See EW's expert picks for winners in all 23 categories, including Penélope Cruz, Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur, and more top contenders.

EW's countdown to the 2022 Oscars has everything you're looking for, from our expert predictions and in-depth Awardist interviews with this year's nominees to nostalgia and our takes on the movies and actors we wish had gotten more Oscars love. You can check it all out at The Awardist.

Chaos begets chaos, and the lead-in to the 2022 Oscars reflects the tumultuous world that birthed it. We watched as peripheral contenders (Drive My Car) and virtually precursor-less performers (Penélope Cruz, Jessie Buckley, Judi Dench) won out over trophy-snatching heavyweights (Denis Villeneuve, Ruth Negga, Caitríona Balfe, Lady Gaga) in an atypically long prelude to the Academy Awards that defied statistics and historical precedent. And yet, we have our crop of nominated contenders who made Oscar's final cut, and all is well knowing that, if the months behind us are any indication, determining who will come out on top will be equally enjoyable pandemonium.

See EW's final 2022 Oscar winner predictions in all 23 categories below, ahead of the 94th Academy Awards broadcast airing Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. Follow our Heat Index, where we tracked the ups and downs of the top contenders all season long, and read our juicy interviews with five anonymous Oscar voters on who they picked to win.

Oscar Awardist Predictions
Credit: Iglesias Mas /Sony Pictures Classics; Christopher Polk/Getty Images; Apple TV +;Chiabella James/Warner Bros.; Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios

Best Picture

Don't Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Jane Campion's Dog fetched 12 bones total on nominations morning, the most of any film this year. While the slow-burning western psychodrama has sturdy cross-branch support from disparate ends of the Academy, many forecasters have noted that its highbrow appeal might not be enough to sustain the swell of passion building for other titles. Particularly, emotionally accessible fare such as the surprise ACE Eddie champion King Richard and the heartwarming, Screen Actors Guild Awards Ensemble-winning CODA are ferociously nipping at Dog's spurred heels. Though Campion won the DGA Award, such an accolade feels more individualized, with voters going for Campion herself versus the film as a whole. She also won DGA a week prior to CODA winning at the WGA and PGA Awards — the latter of which also uses the Academy's preferential ballot ranking system. CODA's late surge during final Oscar voting bodes well for its standing at the head of the Best Picture race, with a wider sampling of Academy members likely discovering its immediately satisfying, soul-stirring elements only after it began generating traction. The kind of emotional response one is likely to have while watching CODA feels like a safer feeling to bet on guiding a voter's hand, far more than the respect they might feel for Campion's film they (probably) watched for the first time months prior to CODA's rise through the awards season ranks.

Troy Kotsur in “CODA"
| Credit: Apple TV+

Best Director

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
PROJECTED WINNER: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

As historic as Campion winning her first Best Director Oscar would be (women have never won this category two years in a row), you can't chalk the New Zealand-born filmmaker's impending victory here up to hive mind politics; her style is part of the smoldering western's DNA, from its subtly momentous screenplay to the unsettling, pointed silence running through every frame. For the Academy — like the rest of the industry that has supported her on the trail so far, including the DGA Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and BAFTA — Campion's name is synonymous with the film itself, and it will be hard for voters to separate the two when tasked with voting for both Best Picture and for the woman who stitched it all together (to the tune of a dozen overall nods) in Best Director.

The Power of the Dog
Jane Campion and Benedict Cumberbatch on set of 'The Power of the Dog'

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
PROJECTED WINNER: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Forgive the obvious metaphor, but the clouds parted for Jessica Chastain among a particularly chaotic category after SAG threw a Hail Mary to the actress' divine portrayal of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. Further helping her bid is three-time nominee Chastain's "overdue" narrative (Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, and Olivia Colman have all won in the past), and the fact that no film nominated in this category crosses over into Best Picture territory — meaning voter focus must be on the performance itself versus a juggernaut project. Colman is universally beloved (she's earned three nominations in four years) in a prestige drama that earned raves on the critical circuit, but it's Kristen Stewart who remains the most interesting case for a spoiler. After eking out a nomination (she was shockingly excluded from both SAG Awards and BAFTA nods), her statistical chances are nonexistent, as no actress has ever won the Oscar after missing a SAG nomination. While a swell of support could build for her after she was repeatedly "snubbed" on the trail — again, with no Best Picture crossover, this category has never been more about the merit of the performance — it feels as if SAG gave the industry permission to finally coalesce around a single contender when it crowned Chastain queen of a wildly unpredictable bracket. 

Now, enter EW's Secret Ballot, in which four out of five Academy members sampled indicated they were picking Cruz. Most of them are new members invited to join AMPAS within the last five years, as part of the group's ongoing diversity initiatives to include more women, people of color, and international voters. Cruz's success (after scoring very little on the precursor circuit) is likely attributable to the widening scope of Academy tastes, with global perspective presumably preferring acting work in more prestigious films like Pedro Almodovar's Parallel Mothers than, say, commercial pulp like House of Gucci (perhaps Lady Gaga succeeded fast and early in an America-centric bubble of affection). Time-tested industry credibility and respect for a film overall, arguably, matters more to international voters than star wattage and celebrity, and by that standard Cruz feels safer and safer by the day.

Parallel Mothers
Penelope Cruz in 'Parallel Mothers.'
| Credit: El Deseo/Iglesias Más/Sony Pictures Classics

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick... Boom!
PROJECTED WINNER: Will Smith, King Richard
Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Hollywood royal on King Richard's throne will finally, deservedly, get his crown after factoring in every major indicator on the campaign trail. Will Smith has yet to miss a single step along the way, and SAG further cemented that the unsung cinema hero who's effortlessly shifted from blockbusters to heart-wrenching prestige fare is, at long last, destined for the Academy's gilded court.

Will Smith in King Richard
Will Smith in 'King Richard'
| Credit: Chiabella James/Warner Bros.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
PROJECTED WINNER: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Each nominee here brings the drama, but Ariana DeBose's skill set — singing, dancing, acting...she's doing everything — is all showgirl spectacle and emotional fireworks. Those performance chops paired with her fresh SAG victory give the freshman nominee an (oh-so-pretty) edge over the sublime work of her experienced category peers.

West Side Story
'West Side Story' star Ariana DeBose is a top contender for Best Supporting Actress at the 2022 Academy Awards.
| Credit: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

It's been a close race between Kodi Smit-McPhee and Troy Kotsur, and more branch-hopping support for Dog versus CODA was thought to work in the former's favor at one point. After Kotsur and the ensemble cast of CODA both made history at the SAG Awards, however, the tides turned in his favor and have yet to subside.

Troy Kotsur and Marlee Matlin in 'CODA'
| Credit: Apple TV +

Best Original Screenplay

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Adam McKay and David Sirota, Don't Look Up
Zach Baylin, King Richard
PROJECTED WINNER: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier, The Worst Person in the World

Beloved front-runners Kenneth Branagh and Paul Thomas Anderson have never won for writing; look for Oscar to end the latter's overdue narrative after four failed script noms.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth, Dune
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Dog's story has the most digestible structure of the bunch. The heart of Campion's quiet thriller beat heaviest on the page and, likely, in voters' minds for months — until the WGA gave its annual trophy to CODA. Sure, Power of the Dog wasn't nominated (the WGA's standards often mean major players aren't eligible for inclusion), but another checkmark in the win column for CODA in the middle of Oscars voting doesn't hurt its chances. Plus, it's becoming increasingly absurd to only predict CODA for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor, and this feels like the perfect category to potentially flesh out its haul.

Best Cinematography

Dan Lausten, Nightmare Alley
Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Janusz Kaminski, West Side Story

Best Film Editing

Hank Corwin, Don't Look Up
Joe Walker, Dune
Pamela Martin, King Richard
Peter Sciberras, The Power of the Dog
PROJECTED WINNER: Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum, Tick, Tick... Boom!

Best Animated Feature Film

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Animated Short Film

Affairs of the Art
The Windshield Wiper

Best Live-Action Short Film

Ala Kachuu — Take and Run
The Dress
On My Mind
Please Hold

Best International Feature Film

PROJECTED WINNER: Drive My Car (Japan)
Flee (Denmark)
The Hand of God (Italy)
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)
The Worst Person in the World (Norway)

Best Documentary Feature

Writing with Fire

Best Documentary Short Subject

Lead Me Home
PROJECTED WINNER: The Queen of Basketball
Three Songs for Benazir
When We Were Bullies

Best Original Score

Nicholas Britell, Don't Look Up
Germaine Franco, Encanto
Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers
Jonny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog

Best Original Song

"Be Alive" from King Richard — Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
"Dos Oruguitas" from Encanto — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
"Down to Joy" from Belfast — Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
PROJECTED WINNER: "No Time to Die" from No Time to Die — Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell
"Somehow You Do" from Four Good Days — Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Best Sound

Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather, and Niv Adiri, Belfast
PROJECTED WINNER: Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill, and Ron Bartlett, Dune
Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey, and Mark Taylor, No Time to Die
Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie, and Tara Webb, The Power of the Dog
Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson, and Shawn Murphy, West Side Story

Best Costume Design

PROJECTED WINNER: Jenny Beavan, Cruella
Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran, Cyrano
Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan, Dune
Luis Sequeira, Nightmare Alley
Paul Tazewell, West Side Story

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer, Coming 2 America
Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon, Cruella
Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr, Dune
PROJECTED WINNER: Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras, House of Gucci

Best Production Design

PROJECTED WINNER: Dune — Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
Nightmare Alley — Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
The Power of the Dog — Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
The Tragedy of Macbeth — Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
West Side Story — Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best Visual Effects

PROJECTED WINNER: Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor, and Gerd Nefzer, Dune
Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis, and Dan Sudick, Free Guy
Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner, and Chris Corbould, No Time to Die
Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker, and Dan Oliver, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein, and Dan Sudick, Spider-Man: No Way Home

Tune in to see who takes home the gold at the 2022 Oscars airing Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Oscars analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's movies and performances.

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