Olivia Riportella ’25
The nominations for the 2022 Oscars have officially been announced in anticipation of the Academy Awards’ 94th annual ceremony. This exciting list includes names and films from a wide range of genres. Set to take place on March 27, the awards will feature its first host in three years, although it is not yet publicly known who has been chosen for this honor.
Notably, every year, the Academy creates a theme for the ceremony, and this year’s theme is “Movie Lovers Unite,” which is quite fitting given that this is the most highly anticipated and closely watched Oscars season in years. Indeed, from big-budget films to small arthouse productions, the 2022 race is already on track to make history.
The film that dominated this year’s nominations was The Power of the Dog. Notably, four of the movie’s 12 nods are for acting honors, and the movie’s director, Jane Campion, has made history with this drama by becoming the first woman to be nominated in the Best Director category more than once. Campion was previously nominated for her work on the 1993 drama The Piano. Trailing close behind The Power of the Dog is the sci-fi epic Dune, which secured 10 nominations, including the night’s top prize of Best Picture.
Moreover, in addition to Campion’s exciting feat, a second directing nominee has set a new record: the iconic Steven Spielberg. His production of West Side Story earned a whopping total of seven nominations from the Academy. Spielberg has now set the record for most films nominated for Best Picture, with 11 to his legacy. Denzel Washington is another record-setter, extending a record he holds as the most nominated Black actor ever by earning his 10th nomination for his performance in The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Best Actor category produced expected and deserving nominations. In addition to Washington, Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated for The Power of the Dog, Andrew Garfield for tick, tick…BOOM!, Will Smith for King Richard, and Javier Bardem for Being the Ricardos.
The Best Actress nominations also did justice to this year’s standout performances, with Nicole Kidman nominated for Being the Ricardos, Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter, Penelope Cruz for Parallel Mothers, Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Kristen Stewart—in her first Oscar nomination ever—for Spencer.
There is always room for nomination backlash, however, in light of major snubs. An anticipated pick for the Best Actress category was Lady Gaga for her performance in House of Gucci, but the leading lady was not named among the nominees. Another surprising snub this year was in the Best Director category. Denis Villeneuve, who directed the ten-category nominated motion picture Dune, was noticeably not recognized.
Yet another major motion picture snubbed this year was Spider-Man: No Way Home. While the Academy tends not to consider franchise movies for its awards, fans were hopeful that the Marvel film would prove an exception to the rule: it has already become the sixth highest-grossing movie in global box office history, seen nearly $1.8 billion in ticket sales, and was easily the highest-grossing movie of 2021. Although Sony Corp. and Disney Co. were both campaigning for this critically acclaimed film to receive its due recognition, their efforts were to no avail.
Nevertheless, this year’s pool of Oscar nominees is talented and deserving, which will undoubtedly make for an exciting and entertaining awards ceremony.