Random Thoughts: On the 2022 Oscar Nominations

A peculiar 2021 movie year semi-officially comes to an end with the 2022 Academy Awards. This morning the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced their much anticipated nominees for this year’s Oscars. As is the case every year, this batch has its share of surprises – a few good, plenty of bad, and some that are downright perplexing. Needless to say they’ve left us with plenty to talk about. Here are a few random thoughts about the 2022 Oscar nominations.

  • It was a big morning for “Dune” which I loved to see. It ended the morning with a total of 10 Oscar nominations. It was my favorite movie of the year so clearly no arguments here.
  • Except in Best Director! How on earth did Denis Villeneuve not get a directing nomination for “Dune”? It scores a nod in so many other eligible category but not Best Director? Anderson for “Licorice Pizza”? Hamaguchi for “Drive My Car”? But no Villenueve? (enter eye-rolling emoji here).
  • And how the heck was Leslie Jordan pronouncing Denis Villenueve’s name??? Not Snoop Dog level bad but close.
  • While I’m on the subject of egregious omissions, Caitriona Balfe misses out on a Supporting Actress nomination. It’s a baffling snub considering how she has earned nominations at nearly every other awards season stop. Not to mention, her performance was sublime. Easily among the year’s best. The category loses some of its credibility without her there.
  • Speaking of Supporting Actress, the Academy gave a nomination to Balfe’s “Belfast” co-star Judy Dench. Don’t get me wrong, Dench was great, but over Balfe? What am I missing?
  • So I’m guessing the Academy members forgot to watch “Mass”?
  • To no surprise, “The Power of the Dog” led the way with 12 total nominations. It seems to have the wind at its back heading into Oscar night. Can’t say I agree with all the buzz surrounding it, but hearing its named called so often this morning was no surprise.
  • Will anyone beat Jane Campion for Best Director.
  • Bummer to see no Peter Dinklage nod for his brilliant work in “Cyrano”. He absolutely should have been included in the Best Actor race.
  • “Drive My Car” became a popular Oscar pick on social media, and it seems to have gotten the push it needed. The Japanese road-trip movie won nominations for Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, and International Feature. It’s a good movie. Still not convinced it’s a great one.
  • I miss Dick Poop.
  • Denzel Washington gets his tenth Oscar nomination for his incredible performance in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. I hope he wins. He should win.
  • Back to Supporting Actress, Ariana DeBose continues to be the front-runner and for good reason. She is spectacular in “West Side Story”. It would be a stunner if she doesn’t win the award.
  • Oh, and Jessie Buckley gets nominated for “The Lost Daughter”. High Five!
  • Speaking of “West Side Story” (and going back to glaring omissions), Mike Faist gets shut out of the Supporting Actor category. While he has received a little love throughout awards season, I still feel this is one of the more underappreciated performances of the year. He absolutely deserves a nomination.
  • Jesse Plemons instead of Faist? I’m a Plemons fan and he was good in “The Power of the Dog”. But it wasn’t a performance that (dare I say) stood out. In fact, he vanishes for a huge chunk of the second half. Compare that to Faist who was a powerful presence throughout “West Side Story”.
  • LOVED seeing “Nightmare Alley” getting a Best Picture nomination. It’s a movie that seems to have slipped under too many radars, but I’m so glad the Academy recognized it.
  • One last thing on Supporting Actress (I promise), I was really hoping for a Cate Blanchett nomination for “Nightmare Alley”. What a scene-stealer.
  • Too much “Don’t Look Up”! I get the feeling Adam McKay must have a lot of friends in the voting ranks. I actually liked “Don’t Look Up” better than most of his films. But Best Picture? Best Original Screenplay? Nope.
  • And too much “Licorice Pizza”. I know there is a strong ‘PTA can do no wrong’ sentiment, but this was a pretty good but not great movie. And that’s not even counting the story’s inherent ickiness that some (including the Academy apparently) have found ways to gloss over.
  • I know some people were fussing, but I loved seeing J.K. Simmons nominated in Supporting Actor for “Being the Ricardos”. I thought he was a hoot.
  • While I’m glad Bradley Cooper didn’t get a nod for “Licorice Pizza” (he was hilarious but sorry, it was a cameo), I would have loved to see him slip into the Best Actor group for “Nightmare Alley”.
  • I hate to sound so negative, but absolutely nothing for Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero”? Talk about a movie that deserved at the very least an International Feature Film nomination. To be honest, I can come up with several other categories it deserved to be in. Sad.
  • Great seeing CODA get some love this morning. I don’t expect it to win anything, but it’s great to see this small but delightful movie get several mentions
  • And how can you not be happy for Troy Kotsur?
  • Nothing for “The French Dispatch”? Not even Production Design or Score?
  • There was much Twitter concern of Kristen Stewart getting snubbed for Best Actress. To be honest, there was reason to be concerned following the SAG and the Globes. But she did indeed get a nomination, and I think she’s legitimately in the mix to win.
  • I love how “Belfast” gets under so many people’s skin. I adore the movie and think it deserves every nomination it received. At the same time, it kinda feels like one of those movies that gets a lot of nominations but doesn’t take many home (especially after Balfe’s criminal snub).
  • “King Richard” had a bigger showing than I expected, picking up nominations for Best Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, and Original Screenplay.
  • So the Jared Leto saga can end (at least for this year). No nomination for him and little overall for Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci”.
  • Was anyone else surprised to see “tick, tick…BOOM!” get nominated in Best Editing? I liked but didn’t love the film and can’t remember much about the editing other than when it killed the film’s most emotional scene. Oh well.
  • Costume Design is such a strong category this year. All nominees deserve recognition, but I really wish “Spencer” could have made the cut.
  • Wordsmith Aaron Sorkin seemed to be a lock for a screenplay nomination for “Being the Ricardos” but not this year.
  • “The Mitchells vs The Machines” is not only worthy of a nomination, it deserves to win.
  • Tony Kushner really should’ve gotten a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for “West Side Story”.

Here is the full list of this year’s nominees….

Best Picture
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best Directing
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

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

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Best Supporting Actor
Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, Coda
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress
Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Best Adapted Screenplay
Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog

Best Original Screenplay
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The Worst Person in the World

Best International Feature Film
Drive My Car
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World

Best Animated Feature Film
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Cinematography
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Best Costume Design
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

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 Film Editing
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick…BOOM!

Best Production Design
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Coming 2 America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

Best Visual Effects
Free Guy
No Time to Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Sound
No Time to Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best Original Score
Don’t Look Up
Parallel Mothers
The Power of the Dog

Best Original Song
“Be Alive,” King Richard
“Dos Oruguitas,” Encanto
“Down to Joy,” Belfast
“No Time to Die,” No Time to Die
“Somehow You Do,” Four Good Days

Best Animated Short Film
Affairs of the Art
Robin Robin
The Windshield Wiper

Best Live-Action Short Film
Ala Kachuu — Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye
On My Mind
Please Hold

19 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: On the 2022 Oscar Nominations

  1. I have a feeling that Dune is going to be walking away with a decent number of awards. Best movie? Not likely, especially since Dennis Villeneuve wasn’t nominated as best director. Cinematography, visual effects, production design, and adapted screenplay are what I see Dune walking away with. I don’t think Villeneuve was ever going to get best director because he essentially only delivered half a movie. I can see him getting the nomination when part 2 comes out.

    • I see it winning several technical awards as well. I absolutely expected Villenueve be nominated. Didn’t think he would win, but he’s been on most of these nominee lists throughout awards season. I’m just glad the movie showed well. It has no shot at Best Picture, but I like it being included in the conversation.

  2. Don’t Look Up was basicaly shallow, stereotypical, simple minded. But I think Hollywood liked where it was coming from. Even with my dislike for the movie, I did think Lawrence and DiCaprio were very good, but not the sort of movie to support any acting nominations.

    Dune clearly not about to win Best Picture, nice to see it nominated anyway. Best Picture probably comes out of that list of Best Directors.

    • No, Dune had no shot even if Villenueve had been nominated. But getting nominated is nice to see.

      I don’t take anything Adam McKay does seriously, but I enjoyed this far more than I expected to. I don’t think it’s great by any means but I liked how it showed how utterly dumb we can be as a human race.

  3. Denis Villeneuve not getting nominated for Best Director is the most egregious snub. That and NOTHING for Passing. I would really love to talk to voters who thought Judi Dench, as much as I love her, was better than Ruth Negga or even Baife like you said.

    If Jane Campion doesn’t win Best Director you will hear me screaming.

  4. I’m shocked that Denis Villeneuve got snubbed for best director. That is bullshit. I’m not surprise that Titane and Annette didn’t get nominated but no love for The Green Knight? BOO!!!!

    I have no issue with J.K. Simmons being nominated. It just makes me happy that Jared Leto is not nominated and he can now concentrate full on for that Razzie nomination! YAY!!!!!! Oh, and let’s give a round of applause for Bruce Willis in getting a category of his own in he is going to win that Razzie but for which film? Hmm….

  5. Gotta be honest…I enjoyed a fair deal of things this/last year but there’s been little I’ve wanted to revisit whether snubbed or nominated. It is frustrating, but the year…in my mind at least, lacked buzz. Might be an unconventional opinion but more movies released in 2020 stuck with me and do still a year or so later than I envision most things from 2021 will in the future.

    I may peep in here and there for the Oscars, but unsure if I’ll commit the entire 3-4 hrs to watch. Imagining that they’re preparing for another low/close to in viewership, wishing them the best.

    • I get where you’re coming from. 2021 was a weird one and to be honest, it was late in the year before I felt I had any grasp of what my favorite movie would be. That said, there are of handful of 2021 movies that will stick with me. I adored Dune, Belfast, The Man in the Hat, Nightmare Alley, Westside Story and A Hero.

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