Oscars 2022: Who Will Win Vs. Who Should Win

If you're a movie fan, this weekend is your Super Bowl. The 94th annual Academy Awards is Sunday, March 27 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. It's the night we've been waiting months for. Finally, all the campaigning and debates over who will win will be settled. But before we get there, let's breakdown exactly who will win vs. who should win.

I've been covering the Oscars race on Newsweek's Parting Shot Podcast, our new weekly culture podcast. On the latest episode—available today on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts—I had two essential conversations: first about the red carpet with Esther Zuckerman, author of Beyond the Best Dressed: A Cultural History of the Most Glamorous, Radical, and Scandalous Oscar Fashion, and then about who will win with entertainment reporter Cameron Scheetz.

Oscars 2022: Who Will Win Vs. WhoShouldWin
A display case is seen full of Oscar statues February 20, 2004 in Hollywood, California. These are the Oscar statuettes that will be handed out on February 29 at the 76th Academy Awards ceremony and will be on display at the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

For full coverage of the Academy Awards, follow Newsweek's live blog during the Oscar telecast. I'll be breaking down all the essential looks, wins and iconic moments from the red carpet and ceremony.

But first things first, let's settle this debate once and for all: who will win vs. who should win. Do you agree with my choices? Leave a comment on this story and tag @HAlanScott and @Newsweek in your social media posts about the Oscars.

Oscars 2022: Who Will Win Vs. WhoShouldWin
Emilia Jones in “CODA,” now streaming on Apple TV+. Apple TV+

Best Picture

Who Will Win: CODA
Who Should Win: The Power of the Dog

CODA came into the season as a dark horse candidate but has since become the film to beat this year. If any film is able to stop CODA's momentum, it's Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog. The way it's shaping up, it's looking like a battle of the feel good flick vs. the moody art house movie.

Best Director

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

At this point there's no stopping Jane Campion. She's won every major award and will almost certainly make history as the third woman to win the Best Director Oscar (after Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for The Hurt Locker and Chloe Zhao last year for Nomadland).

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Will Smith in "King Richard." Will Smith is heavily tipped for an Oscar for his role as Richard Williams. Warner Bros.

Best Actor

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Will Smith, King Richard

Similar to Campion, there's no stopping Will Smith at this point. Not only is it "his time," but his performance in King Richard is some of his most vulnerable work to date. Also, who doesn't want to hear Will Smith's speech? It's guaranteed to be great.

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Who Should Win: Kristen Stewart, Spencer

The Best Actress race this year is one of the most unpredictable ones. It's almost as if whomever wins it's going to be a surprise. But Chastain has the momentum going into the ceremony.

That said, Nicole Kidman could sneak in there, considering the early momentum she had before Chastain took over and the love she's received from the Academy over the years (frankly, she deserves a special Oscar for her AMC ad).

But there's no denying Stewart's incredible and poetic performance in Spencer, and a win for her would be quite a special (and surprising) moment Sunday night. And come on, you know you want to be surprised at least once during the Oscars!

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Searchlight Pictures

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Troy Kotsur, CODA
Who Should Win: Kodie Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Troy Kotsur's performance in CODA is the anchor of the film. It's touching and moving and he's very deserving of his almost-certain win. But, no other performance this year has been as surprising and subtle and frankly shocking as Kodi Smit-McPhee's performance in The Power of the Dog.

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

From the beginning of the Oscar season, all the talk was about was about Kirsten Dunst finally getting an Oscar nomination and likely winning for her performance in The Power of the Dog. She was the frontrunner, it was hers to lose.

What happened?

Ariana DeBose, that's what. DeBose's performance in West Side Story is a star-making turn that you just can't deny. It's like you watch her take on Anita and just scream, "Give her the Oscar already!"

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Broadway star Ariana DeBose as Anita in West Side Story Disney

Best Original Screenplay

Who Will Win: Belfast
Who Should Win: The Worst Person in the World

Belfast's Kenneth Branagh holds the record for having been nominated in more categories over the course of his career than any other person in Oscar history—his eight nominations span seven different categories since he was first nominated in 1989. Oh, and he's never won before. Never! So chances are this is his moment. But The Worst Person in the World was a surprise nomination for a small film that truly defines the world "original," so it would be fun to see it win.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: CODA
Who Should Win: The Power of the Dog

Similar to the Best Picture race, Best Adapted Screenplay is a battle between CODA and The Power of the Dog. Considering that it's extremely rare for a film to win Best Picture and not win either Director (which CODA is not even nominated for) or Screenplay, my bet is CODA will take Adapted Screenplay and The Power of the Dog will take Director for Campion.

Oscars 2022: Who Will Win Vs. WhoShouldWin
Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, Jane Campion (Director,Producer) in the Power of the Dog. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX

Best Animated Feature

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Encanto

You could make an argument that Encanto is the film of the year. Think about it, who isn't talking about Bruno? We're all talking about Bruno! Of the film's three nominations, this is the one most guaranteed to win.

Best Documentary Feature

Who Will Win: Summer of Soul
Who Should Win: Flee

Summer of Soul, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, is a fantastic bit of history that should not be forgotten. But Flee, an animated documentary film about Amin Nawabi and his journey to share his story of fleeing Afghanistan before he marries his husband, is one of the most innovative documentaries in years. While it's unlikely to beat Encanto for Best Animated Feature or Drive My Car for Best International Film, this category is it's best chance to win (and it should).

Best International Film

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Drive My Car

This year's Best International Film category is incredibly strong. Rarely do films nominated in this category receive major nominations in other categories, but not this year. Drive My Car is up for Best Picture, Flee garnered three nominations (Best International Film, Best Documentary Feature and Best Animated Feature), and The Worst Person in the World picked up an unexpected Best Original Screenplay nomination. But considering the hype and love for Japan's Drive My Car, it's likely it'll take the prize for Best International Film.

Encanto Screenshot
Image shows Mirabel and Bruno in "Encanto". Every member of the Madrigal family is wearing clothes that reflect who they are and their special abilities. For instance, Bruno has an hourglass motif on his ruana. Walt Disney Animation Studios

Best Originial Song

Who Will Win: "No Time to Die," No Time to Die
Who Should Win: "Dos Oruguitas," Encanto

This is the one category I really, really, really hope I'm wrong about. All signs are pointing to a Billie Eilish win for her title track to the James Bond flick No Time to Die. But there's nothing I want more than to hear Lin-Manuel Miranda's name be announced as the winner for "Dos Oruguitas" from Encanto and take his rightful place in the exclusive EGOT club (winners of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). I'm manifesting this. (See, I'm still talking about Bruno.)

Best Score

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Dune

Dune received the second most nominations this year, picking up 10 (The Power of the Dog received the most with 12). There's a good chance it'll be the big winner of the night because of all the technical awards it will most likely win. Best Score will be one of its many trophies.

Best Cinematography

Who Will Win: Dune
Who Should Win: The Power of the Dog

While Greig Fraser's work on Dune is worthy of a win, it's Ari Wegner's work on The Power of the Dog that redefined the idea of the western. Wegner would also be the first woman to win in this category.

Best Costume Design

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Cruella

A film about a fashion designer? How could it not win Best Costume?

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Lady Jessica-REBECCA FERGUSON; Paul Atreides-TIMOTHEE CHALAMET in Dune Chia Bella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Best Film Editing

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Dune

For a film as big as Dune, the editor not only deserves an Oscar but also a big bonus!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Will Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Who Should Win: Coming 2 America

It's hard to deny the amazing work Stephanie Ingram, Linda Dowds and Justin Raleigh did morphing Jessica Chastain into Tammy Faye Messner in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. But the sheer volume of work Michael Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer did on Coming 2 America is worthy of a win.

Best Production Design

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Dune

Shocker, another one for Dune.

Best Sound

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Dune

Told you, there's no stopping Dune in these technical categories.

Best Visual Effects

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Dune

Out of all the many awards Dune will likely take home on Oscar night, the most obvious one (and most deserved) is for Best Visual Effects.

Best Documentary Short

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: The Queen of Basketball

This film about Lucy Harris, the first and only woman officially drafted into the NBA, is impossible to beat on Oscar night. You might even say it's a slam dunk. (I'm sorry, I had to.)

Best Live Action Short

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: The Long Goodbye

Riz Ahmed is already an Oscar nominee (for Best Actor last year in Sound of Metal), so on name recognition alone, his odds are good. But beyond that, The Long Goodbye is a beautiful and cathartic story that complements Ahmed's concept album of the same name.

Oscars 2022: Who Will Win Vs. WhoShouldWin
A scene from "Robin Robin." Courtesy of Netflix

Best Animated Short

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Robin Robin

Robin Robin has been a hit ever since it premiered on Netflix. It's stop-motion animation just adds to the charm of a story about a bird raised by mice looking for its place in the world.

Follow Newsweek's live coverage of the 94th Academy Awards during the Oscar telecast. And subscribe to Newsweek's Parting Shot Podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. New episodes every week.