Students reflect on potential winners for the Academy Awards

The 94th Academy Awards, scheduled for March 27 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, have caused lots of excitement and room for debate over potential winners. The Oscars this year will be hosted by three women: Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall. As this will be the first time the awards show has had multiple hosts since 2011, many students are excited to see what is in store. 

“I’m excited to see the hosts this year. I think the Oscars have been really funny with hosts in the past, so I’m excited to see what they will do this year,” sophomore Susan Riley Isakson stated. 

The academy announced that the ceremony would be composed of three different acts, with one host per act, as part of a strategy to allow for a broader audience and higher watch time.

Thirty-eight different feature films released between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, were nominated for 23 different categories, spanning many different aspects of film. Voting for nominations concluded on Feb. 1, 2022, and the results were released just a week later. These nominations, released on Feb. 8 and announced by Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan, have sparked debate among film lovers around the world, Westminster students included. 

Notable films up for nomination this year include Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, which has received 12 different nominations, the most for any film this year, and the most nominations ever received for a film directed by a woman. Dune follows closely behind with 10 nominations. The length of these films, both over two hours, brought up a topic of discussion for some film lovers. 

“I think that the nominations were for a lot of the same movies, so I wish there was more variation,” Isakson said. “Also, a lot of the nominations for films were from streaming services, which I found very interesting.”

The filmmaking class, taught by Kate Morgens,  takes strong stances on who will win in each category. 

For Best Picture, junior Reese Norman believes Belfast will win. 

“I think it will win because it’s an interesting black-and-white film, it’s based off of the writer and director’s life, and overall it has a good conflict and storyline,” Norman said. “It also has enough room for the audience to take two different sides in a debate, but at the same time, one side has more of a pull.”

On the other hand, sophomore Peter Davis believes that The Power of the Dog will win.

“Out of the movies I saw, it was one of the most intricate and well done.”

For Best Animated Feature, sophomore Levi Quintero believes Flee will win.

“I believe it will win because of the true story it was about, someone escaped in the middle of a war and went to Denmark. They also had to flee from trafficking. I thought it was a very compelling story.”

Flee is also the first film to be nominated for Best Animated Feature, Best International Feature, and Best Documentary Feature simultaneously. 

For Best Actor, freshman Cooper Dietz believes Will Smith will win for his role in King Richard, and although not having viewed any of the films for Best Actress, he sees Kristen Stewart winning that category.

Senior Hayes Wilkiemeyer thinks The Tragedy of Macbeth will win in the category of Best Cinematography, as “it’s a very experimental and cinematic film.”

For best screenplay, senior Diane Chen sees Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza winning the category.

Encanto, scored by Germaine Franco, was the first female-scored Disney animated film. Senior Jane Zeising sees it winning its nominated category, Best Original Score.

“I’ve been hearing it everywhere, and I’ve been hearing a lot of people singing it, so I definitely think it has a good chance of winning.”

Disagreeing, sophomore Evvie Morgan believes Jonny Greenwood’s score for The Power of the Dog will instead take home the award that night.

Morgan also believes that J.K. Simmons will win Best Supporting Actor for Being The Ricardos, and Kirsten Dunst will follow with the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Power of the Dog

For Makeup and Hairstyling, freshman Mary Caroline Gilliland believes that House of Gucci will win, due to the interesting and colorful outfits that Lady Gaga wore in the film. Gilliland also believes Cruella will win Costume Design.

With lots of different opinions about the winners in each category, many people will be tuning into the award show on Mar. 27. COVID restrictions for guests attending the show include the requirement of being vaccinated as well as showing two negative PCR tests in order to ensure that the event is happening the safest way possible. 

Many Westminster students look forward to watching the show to see if their predictions were correct. The Oscars will air on ABC at 8:00 p.m..