So who’s hot, or not, in the 2022 race for the Oscars?  Undeniably, Belfast at this juncture is the front runner in a number of categories, including the coveted Best Picture nod.

Of course, it’s a long, long way from now till the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 27, but Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast is included in all the major predictors so far and it’s likely that this will continue into the New Year.  Variety, a film industry staple for decades, reckons Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film about his early life in Northern Ireland is in line for a host of nominations, including Best Picture and two nods for Branagh in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories. 

Interestingly Belfast’s actors, opines Variety, are strong contenders in the supporting and not lead acting categories – Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds could face off in the same lane, and Caitriona Balfe should score a Best Supporting Actress nod. 

Jude Hill, all of 11 years old and a scene-stealer as the lad based on the young Ken Branagh, is ranked by Variety as an “other top tier contender,” behind the likes of Will Smith for King Richard and Adam Driver for House of Gucci.  

Jude Hill star of "Belfast".

Jude Hill star of "Belfast". has all kinds of odds and predictions, and the site loves Belfast’s chances too.  The site is confident, for now, that Balfe and Hinds will get their supporting nods, but Dornan, Hill and the great Judi Dench, who co-stars as the granny, won’t make the cut.

So who knows? We’ve got a long way to go till the post-St. Patrick’s Day honors, but the cute as a button Hill, a native of Northern Ireland, has made a firm friend in Dornan, according to an interview he recently did with GoldDerby.

“I did slag him off a little bit. Yeah, I take the harm out of him sometimes and just sorta make fun of him,” Hill said of his famous co-star.

“But that’s how people from Northern Ireland sort of show love to each other. Yeah, me and Jamie Dornan, we’re best friends, although we both do slag each other off a little bit!”