It's Oscars Week '22! Here is Part 3 of our preview.
Isaac: This category is just full on bonkers. Every single one of these is absolutely worthy of winning! However, I'm going to have to really think about which ones of these are more "difficult" to adapt here and that's what I think deserves to win the most. That being said, it comes down to two. I mentioned earlier how difficult it was that Maggie Gyllenhaal was able to make a great film out of the script for The Lost Daughter. The ability to turn that novel into a script and then portray it on the screen through Gyllenhaal's vision is amazing and extremely worthy of the Oscar here. However, you know what I'm going to say, this should be Dune's Oscar through and through. Turning Herbert's source material into what was one of the best (arguably the best) films of 2021 is downright ridiculous. If you're not going to give Villeneuve a Best Director Oscar, at least give him a writing one damnit.
Hopster: This is arguably the most important race to keep an eye on Sunday that could foreshadow how the night will shake out. There are two obvious contenders in CODA and The Power of the Dog that are the presumptive frontrunners, both of which are deserving of consideration. After winning big at the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, CODA is now a slight favorite to win in this category. That being said, this is still a dead heat, and I think it is just as likely that The Power of the Dog pulls ahead (which mind you, wasn't in contention at the WGAs, which maybe altered the results). Whichever film wins here will automatically become the odds-on favorite for Best picture -- at 15 out of the last 21 Academy Awards, the Best Picture winnner also won Best Adapted- or Best Original Screenplay earlier in the ceremony. While vote spreading could disrupt this line of thinking, it would be more surprising if this category doesn't serve as a bellwether for who will the top prize.
Hopster: Last year leading around this time, I had a lingering concern that David Fincher's film, Mank (a film I enjoyed very much), was going to get blanked on Oscar night. If you can remember back, it received 10 nominations (by far the most of any film last year), which included a bunch of technical nods, as well as Best Director for Fincher and Best Picture. Ultimately, it won for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design, so in general, I was pleased. That being said, Fincher himself walked away Oscar-less again -- he, like so many other great film auteurs, has been passed over time and time again to the point that it's now almost shameful that the Academy hasn't awarded him at all. This year, I have a similar angst -- Paul Thomas Anderson has received several Oscar nominations over the course of his career, including three this year for Licorice Pizza (another film I enjoyed very much). While his nominations in Best Director and Best Picture seem out of reach, the best chance PTA has for winning would be in this category. He is currently the betting favorite, and while I genuinely love The Worst Person in the World (as did Anderson), I hope the voters finally give PTA the credit he's earned.
Isaac: First and foremost, get Don't Look Up out of my face. If it wins anything, I will throw my face through a wall -- which is what I thought about doing while watching that film. In reality, this is between Belfast and Licorice Pizza. I think PTA has the edge here, but I feel as though Branagh might surprise here and walk away with it. Just to give Hopster a little more angst I'm gonna say Branagh actually pulls it off (sorry bud).
Isaac: What more can I say here other than the snub of Villeneuve still hurts, and that this is absolutely Jane Campion's award to lose -- although I don't think she'll lose it. Campion should have this one in the bag for her stellar work in The Power of the Dog, easy money.
Hopster: Hamaguchi delivered a masterpiece; Spielberg had 1,000,000 ideas for West Side Story and directed the living shit out of that movie; PTA is PTA and always is one of our best living directors; and Branagh, well, he made "Irish Roma," which might be hist best work. But let's try not to overthink this -- all signs point to Campion for this one.