A total of 276 films have been announced as eligible ahead of the Oscars on March 27, 2022. From this extensive offer, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with its almost 10,000 members, vigorously screened out – the result in the form of Oscar nominations was read on February 8 by sitcom star Leslie Jordan (66) and “black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis (49).
What had already been indicated by various other awards was now confirmed: With “The Power of the Dog”, which received the best of twelve nominations, the Netflix streaming service presented this year’s Oscar favorites. But there are also some surprises in the 23 categories.
These films are nominated
In about a month and a half, ten productions are battling it out for the top category of “Best Film”: it was already certain that the drama “Belfast” would also be on this list alongside “The Power of the Dog”. And the nominations for Denis Villeneuve’s (54) sci-fi epic “Dune” and Steven Spielberg’s (75) “West Side Story” are hardly surprising. Also nominated are “CODA”, “King Richard”, “Nightmare Alley” and “Licorice Pizza”.
Arguably the two biggest surprises in this category are the Netflix film Don’t Look Up and the Japanese film Drive My Car, which could potentially repeat what South Korea’s Parasite did the year before last.
The actors and actresses
The five stars who were previously considered favorites have prevailed among the male leads: Will Smith (53) for “King Richard”, Benedict Cumberbatch (45) for “The Power of the Dog”, Andrew Garfield (38) for “Tick , Tick … Boom!’, Denzel Washington (67) for “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and Javier Bardem (52) for “Being the Ricardos”.
Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman (54) for “Being the Ricardos”, Olivia Colman (48) for “Woman in the Dark”, Penélope Cruz (47) for “Parallel Mothers”, Kristen Stewart (31) for “Spencer ‘ and Jessica Chastain (44) for ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’.
Well-known stars can also be found in the two supporting actor categories. Two actors from “The Power of the Dog” can hope for an award for “Best Supporting Actor”: Kodi Smit-McPhee (25) and Jesse Plemons (33). The field is completed by Troy Kotsur (53, “CODA”), Ciarán Hinds (68, “Belfast”) and JK Simmons (67, “Being the Ricardos”).
A similar picture for “Best Supporting Actress”: Kristen Dunst (39) is nominated for her role in “The Power of the Dog”, as is Judi Dench (87) for “Belfast”. There are also Jessie Buckley (32, “Woman in the Dark”), Aunjanue Ellis (52, “King Richard”) and Ariana DeBose (31, “West Side Story”).
From director legend to newcomer from Japan
There are also five people in the running for “Best Director”. Director Jane Campion (67) for “The Power of the Dog”, Kenneth Branagh (61) for “Belfast”, Paul Thomas Anderson (51) for “Licorice Pizza” and Steven Spielberg (75) for “West Side Story”. The Japanese film “Drive My Car” deserves special mention here – Ryusuke Hamaguchi (43) received his first Oscar nomination as a director.
On the other hand, the hope of filmmaker Maria Schrader (56) has been shattered. Her “I am your human” did not end up on the final list of the five nominated foreign films. Instead – in view of the other nominations – Japan’s entry “Drive My Car” should be the clear favorite here.
“Drive My Car” from Japan is poised to become the second “Parasite” – with nominations for “Best Picture”, “Best Foreign Language Film” and “Best Director”. Meanwhile, the Netflix film “The Power of the Dog” more than lived up to its favorite role with twelve nominations, four of them in the actor categories alone. With ten nominations, the sci-fi epic “Dune” was nominally right behind, but these are mainly technical Oscars.
The 94th Academy Awards will take place on March 27, 2022 in Los Angeles.