Oscars 2022: Precursors Go West

Okay, last bit of precursors before Oscar nominations.

What’s crazy is how the WGA and ACE won’t announce until after the Oscar nominations come out, so we’re fully flying blind on Screenplay and Editing. Arguably two of the most important categories for figuring out the rest of the nominees.

But we’ve got everything left past those, including some winners. So let’s get into it.

Critics Choice (Winners)

Best Picture

Avatar: The Way of Water

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

RRR

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

That’s fun. I have a really hard time believing this will win Best Picture, just knowing the Academy, but I’m honestly not opposed to it if that’s how we’re gonna do things. At this point, we’ve got The Fabelmans, Banshees of Inisherin and this as having won precursors. Let’s see what the PGA and BAFTA do. It’ll be interesting to see where things start heading.

Best Director

James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

Damien Chazelle, Babyon

Todd Field, Tár

Baz Lurhmann, Elvis

Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Sarah Polley, Women Talking

Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King

S.S. Rajamouli, RRR

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Winner: Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

I mean, yeah. That makes sense. I have zero faith the Academy would do this. They’ll rush to give it to Spielberg again before they do this, I feel. But again, I don’t think anyone saw this movie and didn’t think, “Damn, they directed the hell out of this. That was great.” So it’s hard to find fault with them as potential winners.

Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Winner: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Happy for him. Glad he got a win. I knew the Globes wouldn’t happen because of the history there, but I needed to see him win this just to think he had a legitimate shot at winning the Oscar. Because at this point it seems like it’s between him and Colin Farrell for the win. Since Nighy won’t happen. And Butler feels like a tall order unless the other two go way all in on him. At this point it seems like it could swing either way but it might be his to lose.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Margot Robbie, Babylon

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Winner: Cate Blanchett, Tár

She’s got two early big wins. She might be on her way to winning her third. I don’t see a lot of competition for her. SAG will probably give it to Michelle Yeoh. BAFTA will be interesting.

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

I am so thrilled for him. He might ride this all the way to an Oscar win. I don’t know if there’s anyone else who can built that kind of momentum at this point. This might be his.

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Jessie Buckley, Women Talking

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Janelle Monáe, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Winner: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

That’s two for her. Curious how this one’s gonna go, since there’s not really a strong push for anyone else to this point. She might win this on strength of who she is.

Best Young Actor/Actress

Frankie Corio, Aftersun

Jalyn Hill, Till

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Bella Ramsey, Catherine Called Birdy

Banks Repeta, Armageddon Time

Sadie Sink, The Whale

Winner: Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

There were a lot of great choices to be made here.

Best Acting Ensemble

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

The Woman King

Women Talking

Winner: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

That works. The cast was awesome here.

Best Original Screenplay

Aftersun

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Tár

Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Yeah, I think this was a good choice. I’d probably say Banshees over this for the Oscar, but you could do worse than this for sure.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Living

She Said

The Whale

Women Talking

Winner: Women Talking

Good film, good script, probably not what should win the Oscar. Then again… based on this category and what I’ve seen… it might. Curious to see what BAFTA and WGA do.

Best Editing

Avatar: The Way of Water

Babylon

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

I mean, yeah. This entire category has great stuff, but this is a great winner.

Best Cinematography

Avatar: The Way of Water

Babylon

Empire of Light

The Fabelmans

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Winner: Top Gun: Maverick

No complaints. Not 100% sure this would be my winner, but I can’t really call it a bad winner at all. So no notes.

Best Original Score

Babylon

The Batman

The Fabelmans

Pinocchio

Tár

Women Talking

Winner: Tár

Still working my way through scores. I’ve heard enough to know this wouldn’t be my #1, but I get it.

Best Original Song

“Carolina,” from Where the Crawdads Sing

“Ciao Papa,” from Pinocchio

“Hold My Hand,” from Top Gun: Maverick

“Lift Me Up,” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Naatu Naatu,” from RRR

“New Body Rhumba,” from White Noise

Winner: “Naatu Naatu,” from RRR

This sure seems like a pretty easy Oscar winner, doesn’t it?

Best Production Design

Avatar: The Way of Water

Babylon

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Winner: Babylon

Oh hell yeah. Great choice. There are great choices also here, but this, by itself, is a great choice.

Best Costume Design

Babylon

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

The Woman King

Winner: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

That’s a very BFCA choice. Not sure I’d pick it over some of these others, but it’s a good choice.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Babylon

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Whale

Winner: Elvis

Sure. All good choices here. I think others are better winners, but it’s not bad.

Best Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Everything Everywhere All at Once

RRR

Top Gun: Maverick

Winner: Avatar: The Way of Water

No shit.

Best Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Turning Red

Wendell & Wild

Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Absolutely the choice.

Best Foreign Language Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina, 1985

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Close

Decision to Leave

RRR

Winner: RRR

This was always gonna be their winner. Which makes this completely unhelpful for the Oscars.

Best Comedy

The Banshees of Inisherin

Bros

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Triangle of Sadness

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Winner: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Sure.

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Okay, now the actual precursors. Starting with the Annies:

Annie Awards

Best Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Wendell & Wild

The Sea Beast is an interesting inclusion. That one raises an eyebrow. Not way up, since I think the final category is pretty obvious, but that definitely raises that one’s chances in my eyes.

 

Best Indie Feature

Charlotte

Inu-Oh

Little Nicholas, Happy as Can Be

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

My Father’s Dragon

Yeah, there’s that other one. I think we know what this final category is gonna be. Especially with Lightyear missing out in that first category.

 

Best Direction

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

My Father’s Dragon

Turning Red

Wendell & Wild

Good for My Father’s Dragon. I’m happy that made it.

 

Best Writing

Eternal Spring

Inu-Oh

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Turning Red

Interesting Pinocchio didn’t make it, but I’m not overly surprised.

 

Best Editorial

Lightyear

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

All solid nominees.

 

Best Music

The Bad Guys

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Mad God

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Yeah, this all tracks. Clear winner here, though.

 

Best Character Animation

The Bad Guys (x2)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Turning Red (x2)

Cool (Pinocchio is the clear winner).

 

Best Character Design

The Bad Guys

Luck

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Wendell & Wild

Oh, this is fun. I’d probably give this to Wendell & Wild.

 

Best Production Design

The Bad Guys

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Mad God

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

All great choices.

 

Best FX

Avatar: The Way of Water

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Lightyear

Minions: The Rise of Gru

The Sea Beast

One of these things is not like the others.

Best Storyboarding

Minions: The Rise of Gru (x2)

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Strange World (x2)

K.

Best Voice Acting

David Bradley, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Gregory Mann, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Jenny Slate, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Wagner Moura, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Zaris-Angel Hator, The Sea Beast

Good stuff. Love the Wagner Moura inclusion.

For Animated Short purposes, The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse was nominated in Best Special Production, Best Direction (TV/Media), Best Editorial (TV/Media), Best Music (TV/Media), Best Production Design (TV/Media), Best Character Animation (TV/Media) and Best FX (TV/Media), Save Ralph was nominated in Best Sponsored and Black Slide, Ice Merchants and The Flying Sailor were nominated for Best Short Subject.

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And now, VES. Not that we really need the help. We know what’s winning the Oscar. This is purely about guessing the four that are gonna lose to it.

VES Nominations

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Avatar: The Way of Water

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Jurassic World: Dominion

The Batman

Top Gun: Maverick

Yeah, that’s three of my expected nominees. Fantastic Beasts and Jurassic World are curious. Not sure I believe they can make it, but they are curious.

 

Outstanding Supporting Effects

Death on the Nile

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

The Fabelmans

The Gray Man

The Pale Blue Eye

Thirteen Lives

Thirteen Lives. Interesting. That could sneak right on.

Outstanding Animated Visual Effects

The Bad Guys

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Mad God

The Sea Beast

Strange World

Turning Red

Great choices.

Outstanding Animated Character (Photoreal)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Kiri)

Beast (Lion)

Pinocchio (Honest John)

Slumberland (Pig)

Gee, I wonder what wins this.

Outstanding Animated Character (Animation)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Geppetto)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Pinocchio)

Strange World (Splat)

Turning Red (Panda Mei)

Good stuff.

Outstanding Created Environment (Photoreal)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Metkayina Village)

Avatar: The Way of Water (The Reef)

Jurassic World Dominion (Biosyn Valley)

Slumberland (The Wondrous Cuban Hotel Dream)

That village was stunning, though.

Outstanding Created Environment (Animation)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (In the Stomach of a Sea Monster)

Lightyear (T’Kani Prime Forest)

Strange World (The Windy Jungle)

The Sea Beast (The Hunting Ship)

Wendell & Wild (The Scream Fair)

Good stuff.

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography

ABBA: Voyage

Avatar: The Way of Water

Prehistoric Planet

The Batman (Rain Soaked Car Chase)

Avatar will win, but that car chase was dope.

Outstanding Model

Avatar: The Way of Water (The Sea Dragon)

The Sea Beast

Top Gun: Maverick (F-14 Tomcat)

Wendell & Wild (Dream Faire)

What a varied list.

Outstanding Effects Simulations (Photoreal)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Fire and Destruction)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Water Simulations)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (City Street Flooding)

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

This is Marvel’s only nomination. I truly wonder if they’re gonna stop nominating them. This is interesting.

Outstanding Effects Simulations (Animation)

Lightyear

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Strange World

Yup.

Outstanding Composting & Lighting

Avatar: The Way of Water (Landing Rockets Forest Destruction)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Water Integration)

The Batman (Rainy Freeway Chase)

Top Gun: Maverick

Good stuff here.

Outstanding Practical Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water (Current Machine and Wave Pool)

Black Adam (Robotic Flight)

Mad God

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Adrift; Middle Earth Storm)

Is this where practical effects are?

Emerging Technology Award

Avatar: The Way of Water (Depth Comp)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Facial System)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Water Toolset)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (3D Printed Metal Armature)

Turning Red (Profile Mover and CurveNets)

This is a cool category. I’m glad it’s here.

The most curious thing about this is how Doctor Strange got NOTHING and Black Panther got one nomination. That’s a big rebuke of Marvel and its effects (FINALLY). Here’s hoping the Academy can actually follow through on this. I have my doubts.

– – – – – – – – – –

– – – – – – – – – –

Okay, and now finally for the big one — BAFTA nominations. I saved them for the end because they’re the ones I’m gonna be paying the most attention to and the ones that will have the most bearing on Oscar nominations.

After the past two years, I’m curious to see what happens here. I’m thinking they swing back into being largely being as we’re used to. I can’t imagine they stay out on that limb they’ve been on. But we’ll see.

BAFTA Nominations

Best Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Tár

Yeah, that’s about what we’ve seen everywhere else. It’s interesting about the specifics (wasn’t expecting them to go all in on Elvis, but okay), but otherwise I think four of these we expected to see on the Best Picture list, and I think All Quiet was clearly trending toward a nomination as well. So this isn’t too crazy.

 

Outstanding British Film

Aftersun

The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian and Charles

Empire of Light

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Living

Matilda: The Musical

See How They Run

The Swimmers

The Wonder

I like how Best British Film has ten nominees but Best Film has five, and yet Best Film is the ‘big’ category. Guys, just go all in and be who you are. It’s okay.

Couple of notes — I love that Matilda got nominated. I also have mixed feelings about the nomination for The Swimmers. The story is great and the idea behind the film is great, but the film itself feels very much… whitewashed. And it feels kind of like a token nomination from them, which feels exactly like the kind of thing the film was compromised to avoid. So there’s a lot there. But I guess I’m at least happy the story gets a little more attention. Otherwise, the big note here is for Aftersun, which I thought they’d nominate for Best Film. And the lack of a nomination there, barring a Best Director nomination, is very telling.

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells)

Blue Jean (Georgia Oakley, Hélène Sifre)

Electric Malady (Marie Lidén)

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (Katy Brand)

Rebellion (Maia Kenworthy & Elena Sánchez Bellot)

Yeah, so this is where they rewarded it. I don’t think Wells is getting a Director nomination, which again goes to show why you can’t listen to all the hype at the start of awards season. People will try to convince you a million things will happen and then in the end, all that matters is what you can see.

Best Director

Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front

Gina Prince-Bythwood, The Woman King

Todd Field, Tár

Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Chan-wook Park, Decision to Leave

Berger got nominated. That convinces me of that one. That should get a Picture nomination for sure, and I think he’s an outside (if not serious) contender for that fifth Director spot as well. Three of the other four made it on here, less Spielberg, who does not get nominated at BAFTA nearly as much as he has elsewhere, so that’s not a surprising exclusion at all.

I’m thinking that final Director spot, based on how previous years have gone (with Pawel Pawlikowski, Thomas Vinterberg and Ryusuke Hamaguchi last year), will either be Berger, Chan-wook Park potentially or even Ruben Östlund for Triangle of Sadness. That feels like how this is gonna go, and you have to guess what’s the most likely one there.

Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Daryl McCormack, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

There’s your most likely category, plus a shout out for Daryl McCormack. We seem to be getting back to what you’d expect them to do, huh?

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Oh wow. They didn’t go fully off the board here. That’s most of who we’d expect, minus Michelle Williams. Which makes me wonder who’s getting left off this final Oscar category. Will it be Danielle Deadwyler or will Michelle Williams get left off? I’m thinking Deadwyler just based on the majority makeup of that voting body, but we’ll see.

 

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse

Albrect Schuch, All Quiet on the Western Front

Micheal Ward, Empire of Light

Gleeson, Keoghan, Quan. There’s the main three. And Redmayne I think just swept the precursors, so you gotta consider him a nominee too. So that just leaves it that final spot. Which… there are a couple of contenders there. So that’ll be an interesting to think through this weekend before we guess.

 

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Carey Mulligan, She Said

Bassett, Chau, Condon, Curtis. That’s gotta be 4/5. De Leon’s got all the right precursors to feel like a nominee, and Mulligan’s right there too. And Stephanie Hsu is nominally there as well (though I’m not holding my breath on them nominating her). Interesting year, where it’s mostly 4/5 on all the acting categories. There’s almost always one where it’s 3/5 and you have no idea.

 

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Tár

Triangle of Sadness

Thank god most of this category is obvious. Since we’re going in without the WGA. But 4/5 here are pretty certain, and mostly we have to guess that last nominee. And Triangle of Sadness sure does fit the profile of what it could be.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front

Living

The Quiet Girl

She Said

The Whale

The Quiet Girl. Wow. Sure seems like that might be the one to sneak on as a surprise International Feature contender. Otherwise, the other four have been largely everywhere on the precursor lists, so that’s not surprising. I’m very happy here, since I feel a lot better about having to guess this without the WGA.

 

Best Editing

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Top Gun: Maverick

Good stuff. All pretty much expected. As much as I’d like to have ACE, we all know how Editing usually goes for the Academy, so that only goes so far. But this is helpful to at least see where people are leaning.

 

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Elvis

Empire of Light

Top Gun: Maverick

Great stuff here. This might be your final category. I also love that Deakins is fully in John Williams territory. And you know what? He’s earned it.

 

Best Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Great stuff here. Don’t have full notes just yet, but I’m working on the scores.

 

Best Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front

Babylon

The Batman

Elvis

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Love that Pinocchio made it on. Love this category.

 

Best Costume Design

All Quiet on the Western Front

Amsterdam

Babylon

Elvis

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Amsterdam gets a token nomination. That’s hilarious. Love Mrs. Harris made it on here. Also, note the strong love for All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s nominated all over the place.

 

Best Make Up & Hair

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Elvis

Matilda The Musical

The Whale

Matilda again. Love that. Otherwise all the obvious stuff. All Quiet again. That’s gonna get a nice amount of nominations.

 

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar The Way of Water

Elvis

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Tár. Interesting. Otherwise the other four are all obvious. The only question is what they put in as #5.

 

Best Special Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Top Gun: Maverick

Yeah, that all tracks. Wonder what #5 will be for the Oscars. That’s the only intriguing part of this category this year.

 

Best Animated Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Turning Red

4/5. The obvious 4. What’s #5?

 

Best Film Not in the English Language

All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina, 1985

Corsage

Decision to Leave

The Quiet Girl

The Quiet Girl, coming on strong. Three of these are obvious, and I fully expect the last one to be something unexpected, as is always the case.

 

Best Documentary

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Fire of Love

Moonage Daydream

Navalny

These are the big ones I’m seeing everywhere. I fully expect Moonage Daydream to get left off, but the other four seem like locks based on these precursors.

 

Best Casting

Aftersun

All Quiet on the Western Front

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Triangle of Sadness

Cool.

Best British Short Animation

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Middle Watch

Your Mountain Is Waiting

There’s that obvious nominee again.

 

EE Rising Star Award

Aimee Lou Wood

Daryl McCormack

Emma Mackey

Naomi Ackie

Sheila Atim

Oh hey, they aren’t two years too late on any of these. Good for them.

– – – – – – – – –

Okay, done with precursors. Now I have to rush to watch all the last of these precursors and guess nominations on Monday. Good thing I’m not busy as shit this weekend (spoiler alert: I am). This’ll be fun.

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