Seeding the Academy Award hopefuls

by | Mar 20, 2022 | Arts and Entertainment | 0 comments

So many movies to see — and so little time remains until the March 27 Academy Awards ceremony. How can you best allocate your time to give yourself the best shot at being able to stand around the office watercooler on Monday, March 28 (yeah, I know — nobody stands around watercoolers at the office anymore, but you know what I mean) and bragging that you’ve already seen most of the big winners?

I’m here to help. Here’s the movies you need to see before the ceremony, and the order in which you should see them. In general, the idea here is that the deeper you go on the list, the odds increase that you’ll see as many Oscar-winners as possible. For example, if you cram in the first six titles on this list this week, you’ll see movies that could collect 13 Oscars between them. (As an aside, these are not my official Oscar predictions; I’ll have those posted on my site sometime Friday, which should give you a chance to eyeball my picks and decide how to beat me in my annual Oscar contest.)

  1. “The Power of the Dog.” Jane Campion’s meditation on toxic masculinity as viewed through the lens of early 20th century Montana, still is the favorite to win best picture, although “CODA” appears to be closing the gap. Campion is the heavy favorite to win director, and the film appears to have a good shot for adapted screenplay, although “CODA” may be closing the gap there as well. The movie is playing at the Darkside and on Netflix.
  2. “CODA” has emerged as the main challenger to “Power of the Dog” — and Troy Kotsure appears to be a lock for supporting actor. The movie is streaming on Apple TV+, and it’s not completely out of the question that it could sneak into a mid-valley theater as the week goes on.
  3. “King Richard.” Will Smith is the heavy favorite to win best actor. The movie is available on demand and returns to HBO Max on March 24.
  4. “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Jessica Chastain has opened up a lead in what appeared to be a very close best actress race. The movie is streaming on HBO Max. The movie is also heavily favored for the makeup and hairstyling Oscar.
  5. “West Side Story.” Ariana DeBose appears to be the favorite for supporting actress. The movie is streaming on HBO Max and Disney+.
  6. “Dune” could be the big winner of the night in terms of total awards: The movie is favored to win for cinematography, editing, visual effects, sound, production design and for Hans Zimmer’s spectacular score — that would be six Oscars. The movie has returned to HBO Max.
  7. “Licorice Pizza” has emerged as the front-runner for the original screenplay Oscar. The movie is playing at the Darkside and is available on demand.
  8. “Encanto” appears to have opened up an edge for animated movie, although “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” or “Flee” could surprise. “Encanto” is streaming on Disney+. “Flee,” which is a remarkable work, is on Hulu. “The Mitchells” is on Netflix. “Encanto” also could prevail in what could be the closest race of the night, best song, for “Dos Oruguitas.”
  9. “Summer of Soul.” QuestLove’s documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival has been the front-runner in the documentary category since the start, but the category has turned out to be more competitive than expected. The movie is streaming on Hulu.
  10. “Drive My Car.” The Japanese flick is the favorite for foreign language film. The movie is streaming on HBO Max.
  11. “Cruella” has a big edge now for the costume-design Oscar. It’s available on Disney+.
  12. “No Time to Die.” If “Dos Oruguitas” doesn’t win for best song, odds are now that the winner will be Billie Eilish’s so-so title track from the Bond film. The movie is available on DVD and video on demand.
  13. “Belfast.” Kenneth Branagh’s semiautobiographical story about a youth growing up in Northern Island during the Troubles appears to be fading in the Oscar hunt and now may go home empty-handed. The same goes for “Nightmare Alley” and “Don’t Look Up.” “Belfast” is available on demand. “Nightmare Alley” is streaming on HBO Max and Hulu. “Don’t Look Up” is streaming on Netflix.


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