The 2022 Oscars season was mostly a quiet old affair, with suave campaigns and category leaders that, by and large, made sense. But now, just before the last bend: absolute chaos. For months, three films deemed every Oscar analyst and fortune teller worth watching. Kenneth Branagh’s bittersweet cine-memoir Belfast and Jane Campion’s enchantingly spiky psycho-western The Power of the Dog would certainly be battling for the better-known trophies, while Denis Villeneuve’s sprawling sci-fi adaptation Dune trotted around behind them, reaping the tech gongs.
But then, on March 13th, came the Baftas – and around them the Guild Awards, presented by the Hollywood-based trade associations and unions representing directors, actors, writers, producers and cinematographers. And the picture these precursor ceremonies painted was very different from what many of us expected.
As a critic, it was annoying; an absolute eye-catcher as a spectator. The central shock was the 11-hour surge of CODA, Sian Heder’s Apple-backed coming-of-age drama about a hearing teenager and her eccentric deaf parents. (The title is an acronym: child of deaf adult.) Apple bought CODA from Sundance last year for $25 million — a record sale for the festival and the cause of many raised eyebrows among those of us who weren’t convinced by its contrived and cliche storytelling, its cartoonish characterization, and its freshly swept mid-noughties Disney Channel aesthetic.
But it paid off. The giant tech giant successfully positioned its candidate as both a brave underdog and a populist choice. Now Apple may be on the verge of becoming the first streaming company to win the Best Picture award, beating poor old Netflix on its first try. In fact, there are whispers from a sizeable “Never Netflix” faction among Academy members who have taken venomous scandal at the company’s disruption of Hollywood’s operations over the past nine years.
This is certainly a possible explanation for The Power of the Dog’s odd lack of traction in the drama and craft categories of other ceremonies. But it doesn’t explain the disappearance of Belfast – the Toronto Audience Award winner and an obvious choice for traditionalists. Made especially for cinemas, artful and personal but accessible, by a widely admired director and a commercial hit: what’s not to like? Still, Branagh’s chances could still improve – or Don’t Look Up could still pull off the sneaking victory that had to be briefly predicted in January. Here, with the usual disclaimers, we expect the 2022 Oscars to expire…
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2022/03/27/oscars-predictions-2022-who-will-win-best-film-actor/ who will win, who should win