Oscars 2022 nominations: from The Power of the Dog to The Lost Daughter
Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog takes the lead in this year's Oscars nominations, which have secured an enticing selection. Here are the films tipped to win big
It's another good year for female filmmakers as Jane Campion’s Netflix film The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst, racked up the most nominations. Other high-rankers include Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic Dune and Steven Spielberg’s updated remake of West Side Story. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s three-hour Murakami adaptation of Drive My Car, arguably the best nominated film, sneaked in with major nominations including Best International Feature.
Pablo Larraín's psychologically haunting royal drama Spencer received only one nomination: for Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana. Also ignored: Nicolas Cage’s touching performance in Michael Sarnoski’s strange film Pig, Eduard Grau’s beautifully black-and-white cinematography for Rebecca Hall’s racial drama Passing, and – most surprisingly – Lady Gaga’s transformative performance as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci.
Here are the most nominated films at this year's Oscars.
The Power of the Dog
12 nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (x2), Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Editing
The Oscars have been making more efforts in recent years to be inclusive, especially with female filmmakers. Nomadland's Chloé Zhao was the second woman to win a Best Director Oscar, and it’s very possible that Jane Campion will be the third. Her slow-burn Western The Power of the Dog earned the most nominations this year, including Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch and Best Supporting Actor for Jesse Plemons (his first-ever Oscar nomination).
Ari Wegner also received a deserved nomination for Best Cinematography, her picturesque visuals of rural America comparable to those in Terrence Malick's 1974 film Days of Heaven. To date, Wegner is the second woman ever to be nominated for cinematography, and could be the first female winner.
10 nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up and Styling, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Visual Effects
Despite Denis Villeneuve being snubbed for Best Director, his delicate and spectacular sci-fi epic Dune has still swept the nominations. Months prior to its release, many critics were sceptical. Would Frank Herbert’s weird and interplanetary politics be too much for audiences to handle, especially considering the botched attempts in the past by David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky?
But Villeneuve did an excellent job of making the story accessible: beautified by Grieg Fraser’s cinematography and intensely scored by Hans Zimmer. No nominations for the ensemble cast, but they're nothing compared to the film's overall visual and auditory immersion into the desert planet Arrakis.
West Side Story
Seven nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound
Historically, with some exceptions, Steven Spielberg films fall into two camps: war (of many kinds) or sci-fi dramas. It’s always exciting when he branches away from that standard: you feel he’s dancing outside his comfort zone.
His remake of the Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein musical West Side Story is a result of that daring, not only respecting the original but giving the story fresher diversity. Casting Latinx actors and removing English subtitles during Spanish dialogues bring an authenticity the original lacked, speaking to injustices old and new. West Side Story marks Spielberg's 11th nomination for Best Picture, a first in Oscar history.
Seven nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song, Best Sound
Many have had their problems with Kenneth Branagh’s pristinely monochrome and unabashedly personal film Belfast, about a working-class family living at the start of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Should such a serious time, filled with death and violence, be rendered with such fantastical properties? But Branagh succeeds with this vision of 1960s Belfast, capturing the emotions and adventures of childhood under the frightening threat of sectarian conflict.
The lack of nomination for Haris Zambarloukos’s cinematography is one of the biggest snubs of this year. But Branagh secures an even more impressive feat: after a fruitful career, he’s become the first person to receive nominations in seven Oscar categories.
Six nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song, Best Editing
Reinaldo Marcus Green’s biopic of Richard Williams – father and manager to tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams – might’ve been better suited to a TV series, but the film is still impressive as a feel-good and politically aware sports film.
The origin of the Williams sisters is a fascinating story, as they ascend from working-class Compton and into a mostly white sport. The nominated Will Smith is at the top of his game here, straddling comedy and drama with adequate balance as the zealous title character. Aunjanue Ellis also, thankfully, gets a deserved nomination for playing the underrated matriarch Oracene Williams.
Drive My Car
Four nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Feature Film
Although Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's mysterious, beautiful, three-hour odyssey deserves every award (particularly for Tôko Miura’s subdued performance), it’s proven a quietly fierce competitor this year. Rated as the best film of 2021 by Culture Whisper, Drive My Car didn’t have an overwhelming release but critics (including this one) deservedly elevated its status and it's now nominated for the major Oscar categories.
Haruki Murakami wrote the story upon which the film is
based, following the platonic friendship between theatre director Yûsuke (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and his regular driver Misaki (Miura). It treads many of Murakami's regular themes, even capturing his
familiar haunting atmosphere that lingers like fog after the credits roll.
Four nominations: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
Despite being overly long (yes, this writer is saying that after singing praises for Drive My Car), Nightmare Alley is a bizarre and bedazzling neo-noir. Guillermo del Toro creates detailed and phantasmagorical worlds, tangible yet mystical, and this film treads into a 1940s carnival filled with psychics, electric women and chicken-chewing geeks.
The story unwisely travels away from that fun, but the nominations for cinematography, production design, and costumes are well placed. Those aspects entice and absorb you, even when the narrative falls flat.
Don’t Look Up
Four nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Editing
Since tackling the 2008 recession in The Big Short, Adam McKay has cemented himself as a coveted filmmaker of political comedy. In Don’t Look Up, a satire of Trumpian America, he captures the absurdities of current mainstream thinking and the priorities of comfort and celebrity over rationality and alarmism.
a funny and depressing indictment of our times, starring Leonard DiCaprio and
Jennifer Lawrence as scientists who discover a comet that will end humanity.
Nobody will listen and the Trump surrogate, played by Meryl Streep, wants to suppress
any concern – leading to our ultimate destruction. It perhaps doesn’t deserve a
Best Original Screenplay nomination; the dialogue is occasionally messy with
the amount of improv involved, but the premise sticks with you.
The Lost Daughter
Three nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress
Maggie Gyllenhaal missed out on a Best Director nomination for her brilliant debut, based on the short novel by Elena Ferrante, but secures Best Adapted Screenplay. The Lost Daughter is a slow-boil character study, following the holidaying mother Leda (Olivia Colman) who finally has some time to herself. But she becomes enraptured by a dodgy family, leading her to a nostalgic trip back to her early mothering days (as portrayed by Jessie Buckley).
Colman and Buckley deserve their nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, with both performances simmering with silent rage.
The Oscars nominations in full:
- Don’t Look Up
- Drive My Car
- King Richard
- Licorice Pizza
- Nightmare Alley
- The Power of the Dog
- West Side Story
- Kenneth Branagh for Belfast
- Ryûsuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car
- Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza
- Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
- Steven Spielberg for West Side Story
Best Original Screenplay
- Kenneth Branagh for Belfast
- Adam McKay and David Sirota for Don’t Look Up
- Zach Baylin for King Richard
- Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza
- Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt for The Worst Person in the World
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Siân Heder for CODA
- Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe for Drive My Car
- Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth for Dune
- Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter
- Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Best Lead Actor
- Javier Bardem for Being the Ricardos
- Will Smith for King Richard
- Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog
- Andrew Garfield for Tick, Tick … Boom!
- Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth
Best Lead Actress
- Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos
- Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye
- Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter
- Penélope Cruz for Parallel Mothers
- Kristen Stewart for Spencer
Best Supporting Actor
- JK Simmons for Being the Ricardos
- Ciarán Hinds for Belfast
- Troy Kotsur for CODA
- Jesse Plemons for The Power of the Dog
- Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Power of the Dog
Best Supporting Actress
- Judi Dench for Belfast
- Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter
- Aunjanue Ellis for King Richard
- Kirsten Dunst for The Power of the Dog
- Ariana DeBose for West Side Story
- Greig Fraser for Dune
- Dan Laustsen for Nightmare Alley
- Ari Wegner for The Power of the Dog
- Bruno Delbonnel for The Tragedy of Macbeth
- Janusz Kamiński for West Side Story
Best International Feature Film
- Drive My Car (Japan)
- Flee (Denmark)
- The Hand of God (Italy)
- Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)
- The Worst Person in the World (Norway)
Best Animated Feature Film
- The Mitchells vs. the Machines
- Raya and the Last Dragon
Best Animated Short Film
- Affairs of the Art
- Robin Robin
- The Windshield Wiper
Best Documentary Feature
- Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
- Writing With Fire
Best Documentary Short Subject
- Lead Me Home
- The Queen of Basketball
- Three Songs for Benazir
- When We Were Bullies
Best Costume Design
- Jenny Beavan for Cruella
- Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran for Cyrano
- Bob Morgan and Jacqueline West for Dune
- Luis Sequeira for Nightmare Alley
- Paul Tazewell for West Side Story
Best Original Score
- Nicholas Britell for Don’t Look Up
- Hans Zimmer for Dune
- Germaine Franco for Encanto
- Alberto Iglesias for Parallel Mothers
- Jonny Greenwood for The Power of the Dog
Best Original Song
- Van Morrison for Down to Joy in Belfast
- Lin-Manuel Miranda for Dos Oruguitas in Encanto
- Diane Warren for Somehow You Do in Four Good Days
- Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Dixson for Be Alive in King Richard
- Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell for No Time to Die in No Time to Die
- Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri for Belfast
- Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett for Dune
- Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor for No Time to Die
- Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb for The Power of the Dog
- Tod A Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy for West Side Story
Best Film Editing
- Hank Corwin for Don’t Look Up
- Joe Walker for Dune
- Pamela Martin for King Richard
- Peter Sciberras for The Power of the Dog
- Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum for Tick, Tick … Boom!
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
- Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer for Coming 2 America
- Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon for Cruella
- Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr for Dune
- Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh for The Eyes of Tammy Faye
- Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras for House of Gucci
Best Production Design
- Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos for Dune
- Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau for Nightmare Alley
- Grant Major and Amber Richards for The Power of the Dog
- Stefan Dechant and Nancy Haigh for The Tragedy of Macbeth
- Adam Stockhausen and Rena DeAngelo for West Side Story
Best Visual Effects
- Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer for Dune
- Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick for Free Guy
- Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould for No Time to Die
- Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick for Spider-Man: No Way Home
Best Live Action Short Film
- Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
- The Dress
- The Long Goodbye
- On My Mind
- Please Hold