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The Academy Awards are Sunday night.

WGN’s Dean Richards is making his predications for Hollywood’s big night.

The nominees for best actor in a lead role are as follows: 

  • Javier Bardem — “Being the Ricardos.”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch — “The Power of the Dog.”
  • Andrew Garfield — “Tick, Tick…Boom!
  • Will Smith — “King Richard.”
  • Denzel Washington —  “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

Dean says it finally will be Smith’s year.

After being nominated for Oscars for his performances in “Ali” and “Pursuit of Happyness”,  the third time will be Smith’s charm.   

His performance as the father of Venus and Serena Williams is powerful, uplifting  and insightful.  And, it feels like that’s the perfect combination for Oscar gold coming out of the pandemic.  

The nominees for best actress in a lead role.    

  • Jessica Chastain — “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
  • Olivia Colman — “The Lost Daughter.”
  • Penélope Cruz — “Parallel Mothers.”
  • Nicole Kidman  — “Being the Ricardos.”
  • Kristen Stewart — “Spencer.”  

Dean predicts it will go to Jessica Chastain.

When he talked with her earlier this year about her role as disgraced televangelist, Tammy Faye Baker, she said that she wanted to bring more than just the cartoon image of Tammy Faye that we were used to seeing.  

That’s what’s behind this complex performance, one that should snag Chastain her first Academy Award after being nominated two other times. She’s got the momentum. She’s won other award shows’ critical votes.    

On Monday morning, Dean will have the full Oscar recap.  

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