The 94th Academy Award nominees were announced earlier this week, and DAMN was it packed with shockers, snubs, and long-shot nominations. “The Power of the Dog” leads the pack with 12 nominations, while early frontrunners like “West Side Story” and “Being the Ricardos” fell short. I created my prediction lists very early on, before the official start of awards season. So, let’s revisit my predictions and see how they faired in the major categories now that the nominees have been announced.
Best Supporting Actress – 3 out of 5 Correct
Starting with the Best Supporting Actress category, my clear ‘heart’ picks were obviously absent. I accurately predicted Jessie Buckley, Ariana DeBose, and Kirsten Dunst. Buckley was a long shot early on in the predictions, and seeing as how she was absent from all of the lead in awards, her inclusion is a pleasant surprise and a gamble that paid off. I will give myself some half points, since I picked the rest of the nominees in my honorable mentions. It was pretty surprising to see Judy Dench make it over Catrine Balfe, but I had both of them as clear short list front runners, and even pegged Aunjanue Ellis as a likely contender. I admittedly made some bold predictions that didn’t really take any logic into account, but even with all of that I think I did pretty well.
Best Support Actor – 1 out of 5 Correct
Looking at my predictions, I think this entire section was picked with my heart. It was more of a wish list than any actual researched predictions, so I guess I’ll take the L here. I think the big surprises was the absence of Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and Mike Faist, three contenders that gained some steam as the award season carried on. I did add both nominees of JK Simmons and Ciarán Hinds in my honorable mentions, and admitted that they were far more likely than picks of say, Vincent London for “Titane.” I will also gladly take another L with the absence of Jared Leto for “House of Gucci.” The Academy gets a lot wrong, but this time they nailed it with exclusion and I will gladly fail the entire category knowing that his name would be called in March.
Best Actress – 3 out of 5 Correct
It is pretty wild that I picked the award long shot of Kristen Stewart to make it but someone missed the Academy snubbing Rachel Zegler. She was a very early shoe in who’s steam began to fall by the wayside as “West Side Story” as a whole fell further and further down the list of contenders. Likewise, Stewart for “Spencer” was completely shut out from every single major lead up awards and somehow managed to snag the biggest nomination so far. Another major absence that I was almost 100% confident in: Lady Gaga for “House of Gucci.” Of all the possible misses, this one was NOT it, and even though I put Jessica Chastain in my Honorable Mentions, I never could’ve predicted she would take Gaga’s spot. Penelope Cruz for “Parallel Mothers” wasn’t even on my radar at the time, so I raise my hand to that, I completely missed that one.
Best Actor – 4 out 5 Correct
Ok, I did REALLY well here. The only one I missed was the only heart pick I put on the list in Peter Dinklage for “Cyrano.” In my defense, my only dark horse prediction in any category ended up making the list, with Javier Bardem for “Being the Ricardos” snagging that 5th spot. My heart just couldn’t leave out Dinklage even though it became more and more clear that not one single voter actually watched the film. I’m going to give myself that half point for the dark horse call and say I actually went 4.5 out of 5 in the Best Actor category. As much as I want Garfield to take this one, I think this is Will Smith’s category to lose.
Best Director – 4 out of 5 Correct
Not gonna lie, I though this was going to be the one category I went 5 for 5 in. I had Ryûsuke Hamaguchi for “Drive my Car” as a 6th contender, but I never thought he would not only snag the nomination but snag it from Denise Villeneuve for “Dune.” I still haven’t processed how big of an upset this is. Not that Hamaguchi doesn’t deserve the nod and I’m not thrilled that he made the list, just that Villenueve was easily one of the safest bets you could’ve made in the Director Category. He dominated every single lead in list, and didn’t miss the entire award season. His absence is deafening, and this is the most surprising L of the entire predictions.
Best Picture – 8 out of 10 Correct
Lastly, we come to easily the hardest category to predict well. Batting 80% so early on in the award season is pretty damn good, and I did include the two missed prediction in my honorable mentions. The strength of “Coda” can’t be denied, and while I had a feeling it would sneak its way into the list, I was pretty surprised it actually did it. More surprising is the absence of “Being the Ricardos.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy it didn’t make it, but never in a million years would I have predicted that “Drive My Car” would oust such a pandering, Academy lover film. Personally, I would trade out “Nightmare Alley” for “Tick, Tick…Boom!” which made my honorable mentions and (in my opinion) is a much better film overall.
When all is said and done and all the correct predictions in the categories are tallied, I finished with a 65% accuracy rate. Considering how early I made this predictions and the fact that didn’t update them regardless of what award nominees came out, that’s pretty damn good. I also purposefully included plenty of heart picks that I knew full well wouldn’t actually get nominated, and included almost every single nominee in my Honorable Mentions or Short List Contenders.
Now here comes the hard part: Predicting the Winners! I think we’ll save that for another time. The 94th Annual Academy Awards Oscars ceremony will take place on March 27th, 2022.