Who will win vs. who should win?

After months of boring accepted winners, the Oscars race was recently rocked by shocking developments nobody saw coming. When they air on ABC on Sunday, March 27, the evening should be full of surprises. Here, Post critic Johnny Oleksinski picks who will and should win at the 2022 Academy Awards.

best picture

Will win: “CODA”

The touching AppleTV+ drama has snuck in from behind for the past two weeks, winning both the all-important SAG Best Ensemble Award and the Producers Guild Grand Prize. Suddenly, it’s the one to beat.

Leo (Daniel Durant), Jackie (Marlee Matlin) and Ruby (Emilia Jones) swipe left on Tinder profiles in the film "KODA."
“CODA” on AppleTV+ has been unstoppable in recent weeks.
©Apple TV/Courtesy of Everett Coll

Should win: “Dune”

The first part of the science fiction novel adaptation by director Denis Villenueve was by far the most impressive cinema experience of the year.


“don’t look up”

“drive my car”

“King Richard”

“Liquorice Pizza”

“Nightmare Alley”

“The Power of the Dog”

“West Side Story”

Jane Campion has been the front-runner for best director since early fall.

Best Director

Will win: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”

Awards season has been in high gear for Campion since her esoteric western bombarded the festival scene.

Should win: Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza”

Anderson’s film is moving, funny and visually gripping.

Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast”

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car”

Steven SpielbergWest Side Story

Will Smith won for his role in Best Actor "King Richard."
Will Smith won SAG and BAFTA awards for his role in King Richard.
Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

Best actor

Will Win, Should Win: Will Smith, “King Richard”

Smith gives one of his best performances in years as the fascinating and complex father of Serena and Venus Williams.

Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos”

Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”

Andrew Garfield, “Tick, Tick… Boom!”

Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

After being viewed as an underdog, Jessica Chastain is now the frontrunner.
After being viewed as an underdog, Jessica Chastain is now the frontrunner.
©Searchlight images

Best Actress

Will Win, Should Win: Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Chastain was the underdog until she won the SAG Award. Now she is difficult to defeat.

Olivia Colman, “The Prodigal Daughter”

Penelope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers”

Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos”

Kristen Stewart, “Spencer”

Troy Kotsur has been on a prize list this season.
Troy Kotsur has been on a prize list this season.

Best supporting actor

Will win, should win: Troy Kotsur, “CODA”

Like The Power of the Dog, Kodi Smit-McPhee once seemed unstoppable. But the fabulous Kotsur has that in his pocket.

Ciaran Hinds, “Belfast”

Jesse Plemons, “The Power of the Dog”

JK Simmons, “Being the Ricardos”

Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”

Ariana DeBose was the queen of awards season.
Ariana DeBose was the queen of awards season.
Dave Benett/Getty Images

The best supporting actress

Will win: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”

DeBose has scooped almost every major trophy this season for his role as Anita. The Oscars won’t stop her momentum.

Should win: Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog”

Dunst does a great job in Dog, another triumph in a long – and often underappreciated – career.

Jessie Buckley, “The Prodigal Daughter”

Judi Dench, “Belfast”

Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard”

"KODA" is expected to pick up several trophies.
“CODA” is expected to pick up several trophies.
AppleTV+ via AP

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will win: “CODA”

“CODA” will benefit enormously from its growing momentum in this category.

Should win: “Dune”

Understanding Frank Herbert’s novel Dune is no easy task – see how well it worked for David Lynch – and Denis Villeneuve should be credited for it.

“drive my car”

“The Lost Daughter”

“The Power of the Dog”

Original screenplay is the best chance for "Liquorice Pizza" to win an Oscar.
Original screenplay is Licorice Pizza’s best shot at an Oscar.

Best Original Screenplay

Will win, should win: “Liquorice Pizza”

The Academy admires “Licorice Pizza” and its writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson.


“don’t look up”

“King Richard”

“Worst Man in the World”

"dune" is a classic look back at the film music of the great Hollywood.
Dune is a classic throwback to great Hollywood film music.
Courtesy Toronto International Film Festival

Best Original Score

Will win, should win: “Dune”

Hans Zimmer’s score is big, old-fashioned, booming film music.

“don’t look up”


“Parallel Mothers”

“The Power of the Dog”

"Encanto" seems unstoppable.
“Encanto” seems unstoppable.

Best Animated Feature Film

Will win: “Encanto”

Thanks in part to the massive chart success of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” everyone is talking about “Encanto.”

Should win: “Luca”

“Luca” is simply bellissimo.


“The Mitchells Against the Machines”

“Raya and the Last Dragon”

"We're not talking about Bruno" is the hit "encanto," but the movie "Dos Oruguitas" Sunday is to be cleaned up.
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is Encanto’s hit, but the film’s “Dos Oruguitas” should clean up Sunday.
Disney/The Hollywood Archive

Best Original Song

Will Win, Should Win: “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

OK, it’s not “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” but this Miranda song is even better.

“Be Alive” from “King Richard”, music and lyrics by Dixson and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

“Down To Joy” from “Belfast”, music and lyrics by Van Morrison

“No Time To Die” from No Time To Die, music and lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”, music and lyrics by Diane Warren

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