The 2022 Oscar Nominations and Our Opinions on Them

Posted on February 08, 2022


They’re here! They’re (a little bit) queer! Let’s dive right into the 2022 Oscar nominations, shall we? We are going to have much more to say about all of them in the week’s podcast, but our initial thoughts are as follows:


Performance by an actor in a leading role
Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM!” (Netflix)
Will Smith in “King Richard” (Warner Bros.)
Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (Apple Original Films/A24)

We don’t think there are any real surprises here. We’re thrilled for Andrew Garfield and Will Smith. Javier Bardem was wildly miscast as Desi (way more than Nicole was as Lucy, although she got all the grief for it). Denzel was as good as he always is in Macbeth, but we suspect this is Cumberbatch’s.


Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast” (Focus Features)
Troy Kotsur in “CODA” (Apple Original Films)
Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)

We’d be that J.K. is a favorite to win among the more conservative Academy members, but we’d love it if it went to Plemons, Hinds or Smit-McPhee, who seems like the overall fave to win it. We’re delighted by the Jared Leto snub.


Performance by an actress in a leading role
Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight)
Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
Penélope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios)
Kristen Stewart in “Spencer” (Neon/Topic Studios)

NO GAGA! We are THRILLED. Nothing against Steffi, who is a pretty competent actress with a ton of charisma, but House of Gucci was a very silly film. YES K STEW! GO, GAY GIRL! The first openly gay acting nominee in twenty years, believe it or not. We’ve been championing her in this role since it was announced and we’re thrilled to see it get this kind of recognition. The Chastain nom is a joke, but we’re pretty biased against any film that tries to rehab the reputation of televangelists. Most of her acting came down to makeup, prosthetics, and wigs. We suspect Kidman is the favorite because the Academy loves movies about classic Hollywood figures.


Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story” (Walt Disney)
Judi Dench in “Belfast” (Focus Features)
Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
Aunjanue Ellis in “King Richard” (Warner Bros.)

 Surprised a little by Judi Dench, not that it’s undeserving. Also thrilled for Anjanue, who’s long been quietly great. We think this’ll come down to Kirsten Dunst (yay!) or Ariana DeBose. No Balfe or Negga? Snubs.


Achievement in cinematography
“Dune” (Warner Bros.) Greig Fraser
“Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight) Dan Laustsen
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) Ari Wegner
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” (Apple Original Films/A24) Bruno Delbonnel
“West Side Story” (Walt Disney) Janusz Kaminski

We’d give this one to West Side Story, which had a stunning look to it in every scene.


Achievement in costume design
“Cruella” (Walt Disney) Jenny Beavan
“Cyrano” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists Releasing) Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
“Dune” (Warner Bros.) Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
“Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight) Luis Sequeira
“West Side Story” (Walt Disney) Paul Tazewell


Cruella, of course.


Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
“Coming 2 America” (Amazon Studios/Paramount/New Republic Pictures) – Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
“Cruella” (Walt Disney) – Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
“Dune” (Warner Bros.) – Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight) – Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
“House of Gucci” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists Releasing) – Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras


Any one of these would be worthy.


Achievement in directing
“Belfast” (Focus Features) Kenneth Branagh
“Drive My Car” (Sideshow and Janus Films) Ryusuke Hamaguchi
“Licorice Pizza”
(Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists Releasing)
Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) Jane Campion
“West Side Story” (Walt Disney) Steven Spielberg

Congrats to Jane Campion, the only woman nominated in this category twice. We’d give it to her.


Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Don’t Look Up” (Netflix) Nicholas Britell
“Dune” (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
“Encanto” (Walt Disney) Germaine Franco
“Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics) Alberto Iglesias
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) Jonny Greenwood

We imagine Encanto has this locked up.


Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Be Alive” from “King Richard” (Warner Bros.) – Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto” (Walt Disney) – Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down To Joy” from “Belfast” (Focus Features) – Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
“No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists Releasing) – Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days” (Vertical Entertainment) – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

No “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”?


Best motion picture of the year
“Belfast” (Focus Features)
“CODA” (Apple Original Films)
“Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)
“Drive My Car” (Sideshow and Janus Films)
“Dune” (Warner Bros.)
“King Richard” (Warner Bros.)
“Licorice Pizza” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists Releasing)
“Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight)
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
“West Side Story” (Walt Disney)

This is too big for a tossed-off opinion. Listen to this week’s podcast for our thoughts on which film should win Best Picture.





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