The 2022 Oscar Best Picture Nominees (Part 4: Best of the Best)

Alright, we’ve come to the end of our journey together. With less than a week from the big-night, we have saved the best of our 4-part series for last. So far we’ve taken a look at The Fan Favorites, the Oscar-Bait, and the head-scratchers. Now let’s take a look at the three nominees that seem to be universally loved by everyone who saw them (movie-snobs and filthy-casuals alike). These are the Best of the Best Best Picture Nominees for 2022.

Licorice Pizza

Now let’s go ahead and make something clear upfront before we dig into this one. We understand that some of the subject material and content of this film has caught some heat over the past few months and that’s understandable. It’s hard to justify a relationship between an adult and a minor as well as seemingly over-the-top racial stereotyping. With that being said though, LICORICE PIZZA is an unmistakably fantastic entry from Paul Thomas Anderson. Perhaps his best in years.

The story, direction, and characters all make this film accessible to just about everyone. Bradley Cooper as a maniacal yet (from what we understand) very true to life version of uber-producer Jon Peters is perhaps my favorite part of this film. If you thought that was a made-up character, I highly recommend viewing 2002’s AN EVENING WITH KEVIN SMITH in which Kevin Smith describes his interaction with Peters when he was brought on to do re-writes for a failed 1990’s Superman movie produced by Peters. It’s not hard to separate Bradley Cooper’s character from the man Kevin Smith describes.

Of these three nominees, it’s hard to imagine that LICORICE PIZZA will actually walk away with the top-prize (especially given some of the controversial material) but it is a truly enjoyable movie for just about any movie goer.


If you’ve been listening to The CineBoiz Podcast the past few weeks, you’ve heard nothing but unanimous praise from all of us in regards to CODA. This movie seemingly snuck out of nowhere to not just blow us away, but also pretty much everyone who has seen it. It also has been cleaning up in the recent awards circuit, taking home the top prizes at the SAG and PGA awards. Now this by no means makes this film a lock, but if we were to bet on it we’d say the likely favorites this year are this and POWER OF THE DOG. Both excellent films, but truly we have not heard anyone have anything bad to say about this one–POWER OF THE DOG seems to have people a bit more split.

Also, if Troy Kotsur does not win Best Supporting Actor…we riot. I think just about everyone can agree that among his fellow nominees, he absolutely steals the show as Frank Rossi. Frank is the father to Ruby who is the main protagonist in the film. No spoilers here, but he is going to make you cry…a lot. So go ahead and spend the $5 to get Apple TV+ for a month to watch this one, or you can just steal your in-laws login.


So I know that I’m only one of the four CineBoiz, so I shouldn’t speak for them in regards to ranking the top films of the past year, but I can confidently say the BELFAST is the best picture amongst all of this year’s nominees. There you go, bold, italicized and underlined. This film is absolutely perfect from direction to story to acting as well as score and soundtrack (which is all Van Morrison).

There’s something about this movie that sucked me in straight from the start. It’s just so heartfelt, and so brilliantly told from the eyes of an 8 year-old boy. It takes place in Northern Ireland during the riots of the late 60’s, but has such a timeless feel much like STAND BY ME or PORKY’S. It is hard for me to see this winning over CODA or POWER OF THE DOG, but If I were an Oscar voter it would definitely have mine.

Did we mention that everyone in the movie is amazing? Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hands, Judi Dench? The list goes on-and-on! My recommendation to everyone, if you’re only going to watch one Best Picture nominee this year, make it BELFAST. I speak for all of The CineBoiz.

So what do you think?  Do you desperately want to see one of these three movies take home Best Picture on Sunday? Do you think another nominee fits into this category? Be sure to holler at us on Twitter (@korkedbats@thecineboiz) and Instagram (@korkedbats2@thecineboiz) and let us know how you feel.

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Kenny lives in Austin, TX and is one of the co-hosts of the CineBoiz Podcast. When he isn’t talking about or watching movies he can be found kicking it with Mickie the Dog and re-watching the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 54 for the 25th time.