best odds at +1400), he deserves it (in my opinion).
Who Will Win: Brendan Fraser
Talk about a comeback for the ages. Brendan Fraser was sublime in The Whale, and I really think the 54-year-old will leave the ceremony tonight with his first career Academy Award.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Who Could Win: Jamie Lee Curtis OR Angela Bassett OR Kerry Condon
The most wide-open race this year in an acting category is Best Supporting Actress, as there is no clear betting “favorite.” One of three performers will win out for the award—Jamie Lee Curtis (+120), Angela Bassett (+135), and Kerry Condon (+260). The actresses have split the awards this season, with Curtis winning at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Bassett taking home the prize at both the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globe Awards, and Condon landing a victory at the British Academy Film Awards.
Who Should Win: Stephanie Hsu
Despite the tight race among the top three in this category, my favorite performance came courtesy of 32-year-old performer Stephanie Hsu. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a beautifully wild tale of intergenerational trauma, and although Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan are the most impressive actors in the film, Hsu is very, very close behind. At +2000 odds, Hsu won’t win tonight, but that shouldn’t diminish her shine in any way.
Who Will Win: Angela Bassett
Again, this category is a toss-up, but I think Angela Bassett ultimately wins.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Who Could Win: Barry Keoghan OR Brendan Gleeson
This category is all but locked up, but just for fun, the two supporting actors in The Banshees of Inisherin are getting the next-best odds at +1400. I loved this film, and I loved both performances immensely.
Who Should Win: Ke Huy Quan OR Barry Keoghan
I simply cannot decide who I’d vote for if given the chance this year. On the one hand, Ke Huy Quan is absolutely legendary in Everything Everywhere All at Once. On the other hand, Barry Keoghan is perfect in Banshees. Either of these two performers would make a worthy winner tonight.
Who Will Win: Ke Huy Quan
After tonight, Ke Huy Quan will be etched into the history books, no longer known simply for playing Short Round in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Data in 1985’s The Goonies. At -4000 frontrunner odds, the only major award Quan didn’t land was the BAFTA, which went to Keoghan.
Snubs and Other Performances
Last year, I said the following: “If you think the nominees in the acting categories at the Academy Awards are always the five best from the previous year, you’re greatly mistaken.” That could not be truer this year. Here are my thoughts on some of the best performances of 2022, which should have landed an Oscar nomination:
Lead Actress: Not only did Mia Goth provide a wonderful performance in Ti West’s X this year, but she co-wrote and again starred in West’s prequel Pearl. In Pearl, Goth gives one of the single best performances from any actor in 2022. Further, I am stunned that Danielle Deadwyler was snubbed for her heart-wrenching performance in Till. My other favorite lead actress performances of 2022 were (alphabetically) Olivia Colman in Empire of Light, Rebecca Hall in Resurrection, Maika Monroe in Watcher, Florence Pugh in Don’t Worry Darling, Margot Robbie in Babylon, Taylor Russell in Bones and All, and Emma Thompson in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.
Lead Actor: Despite the polarizing critic reviews, I loved Babylon, and although the film features stellar performances from Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jovan Adepo, and Jean Smart, the breakthrough role was Manuel, played by Diego Calva—he delivered a lights-out performance. Another under-appreciated performance this year was Jeremy Pope in The Inspection, wherein Pope played the role of Ellis French, a gay Black man who endures a brutal experience at a Marines boot camp—the film is based on writer/director Elegance Britton’s real-life experience, and Pope played it masterfully. My other favorite lead actor performances of 2022 were (alphabetically) Christian Bale in Amsterdam, Nicolas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, David Earl in Brian and Charles, Caleb Landry Jones in Nitram, Felix Kammerer in All Quiet on the Western Front, Cooper Raiff in Cha Cha Real Smooth, Adam Sandler in Hustle, Alexander Skarsgård in The Northman, and Sebastian Stan in Fresh.
Supporting Actress: I loved Jordan Peele’s newest film Nope this year, and the standout performer was Keke Palmer—she absolutely brought this film to life. Further, although I am glad Paul Mescal was nominated for Best Actor for Aftersun, the greatest performance in that film comes from the young breakthrough actress Frankie Corio. She was truly brilliant. My other favorite supporting actress performances of 2022 were (alphabetically) Jessie Buckley in Women Talking, Claire Foy in Women Talking, Thuso Mbedu in The Woman King, Sadie Sink in The Whale, and Jean Smart in Babylon.
Supporting Actor: Two actors who definitely deserved more awards love this year were Mark Rylance, who portrayed quite possibly the creepiest film character of 2022 in Bones and All, and Micheal Ward, who was a revelation in an otherwise average film Empire of Light. My other favorite supporting actor performances of 2022 were (alphabetically) Jovan Adepo in Babylon, Sean Harris in The Stranger, Rory Kinnear in Men, Daryl McCormack in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Pedro Pascal in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Brad Pitt in Babylon, Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse, Seth Rogen in The Fabelmans, and Ben Whishaw in Women Talking.
My Personal Ballot for the 95th Academy Awards
- Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Top Gun: Maverick
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- The Banshees of Inisherin
- Triangle of Sadness
- The Fabelmans
- Women Talking
- Avatar: The Way of Water
- Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
- Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
- Ruben Östlund – Licorice Pizza
- Todd Field – Tár
Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
- Brendan Fraser – The Whale
- Austin Butler – Elvis
- Paul Mescal – Aftersun
- Bill Nighy – Living
Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Cate Blanchett – Tár
- Ana de Armas – Blonde
- Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
- Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
- Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
- Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
- Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
- Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Hong Chau – The Whale
- Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Best Original Screenplay
- Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
- The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh
- Triangle of Sadness – Ruben Östlund
- Tár – Todd Field
- The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Top Gun: Maverick – Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay); Peter Craig and Justin Marks (story); based on the film Top Gun (1986) written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.
- Living – Kazuo Ishiguro; based on the original motion picture screenplay Ikiru (1952) by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni
- Women Talking – Sarah Polley; based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Miriam Toews
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell; based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson; based on characters created by Johnson and the film Knives Out (2019)
Best Original Score
- Babylon – Justin Hurwitz
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Volker Bertelmann
- Everything Everywhere All at Once – Son Lux
- The Fabelmans – John Williams
- The Banshees of Inisherin – Carter Burwell
- Top Gun: Maverick – Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, and Mark Taylor
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, and Stefan Korte
- The Batman – Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray, and Andy Nelson
- Avatar: The Way of Water – Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, and Michael Hedges
- Elvis – David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, and Michael Keller
Best Production Design
- Babylon – Production Design: Florencia Martin; Set Decoration: Anthony Carlino
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper
- Elvis – Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn
- Avatar: The Way of Water – Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole
- The Fabelmans – Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
- Elvis – Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, and Aldo Signoretti
- The Whale – Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Anne Marie Bradley
- The Batman – Naomi Donne, Mike Marino, and Mike Fontaine
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Camille Friend and Joel Harlow
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová
Best Film Editing
- Everything Everywhere All at Once – Paul Rogers
- Top Gun: Maverick – Eddie Hamilton
- The Banshees of Inisherin – Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
- Elvis – Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond
- Tár – Monika Willi
Best Visual Effects
- Avatar: The Way of Water – Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White, and Dan Sudick
- Top Gun: Maverick – Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson, and Scott R. Fisher
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank, and Kamil Jafar
- The Batman – Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands, and Dominic Tuohy