We are a month and a half away from the biggest night in TV and film as the 94th Academy Awards will premiere live Sunday, March 27. The 2022 Oscars will return to its original venue at The Dolby Theatre and will be produced by Will Packer (Girls Trip, Think Like a Man), which will be his first year involved.
It seems we may need to bring back #OscarsSoWhite as many Black films and TV series were left off of this year’s list. What happened to The Harder They Fall, Passing, Swan Song? Many actors like Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and Jonathan Majors were not mentioned despite many nods from critics for their performances. And can we talk about why the Power series is not nominated after giving us top-tier television?
Nothing more has to even be said because you already know what’s going on.
While social media puts in their bid and we share who we would like to see on stage hosting the celebration, it all comes down to who is poised to take home that cherished golden figurine.
Looks like while we wait and see, we’ll share our predictions on who is likely to hit the afterparties with their own Academy Award of Merit.
With that said, see the full list of nominees here and underneath you can read who BET.com thinks will be walking away victorious come March 27.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)
Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick … Boom!)
Will Smith (King Richard)
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)
Prediction: Will Smith
This was a tough decision because both Will Smith and Denzel Washington shined in their respective films, but we may have to go with the Fresh Prince on this one. Smith picked up a victory at this year’s Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, which foreshadows an automatic victory when the Oscars come around.
Believe it or not, that was the 53-year-old’s first time winning an award of such prestige and it will be his first Academy Award if he walks away victorious. Let’s see if the Ali actor can give us a 2-peat.
Best Supporting Actress
Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)
Judy Dench (Belfast)
Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)
Prediction: Aunjanue Ellis
It’s her time, and her time is now. Ellis has been delivering screen grabbing performances and has put in the work since the ‘90s. She played Mattie Moss Clark in the Lifetime television biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel, and has caught the media by storm ever since. In the film King Richard, she portrays Oracene Price, the mother of Venus and Serena Williams, playing opposite of Will Smith who portrays the titular character.
The infectious chemistry between the two pulled up so much character depth, it rightfully earned Ellis a nomination. She recently appeared on CBS Good Morning and when asked how she would feel being nominated, her response was “I’m so excited to be a part of something that gives us a chance to give Miss Oracene Price her flowers.” Well, on March 27, you may also be able to give her a win.
Best Original Score
Don’t Look Up, Nicholas Britell
Dune, Hans Zimmer
Encanto, Germaine Franco
Parallel Mothers, Alberto Iglesias
The Power of the Dog, Jonny Greenwood
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” — or we just may if Encanto by Germaine Franco can pick up the win for Best Original Score. The film follows a Colombian family who receives magical gifts after a “miracle” that helps them serve the people in their community, “the Encanto.” From the music to the characters, the movie delivered in so many ways.
Social media continues to sing the film’s praises, from reciting song lyrics in multiple memes to the continued conversation since the film premiered on Nov. 24. Although the original song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” unfortunately wasn’t nominated, this win will make up for a missed opportunity.
Best Original Song
“Be Alive” (King Richard), Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Dixson
“Dos Oruguitas” (Encanto), Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down to Joy” (Belfast), Van Morrison
“No Time to Die” (No Time to Die), Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell
“Somehow You Do” (Four Good Days), Diane Warren
Prediction: “Be Alive”
Beyoncé’s feel-good track is the essence of what the film is about. You feel uplifted with every refrain and riff, buoyed in knowing that no matter who tries to tilt your crown, you should stand tall, chin up, and show your haters what you’re made of. While “Spirit” was shortlisted in 2020, the Academy will make up for it and give Mrs. Knowles-Carter the victory that is overdue.
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
Prediction: King Richard
The storytelling in the film was phenomenal. While it covered how Serena and Venus Williams rose to stardom, to see how dedicated their father Richard Williams was to train his daughters — pushing them to be powerful and confident — is the full circle story we needed to see.
Hollywood has been praising both Smith and Ellis’s performances in the film, and while there’s some steep competition, King Richard may be the movie that racks up a few wins during the ceremony.
Best Animated Feature Film
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon
This one seems like a no-brainer. The film has already been nominated for 60 awards, including a Critics Choice Award. This is already a great sign the movie is a top contender to score some big wins this year. And the way the media, as well as social media, raved about the movie, it would be a shock to see the film not walk away with the victory.
The 94th annual Academy Awards will air live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.
Ty Cole is a New York-based entertainment reporter and writer for BET.com who covers pop culture, music, and lifestyle. Follow his latest musings on Twitter @IamTyCole.