Predicting Oscar Winners with my Covid Iso

Predicting Oscar Winners with my Covid Iso

As one of the many annoying film people working at Critic Te Arohi, I found myself obligated to pass judgement on who I think will win the upcoming Oscars. I couldn’t fit all 24 categories here, so I’ve cut out the acting awards, the short films, and a few others. I am also writing this with Covid, and I’ve been too sick to watch any movies all the way through. That’s not going to stop me from making predictions for all of these categories, using whatever prediction methods I can come up with in an isolating flat.

Best Original Score
To determine the best original score, I listened to each of these soundtracks and timed how long I could sing along before I started violently coughing. The soundtrack I could sing along to the longest without coughing would win. Starting with Don’t Look Up, I was hoping I could make it further than the first song, but Ariana Grande’s dulcet tones proved too high to match without coughing 1:18 into the track. Next up was Hans Zimmer’s Dune soundtrack, which was mostly instrumental so I figured I would last a lot longer simply humming along but it was not the case. After about 7 seconds of humming I started sputtering. I lasted roughly 5 minutes and 6 minutes respectively on the soundtracks for Parallel Mothers and The Power of the Dog, but managed to make it through three songs for a total of eleven minutes on the soundtrack for Encanto. I’m just grateful that Stephanie Beatriz never has to hear my raspy voice attempt to sing her lines.

Winner: Encanto (Germaine Franco)


Best Cinematography
To determine the best cinematography, I sent a message to someone with the same first name as all the nominated cinematographers (or the closest name from my Facebook friends) and whoever replied first was the winner. My mate Dan replied within minutes, meaning Dan Laustsen (Nightmare Alley) is going to win best cinematography. I did get a reply from Ari (who would’ve won it for Power of the Dog) about ten minutes later, and she was rather confused as we haven’t spoken for years. 

Winner: Nightmare Alley (Dan Laustsen)


Best Costume Design
To determine the best costume design, I assigned a relevant clothing item to each nominee and then watched through the day’s Instagram stories until I saw an outfit featuring one of those items. On this day there were no khaki pants (West Side Story), fur coats (Cruella), scarves (Dune), or bowties (Nightmare Alley) but after swiping through a few stories from parties and getting fomo, I came across a friend posing in a cool corset, which means Cyrano takes home the prize.

Winner: Cyrano (Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran)


Best International Feature Film
This category was simple: I threw some blu-tack at a world map in my bedroom and whichever nominated country it landed closest to would win. I would’ve used darts, but then realised I want my bond back at the end of the year and our flat doesn't have any darts anyways. My blu-tack projectile landed somewhere offshore the Philippines, seemingly halfway between Japan (Drive My Car) and Bhutan (Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom), but closer inspection and measurement revealed that it was a few millimetres closer to Japan.

Winner: Drive My Car (Japan)


Best Documentary Feature Film 
To celebrate the various aches and pains of having Covid, I determined the winner of this category by assigning the films to different body parts, and the winner would be decided by whichever body part hurt the most the following morning. While I was expecting my neck (Summer of Soul) to pull through, when I woke up my legs (Flee) were undeniably aching the most.

Winner: Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen)


Best Animated Feature Film
My mum is a primary school teacher, so figured she was qualified to predict the winner of this category. I gave her a call and she asked how I was doing, told me to drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest, the usual things. When I asked her about the nominees, she’d heard of Encanto before, and seen it used in teaching resources she’d come across, but hadn’t heard of any of the others. Everyone knows that our cultured year fives and sixes refuse to be taught about any movie that isn’t going to win an Oscar, so it’s gotta be Encanto.

Winner: Encanto (Jared Bush)


Best Director
For this typically very male-dominated Oscar category, I found an equally male-dominated group of people to poll: people I know called Oscar. I asked three Oscars and one Oskar for their guesses. One Oscar predicted Steven Spielberg to win for West Side Story, another Oscar guessed Ryusuke Hamaguchi to win for Drive My Car, but two of the Oscars put their money on Kiwi Jane Campion to win for Power of the Dog.

Winner: Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)


Best Picture
The answer to this came to me very clearly in a Covid fever dream, and I am not going to question the powers of Covid fever dreams. Through the chills and the sweats, I was presented with a vision that Coda was going to win the most prestigious Oscar of the night, upsetting everyone who expected Power of the Dog to take home Best Picture. Out of all the predictions, I am most confident about this one, but take all of them with a grain of salt, as I do have Covid fogging up my brain.

Winner: Coda (Philippe Rousselet)

This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2022.
Posted 5:50pm Sunday 27th March 2022 by Elliot Weir.