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February 8, 2022

The 94th Oscar Nominations Have Been Announced

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Well, it’s that time of year again. After a quiet start to the awards season 2022 (Golden Globes blackout, Critics Choice, Palm Springs, & Grammys postponement). This morning’s 94th Academy Award nominations burst the door to the marathon of the next several weeks of screenings (virtual and in-person), pre-galas and talkbacks. Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan read the nominees along with a selection of everyday Americans from nurses to firefighters to theater college students. The Oscars itself will move around once more. Its normal slot on the last Sunday in February clashed with the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, so the last Sunday in March will do.

This seems to be the year of the coming-of-age drama. Several of this year’s Best Picture nominees explore life through the lens of a child, teenager, or young adult or tell their story. “Licorice Pizza”, “CODA”, “Belfast”, and “King Richard”, “Dune”, “West Side Story” all fall into that category. In a year still troubled by the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to go back in time with nostalgia, whether those times were good or bad. The movie that received the most nominations this year was Jane Campion’s “Power of the Dog” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee, all who received nominations in acting. Writer and director Jane Campion’s most known work is “The Piano” and her strengths lie in relationship drama, whether that’s family, romantic, or otherwise. Subjects that Oscars eat up!

Below are a few of the nominations:

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
  • Will Smith in “King Richard”
  • Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast”
  • Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
  • Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

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

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
  • Judi Dench in “Belfast”
  • Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Aunjanue Ellis in “King Richard”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Encanto” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Luca” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
  • “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
  • “Raya and the Last Dragon” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Best documentary feature

  • “Ascension” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
  • “Attica” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
  • “Writing with Fire” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Belfast” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
  • “CODA” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
  • “Don’t Look Up” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
  • “Drive My Car” Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
  • “Dune” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
  • “King Richard” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
  • “Licorice Pizza” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
  • “Nightmare Alley” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

With today’s nomination for “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Denzel Washington breaks his own record with 10 total Oscar nominations, becoming among the most nominated actors ever and the most nominated Black man in history. Since its global debut earlier this year, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” recently received nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and NAACP Image Awards, and more.

The biggest omission that’s being talked about today is Lady Gaga missing out on Best Actress for “House of Gucci”, especially since she has been nominated for every major award and critics association to date.

Jennifer Hudson was a surprise snub for “Respect”. Another early favorite, the project was a labor of love for Hudson, who had a close relationship with Aretha Franklin and handpicked her for her biopic before she died. We would have also liked to have seen “Passing” get some love for Ruth Negga or Tessa Thompson. There are movies every single year that pass through the cracks of even consideration. “Zola”, “The Green Knight”, “Swan Song”, and “Spider Man: No Way Home” (yes there’s precedent of a critically acclaimed superhero movie with “Black Panther”) made us emotionally invested and extracted surprising performances.

As of press time today, a host still has not been named for this year’s telecast. Mega producer, Will Packer, is taking over the reins this year and could some of his close colleagues be called up: Tiffany Haddish, anyone? Queen Latifah? LilRel Howery? Since last year’s cocktail party was like a test run. Could Kevin Hart be persuaded to return after the controversy 3 years ago? We shall see, but hosting duties have always been a thankless task and producing is no easier- with trying to balance bringing fresh ideas to attract an even waning audience with honoring tradition and history.

After last year’s reimagined Oscars that were semi-outside at L.A.’s Union Station, the ceremony will return indoors at the Dolby Theater. No covid protocols have been announced, but we are going to assume it’s going to look like a hybrid of proof of vaccination and negative PCR test or rapid tests upon arrival. Here’s hoping that the omicron surge will have dwindled enough by late March to where mask mandates can be lifted for venues and gatherings this large. Whatever happens, we look forward to a semblance of normalcy with a full red carpet, stars rubbing elbows with each other again, and pre and after parties in full swing. Stay tuned for more coverage of awards season here!

The 94th Annual Academy Awards airs LIVE Sunday March 27 at 8pm EST/5pm PST on ABC Full List of Nominees: here

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