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Two Shot: Deadline’s Experts Predict Who Will Win At The Oscars – And Who Should

By Pete Hammond, Todd McCarthy

Oscar Predictions: Deadline's Experts On Who Will Win Sunday - And Who Should

Editor’s note: Deadline presents the 14th episode of Two Shot, a video series in which Pete Hammond and Todd McCarthy tackle the artistry of films. Each has reviewed and written about the craft for decades and built a remarkable breadth of knowledge of films past and present. What we hoped for when we asked them to do this was a concise, mature and thoughtful conversation comparable to what we saw from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.

Pre-Oscars Awards Analysis: ‘CODA’s Winning Weekend Turns Best Picture Into A Horse Race, But How Reliable Are The Guilds To A Global Academy?

Last week we talked about what won Oscars in the past that maybe coulda/shoulda gone to other contenders in the same year. Of course that was all in hindsight. In today’s Two Shot we look forward and make some predictions as to what we predict will win in the major and other select categories, and in some cases even offer up, for various reasons, what we think would be nice to see win on Sunday.

The Best Picture race clearly has tightened in recent days, and with Academy ballots in the hands of PricewaterhouseCoopoers, it really is anyone’s guess at this point what will be in those envelopes, though we can give you a pretty good idea in certain acting categories.

The Long Road To Oscar 2022: The Journey Of Each Best Picture Nominee

Oscar composite
Best Picture nominees, clockwise from top left, ‘Belfast,’ ‘CODA,’ ‘Don’t Look Up,’ ‘Drive My Car,’ ‘Dune,’ ‘King Richard,’ Licorice Pizza,’ ‘Nightmare Alley,’Power of the Dog’ and ‘West Side Story’ Studios

Best Picture is a different animal, and the momentum has been shifting all over the place. This has been a wild ride and might turn out to be a year where conventional wisdom is thrown out the window.

On the surface, Netflix’s The Power of the Dog — with a towering 12 Oscar nominations and wins from BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globes and DGA, among many others — would seem to be a certain front-runner, just as Belfast had that distinction after winning the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award and more in the first part of the season. But CODA, which because of its Sundance 2021 debut was the first of the 10 nominees to be seen (and picked up by Apple for a record $25 million) really has been surging as a late bloomer, winning three of the four major guild awards (SAG, PGA, WGA) to look pretty formidable in the stretch as it counts on AMPAS’ ranked-choice voting system for Best Picture to put it over the top. It defies all conventional wisdom with only three Oscar nominations, none in the crafts or for directing, among other accepted obstacles. It also was the earliest of the 10 nominees to be released, all the way back on August 13.

The rest of the films were all in the fall, considered a more Oscar-friendly time to open your contenders.

No matter what happens, though, it appears there is a very good chance a streamer — Netflix or Apple — finally will take home the Academy Award for Best Picture, an earth-shaking development if it happens. Both Netflix and Apple have certainly conducted massive campaigns, expertly executed, but then so have the other contenders. So now we can only wait for the answers, that is unless you don’t want to wait by checking out this video to see where we see the winds blowing. This is one of those years that still might have a surprise or two up its sleeve.

Pre-Oscars Awards Analysis: ‘CODA’s Winning Weekend Turns Best Picture Into A Horse Race, But How Reliable Are The Guilds To A Global Academy?

Watch this week’s conversation in the video above, and be sure to join us next week post-Oscars for the Two Shot post mortem on a very long season.

Hammond has been Deadline’s Awards Columnist for the past decade, covering what now seemingly is the year-round Oscar and Emmy seasons. He is also Deadline’s Chief Film Critic, having previously reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, and Maxim, as well as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, for which he was a contributing editor. In addition to writing, Hammond also hosts KCET Cinema Series and the station’s weekly series Must See Movies.

McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics associations, and he won an Emmy for writing the documentary Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He also directed the documentaries Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient and Forever Hollywood.

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