The Recs Oscar Picks 2022

It’s Hollywood’s big night of the year as the biggest stars gather hoping to win one of those coveted golden statuettes. The Recs looks at the runners and riders and picks our own winners.

The members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have cast their votes. Tonight the envelopes will be opened and the winners will be revealed – well unless Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty run amok. ​That means it’s time for The Recs to make our predictions – get ready for that egg on our face – and choose our winners. 

Best Actor

If we are being brutally honest, it isn’t the strongest line-up for Best Actor this year. 
Javier Bardem (a European) playing the Cuban-American Desi Arnaz in Being The Ricardos won’t have gone down without controversy with the voters, so we can rule him out. 
Although a popular actor Denzel Washington revealed “I hadn’t read or seen Macbeth” and my goodness, it shows. A bland performance lacking insight so no.
Andrew Garfield was an absolute revelation as playwright Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick… Boom! Fizzing with energy and conviction, he LIVED the role. Our winner and not a bad outside bet for the winner on the night.
While we don’t agree with Sam Elliot’s expletive-ridden take on The Power of The Dog, we weren’t quite as enamoured as many by Benedict Cumberbatch‘s repetitive, sledgehammer performance as a cowboy with a secret.
Which brings us to Will Smith‘s perfectly decent performance as the lead in King Richard. Given that Smith has never won an Oscar across a strong and lengthy career coupled with his likeability pegs him as a shoe-in for the evening’s winner.

The Recs Winner

Andrew Garfield

The Recs Predicted Winner

Will Smith

Best Actress

Olivia Colman brought some watchability to underwhelming, underwritten The Lost Daughter but it’s not a part people will remember in future years. Shame as we love a Colman awards speech.

Kristen Stewart was good as Princess Diana but Stewart was a rather cold film. Oscar voters tend to vote with hearts rather than heads so I don’t think 2022 will be her Oscar year. 

The Recs loves Nicole Kidman and she had some chutzpah taking on the eternally-popular Lucille Ball. Doesn’t seem to be a front runner in the odds but we’re not ruling her out.

Penelope Cruz managed to shine in  Pedro Almodóvar’s somewhat muddled Parallel Mothers. Could she win in a Spanish-speaking role?

Jessica Chastain chewed the scenery in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. The televangelist in the title is perhaps less known over here but Chastain certainly gave a bells-and-whistles performance that should see her holding the statuette.

The Recs Winner

Nicole Kidman

The Recs Predicted Winner

Jessica Chastain

Best Director

Fierce competition for Best Director this year in a category that’s hard to call. 
Ryusuke Hamaguchi is unlikely to continue the run of foreign-born directors (Chloé Zhao, Bong Joon-ho) with his 3-hour long Drive My Car.
Paul Thomas has his devotees but we hated Licorice Pizza. A meandering, superficial movie we couldn’t wait to end.
Kenneth Branagh has made a beautiful heart-felt film that in any other year could have won but Belfast may seem a little too distant for the Hollywood voters.
We thought Steven Spielberg‘s modern-sensibility update of West Side Story was superb – with some truly thrilling set pieces but the lure of Jane Campion as the first woman director to win twice might be too hard for voters to resist. Has her incredibly clumsy comments about Serena and Venus come too late to scupper her chances?

The Recs Winner

Kenneth Branagh

The Recs Predicted Winner

Jane Campion

Best Film

What a great crop of films especially compared to last year’s entirely forgettable slate. How to choose!
Belfast – as we mentioned in Best Director, although a handsome film with loads of heart, not sure how much impact it has made on American audiences.
Coda – a film with wit and the added appeal of representing the deaf community on the big screen, it seems a very strong contender – but Sian Heder’s omission for Best Director does raise a question mark over its support.
Don’t Look Up – Netflix’s apocalyptic black comedy seems to have been released so long ago, it feels as if it has faded from the forefront of voters’ minds.
Drive My Car – three hours long but without the impact of something like Parasite, it’s a rank outsider.
Dune – lavish, epic, visually engulfing and cinematic but it’s half a movie. Part 2 might have more of a chance.
King Richard – while Will Smith will almost certainly scoop Best Actor, the film itself is a little too authorised, unquestioning of the Williams family story.
Licorice Pizza – the Marmite choice. For what it’s worth, I don’t like marmite.
Nightmare Alley – vastly underrated, this is a glamorous, super stylish, atmospheric take on a pulpy-noir. The box office failure probably will ruin its chances.
 The Power of the Dog – a beautiful, evocative but sedate-paced and rather hollow tale. While Campion is likely to like Best Director, we reckon it’ll be runner-up to Coda with the Academy splitting the honours.
West Side Story – did it piggyback too heavily on the shoulders of the 1961 movie or can lightning strike twice? Again a poor box office probably has limited its reach. 

The Recs Winner

Nightmare Alley

The Recs Predicted Winner


The Oscars ceremony is available to watch on Sky Cinema Oscars sub-channel in the UK.  All of Sky’s coverage can also be streamed online via NOW with a NOW Sky Cinema Pass.