Arts & Entertainment, Pop Rhetoric

2022 Oscar nominations: Winners, losers, and snubs

After yet another long and tumultuous wait, this year’s Oscar nominations have been released—and I, for one, am pleasantly surprised. With the past year yielding a wide variety of films from across the globe, the 94th annual Academy Award nominations recognized an impressive collection of well-deserving work. It can be hard to know what’s worth your time, so here are the best and worst nominations of the show, with predictions of who will take home the top prize. 

Netflix took the biggest wins this year, coming away with a whopping 27 nominations, including 12 for The Power of the Dog, the most for any individual film this year. They also have two films in contention for Best Picture: The aforementioned The Power of the Dog and previous Oscar winner Adam Mckay’s Don’t Look Up. The other notable winner is Danish film Flee, which is the first film to be nominated for Best International Feature Film, Best Animated Feature, and Best Documentary simultaneously. Netflix’s final winner is the entire Best Supporting Actress category—and wow. Every performance was well deserving of a nomination. From Jessie Buckley in The Lost Daughter to Ariana DeBose in West Side Story (2021), this category may be just near impossible to predict. 

Unlike the Best Supporting Actress category, the biggest loser of the nominations was the Best Actress category. Putting aside the questionable nomination for Nicole Kidman’s performance in Being the Ricardos, the category fails to acknowledge any break-out performer. In a year with two truly excellent first-time performances from Alana Haim in ​​Licorice Pizza and Rachel Zegler in West Side Story (2021), the oversight is not only an unjust but a painfully dull decision. The last loser is arthouse film distributor A24. Known for their consistent, exceptional artistry, A24 films are typically received with warm audience reactions and mass critical acclaim. With their impressive slate of 2021 films including Red Rocket, Zola, C’mon C’mon, and my personal favourite The Green Knight, it’s almost incredible how they managed to accumulate so few nominations—a mere three for The Tragedy of Macbeth​​

In addition to the broader categorical snubs, there were quite a few individual oversights in other nominations. Denis Villeneuve definitely should have received a Best Director nomination for Dune (2021). The Academy has been traditionally hesitant to acknowledge the achievements of sci-fi and horror films, such as Ari Aster’s Midsommar, which wasn’t nominated, and The Matrix, which only received craft awards. Although Dune (2021) did break through by receiving an astounding nine nominations—including Best Picture—Villeneuve should have been recognized for his brilliant handling of adapting such a highly technical novel. 

Now that I’ve thoroughly complained about the nominees, or lack thereof, what do I think will actually happen on Hollywood’s biggest night? As passionate as I am about smaller films like Drive My Car and CODA, I predict Netflix will receive Best Picture, and we’re looking at a The Power of the Dog vs Don’t Look Up showdown for the top prize. Although Belfast seemed to be a strong contender earlier in the awards season, winning a Golden Globe at the start of this year, it fell short in nominations compared to other films, suggesting that it might have fallen into third place. 

In terms of viewing recommendations, for both personal enjoyment and winning that Oscar pool, The Power of the Dog, Worst Person in the World, Licorice Pizza and Drive My Car are my top choices. Slightly less relevant, but still excellent films you should seek out are CODA, The Lost Daughter, and West Side Story (2021). I would recommend skipping Don’t Look Up as well as ​​Being the Ricardos, because there are far superior films nominated that are more worth your time. No rush, though: The Oscars telecast will air on Mar. 27, so there’s plenty of time to catch up with all the nominees and craft your opinions for who will take home what.

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One Comment

  1. The person I thought deserved something was Emma Thompson for her role as the Baroness in Cruella. While everyone did a great job, she refined the 101 Dalmatians story with a new iconic character. She was awesome.

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