2022 Oscars Best Actor Predictions

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE OSCARS COLLECTIVE
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UPDATED: Sept 30, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Reinaldo Marcus Green’s sports drama “King Richard” is shaping up to have the same advantage that propelled “The Blind Side” to a best actress Oscar for Sandra Bullock. Its centerpiece is Will Smith, who’s now at the forefront of what is going to be a cutthroat best actor race. “King Richard” is the “Rocky” of tennis movies, but also the “Rocky” for every Black child that will watch this and be inspired to greatness in the future, the kind of inspiration our community doesn’t often see.

There have only been four Black men to win an Oscar for lead actor in the 93-year history of the Academy — Sidney Poitier (“Lilies in the Field”), Denzel Washington (“Training Day”), Jamie Foxx (“Ray”) and Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”). Coincidentally, Smith lost his nominations to best actor winners Washington and Whitaker. The 52-year-old star is a credited producer on “King Richard,” so if the film were to be nominated for best picture in addition to best actor, he would be the second Black man to be nominated for acting and producing the same year, following Washington for “Fences” (2016).

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, March 27, 2022.


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Will Smith
Warner Bros.


The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Daniel Day-Lewis has the most wins in this category with three, while Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Spencer Tracy all have two. Tracy and Sir Laurence Olivier have the most nominations in this category, with nine. Anthony Hopkins is currently the oldest winner and nominee ever at 82 for “The Father,” recently surpassing Henry Fonda for “On Golden Pond” and Richard Farnsworth for “The Straight Story.” Adrien Brody is the youngest winner ever for “The Pianist” at 29, while Jackie Cooper is the youngest nominee ever for “Skippy” at 9.

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022

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