Oscars 2022: Who are the favorites at the Academy Awards? |

As of: 03/26/2022 7:09 p.m

The Oscars will be presented in Los Angeles for the 94th time on Sunday. Which movie is included? Who has a chance of winning a statuette? Penelope Cruz? Jane Campion? A conversation with the film expert and critic of “ZEIT” Katja Nicodemus.

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7 Min

Who are the favorites at this year’s Oscars? Some films are already being traded: “Coda”, “Dune“, Steven Spielbergs “West Side Story” – who is at the top?

Katja Nicodemus: There has been a clear favorite in recent weeks: Jane Campion with her late western The Power of the Dog, a film set in 1920s Montana. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a leading role, and through his character Jane Campion dissects Western images of men and male self-images. But at an awards ceremony leading up to the Oscars, Jane Campion made a faux pas. Turning to the tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams, about whom an Oscar feature film is also based, she said that the two could be happy that they – unlike them as a director – had to compete against men.

Benedict Cumberbatch als Phil Burbank, Kodi Smit-McPhee als Peter in Jane Campions Drama "The Power of the Dog" ©  2021 Cross City Films Limited/ Courtesy of Netflix Foto: KIRSTY GRIFFIN

Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee star in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog. She has a good chance of winning the director’s Oscar.

She said that while neglecting the racist context in which the two had to fight for their careers. In these politically correct times, it didn’t go over well on social media, and Campion suddenly found himself a little sidelined in the race for the Oscar for best picture.

So a new favorite came into play: director Siân Heder’s film “Coda,” about a young woman who is the only hearing member of her otherwise deaf family. So a great topic. But Jane Campion still has a great chance at the Oscar for best director.

What picture emerges from this? What do the nominations say about the film industry?

Nicodemus: The nominations have an incredible range. It is a cornucopia of cinematographic pitches, of aesthetics, of narrative styles. But it also cannot be overlooked that the streaming companies have become the new studios. Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV – these are the producers of many nominated films.

Due to the pandemic, the Oscar Academy has changed its regulations: Films that start in cinemas and on streaming platforms on the same day can also take part in the Oscar race. How to deal with it finally, that should be decided next year. I hope that the cinema will then be strengthened a bit by new regulations – or the old ones.

Diversity at the Oscars was also a topic again and again. How does that look this year?

Denzel Washington in Joel Coens Drama "The Tragedy Of Macbeth" from Apple TV+ © Apple TV+

Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington plays Lord Macbeth in Joel Coen’s new production of The Tragedy of Macbeth on the AppleTV+ streaming service.

Nicodemus: The Academy has done a lot by accepting new members. But as far as diversity among this year’s nominees goes, things aren’t looking so glorious. Four out of 20 nominated filmmakers are not white. This includes Will Smith as the lead in “King Richard, in which he plays the Williams sisters’ father and coach, and Denzel Washington as the lead actor in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Jane Campion is the only woman nominated for Best Director. Only two women have ever won Best Director Director: Kathryn Bigelow 11 years ago and Chloé Zhao last year for “Nomadland” So it’s fair to say there’s still work to be done.

What do you expect from the ceremony? There were a lot of discussions beforehand, for example about the exclusion of certain categories from the actual transmission. what will happen there

Nicodemus: This exclusion is unfortunate. Penélope Cruz (nominated for her leading role in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers”, her husband Javier Bardem is also nominated as a leading actor for the production “Being The Ricardos”, editor’s note. Red.) For example, it deeply regretted that this actually denies cinema as a collective art form, when the “less important” prizes – technical prizes, make-up and so on – are already awarded before the broadcast begins. I hope that this will change again at some point. Otherwise you can only be positively surprised and don’t expect too much – I think that’s always the best attitude.

Further information

Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan and newcomer Jude Hill in the feature film "Belfast" von Kenneth Branagh. © 2021 Focus Features, LLC.

Kenneth Branagh’s black-and-white film has been nominated seven times for the Oscars, which will be presented in Los Angeles on Sunday. more

The three presenters of the Oscar award ceremony on March 27, 2022: Regina Hall (lr), Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes © AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk

For the first time in Oscars history, three women will host the Oscars gala from Los Angeles: Regina Hall (from left), Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes.

This year’s event will be hosted by three women: actress Regina Hall, actress and stand-up comedian Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer, New York actress, stand-up comedian and screenwriter. Schumer had previously proposed to the Oscar Academy that Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy be connected via satellite to give him this huge forum, but the Academy turned it down. But Schumer has already announced that she still wants to incorporate the world situation into her moderation. Either way, this year’s balancing act between politics and entertainment is a crazy challenge.

Do you think politics matters?

Nicodemus: Definitely – Amy Schumer has already announced that. She said people want to be entertained in the hard times, but you can’t let the hard times out. I think she’s kind of right about that.

Who will you be crossing your fingers for on the long Oscar night? Who has real prospects?

Nicodemus: I think “Coda” got Best Picture. My fingers are crossed for a Japanese film nominated for Best Foreign Language Film: Ryūsuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car”, the story of two traumatized people, a theater director and a chauffeur, who bond and comfort each other during car journeys. It’s also nominated for best film – and maybe there will be another sensation like 2020, when the Korean film “Parasite” by Bong Joon-ho won the Oscar for best international film and then surprisingly also became best film.

The interview led Claudia Christophersen

Further information

Scene with Penélope Cruz from "parallel mothers" (parallel mothers) by Pedro Almodóvar © El Deseo / Studiocanal 2021

The cinema year offers a reunion with Marc-Uwe Kling’s kangaroo, “Avatar” and Batman as well as a sequel to “Downton Abbey”. more

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VIDEO: Oscar prediction 2022: Who has the best chance? (4 mins)

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NDR Culture | Journal | 25.03.2022 | 18:00

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