A quick overview of the 2022 Oscars nominations


Elliott Austin

The 94th Academy Awards are to be held on Sunday, March 27th. “The Power of the Dog,” “Dune,” and “Belfast,” gained the most nominations. Image credits: Warner Brothers (Dune), Bitters End (Drive my Car), United Artists (Licorice Pizza), Netflix (The Power of the Dog), 20th Century Studios (West Side Story), Neon (Spencer)

Elliott Austin, Staff Writer

The Academy Awards (better known as the Oscars) are the most prestigious awards ceremony in Hollywood. Despite recent drops in viewership due to various reasons (including the pandemic), the awards are still massively important to the industry. Though, ultimately, the Oscars are a big marketing campaign, discussing and anticipating the awards can be very entertaining, and even has the potential to promote truly special films, like we saw in 2019 with “Parasite” (Bong Joon-Ho). “The Power of the Dog”, “Dune”, and “Belfast” lead the nominations. Here is a quick overview of some of the more important films up for nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, premiering Sunday, March 27th.


Most Nominated Films:


“Belfast” (Kenneth Branagh): A semi-autobiographical film from writer/director Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet, Murder on the Orient Express) about his childhood during the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In Theaters and available to rent.

Nominated for 7 Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Ciaran Hinds, Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Song for “Down to Joy,” by Van Morrison.


“Coda” (Sian Heder): A coming-of-age film about a girl named Ruby (Emilia Jones), a child of deaf adults (CODA) and the only hearing member of her family. After originally premiering at Sundance in early 2021, it was picked up by Apple for a staggering $25 million and released for Apple TV+ streaming on August 13th. Streaming on Apple TV+.

Nominated for 3 Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur, and Best Adapted Screenplay.


“Don’t Look Up” (Adam McKay): A satirical, apocalyptic, comedy film where two astronomers (Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio) discover an impending asteroid collision that will cause a mass extinction event. Through the course of the movie they attempt to warn the governments and people of humanity of the danger. Also stars Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman and Cate Blanchett. Streaming on Netflix.

Nominated for 4 Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Score.


“Drive My Car” (Ryusuke Hamaguchi): A three hour Japanese film about grief and guilt told mostly through dialogue, based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. It garnered a surprising amount of nominations, as it seems like the kind of movie the Academy would ignore, but it deserves every single award. The less you know about this movie before watching, the better. In Theaters.

Nominated for 4 Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best International Feature.


“Dune” (Denis Villeneuve): The long awaited adaptation of the classic Frank Herbert sci-fi novel that forever changed the genre. A surprising success at the box office, despite releasing at the same time on HBO Max, the second part has already been announced, as this film is only the first half of the novel. Though it’s easy to be confused if you haven’t read the book, this adaptation pleased fans and newcomers alike, and has earned a surprising number of nominations, despite a snub for best director. Available to rent. 

Nominated for 10 Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Score for Hans Zimmer.


“King Richard” (Reinaldo Marcus Green): King Richard tells the story of Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, who attempts to shape them into the legends they would become. In Theaters and Available to rent.

Nominated for 6 Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor for Will Smith, Best Supporting Actress for Aunjanue Ellis, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Song for “Be Alive,” by Beyonce.


“Licorice Pizza” (Paul Thomas Anderson): In the most simple sense, story about growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970’s. Paul Thomas Anderson has been a mainstay in the Academy for decades, despite never winning for writing or directing. While the Academy always loves movies that use a nostalgic background of Hollywood, here it is more a set dressing than focus, unlike something like Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which gathered many nominations in 2020. “Licorice Pizza” stars Alana Haim (of rock band HAIM) and Cooper Hoffman (the son of late actor and longtime collaborator of Anderson, Philip Seymour Hoffman) in their first roles. In Theaters.

Nominated for 3 Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.


“Nightmare Alley” (Guillermo del Toro): A remake of a movie of the same name from 1947, released at probably the worst time: the same week as Spider-Man, dooming it to be a box office failure. Despite this, the Academy has taken a liking to this film, as they have with other del Toro pictures (The Shape of Water walked away with best picture in 2018). “Nightmare Alley,” stars Bradley Cooper as Stanton Carlisle, a carny who manipulates those around him with his act of clairvoyance and mentalism. In Theaters and Streaming on Hulu and HBO Max.

Nominated for 4 Awards: Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Cinematography.


“The Power of the Dog” (Jane Campion): A surprisingly huge critical and commercial success for distributor Netflix, “The Power of the Dog” is the front runner for Best Picture at the moment, and has a chance to be the first time Netflix gets the prestigious award. This slowburn western uses beautiful backdrops to tell the subtle story of power dynamics, toxic masculinity, and sexuality. This is also the first time Jane Campion has been nominated for an Oscar in almost 30 years, since she won Best Screenplay for her film “The Piano” in 1994. Though the nominations for this film are fully deserved, the sad fact is that Jane Campion is only the first woman to be nominated for Best Director more than once, and Ari Wegner is the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Cinematography. In Theaters and Streaming on Netflix.

Nominated for 12 Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor for Jesse Plemons, Best Supporting Actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee, Best Supporting Actress for Kirsten Dunst, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Score.


“West Side Story” (Steven Spielberg): Another sad box office failure, “West Side Story,” is a remake of the classic musical, which makes it no surprise that the Academy has taken a liking to this film. Spielberg has now been nominated for an Oscar in seven decades, and frankly it’s great to see him still active. In Theaters and Streaming on Disney+.

Nominated for 7 Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress for Ariana DeBose, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound.


Various Other Notable Films:


“The Lost Daughter” (Maggie Gyllenhaal): The directorial debut from actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is an intimate portrayal of motherhood and obsession. Streaming on Netflix.

Nominated for 3 Awards: Best Actress for Olivia Colman, Best Supporting Actress for Jessie Buckley, Best Adapted Screenplay.


“Spencer” (Pablo Larraín): Christmas at the Queen’s estate is filled with tension as Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage is on the rocks. Semi based on real events, “Spencer” features a standout performance from Kristen Stewart, earning her first Oscar nomination. This film also features a beautiful score from Johnny Greenwood, who also composed the scores for “Licorice Pizza” and “The Power of the Dog,” this year. Streaming on Hulu.

Nominated for 1 Award: Best actress for Kristen Stewart.


“Flee” (Jonas Poher Rasmussen): “Flee” is a Danish animated documentary about a man called Amin Nawabi (certain names and places were modified to protect those involved), on the verge of marrying his husband, as he recounts his refugee journey from Afghanistan to Denmark. Told in a creatively beautiful animation style combined with archival footage, “Flee” is an effective and moving work. Streaming on Hulu.

Nominated for 3 Awards: Best Documentary Feature, Best Animated Feature, and Best International Feature.


“The Worst Person in the World” (Joachim Trier): A dark romantic comedy from Norwegian director Joachim Trier, tells the story of four years in Julie’s life as she navigates the ever confusing world of love. Though unsurprisingly getting a nomination for best international feature, “The Worst Person in the World” broke into the other categories with a nomination for best original screenplay. In Theaters.

Nominated for 2 Awards: Best International Feature, Best Original Screenplay.


Other movies from 2021 that deserve recognition:


  • “The French Dispatch” (Wes Anderson)
  • “C’mon C’mon” (Mike Mills)
  • “Red Rocket” (Sean Baker)
  • “The Last Duel” (Ridley Scott)
  • “The Card Counter” (Paul Schrader)
  • “Passing” (Rebecca Hall)
  • “The Souvenir: Part II” (Joanna Hogg)
  • “The Humans” (Stephen Karam)
  • “Mass” (Fran Kranz)


Full list of nominations can be found here: https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2022