Oscar nominations 2022: All the snubs and surprises
Oscar nominations arrived Tuesday morning, and, as you might expect, reactions around town ranged from finger-snapping approval to all the lonely people working out their disappointment by that tried-and-true “Power of the Dog” method of walking outside and twirling a hula hoop with the burning rage of a thousand suns.
There were surprises, of course, pleasant and otherwise. And there were omissions, which, for the sake of alliteration and search engine optimization, we’ll call “snubs” — though in all but the rarest of cases, motion picture academy voters weren’t deliberately setting out to signal their disapproval. Or, who knows, maybe they were. This is Hollywood, after all, where grudges run deeper than the fault lines that cross our fair land of sunshine and enchantment.
But that’s another story for another day. In the meantime, here are the “snubs” and surprises for the 94th Academy Awards, which will be handed out on March 27, a date so far away that it feels like a surprise and a snub in and of itself.
SURPRISE: Kristen Stewart, “Spencer” (lead actress)
Awards voters had been treating Stewart with the kind of frosty remove with which the royal family regarded Diana — leaving her out in the cold for Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA nominations — so her Oscar nomination is almost shocking, provided you forget that she began the season as a front-runner and is completely deserving of any and all recognition for her moving portrayal of the beleaguered princess.
SNUB: Lady Gaga, “House of Gucci” (lead actress)
Gaga had powered through the awards season, earning nominations from most precursors. But “Gucci” picked up just one Oscar nomination, makeup & hairstyling, leaving Gaga on the sidelines. No one gave a more committed performance this year. Then again, no one talked more about the commitment she gave to her performance.
A complete guide to where you can watch and/or stream all the movies nominated for this year’s Oscars, from ‘Drive My Car’ to ‘Power of the Dog.’
SNUB: “House of Gucci” (best picture)
After Ridley Scott’s crime drama picked up a SAG Awards ensemble nomination, there was some thought (concern?) that “Gucci” could land an Oscar nomination as well, particularly as it seemed to play better with audiences than critics. But the overlong movie didn’t satisfy enough voters, whether they were hoping for a trashy camp-fest or a serious exploration of a family’s descent into greed and revenge.
SNUB: Jared Leto, “House of Gucci” (supporting actor)
Leto and his 17 pounds of latex and his ... um ... distinctive Italian accent often seemed like they belonged in an entirely different movie than the one that the rest of the “House of Gucci” cast appeared in. Maybe they all should have joined him in his movie; “Gucci” could have been more fun. The good news: He’s still up for a Razzie.
The nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards were announced early Tuesday. Here is the full list of nominees in all 23 categories.
SNUB: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (best picture)
Why nominate the one film that moviegoers flocked to see in 2021? It’s not like the Oscars need to prop up the robust movie industry.
SURPRISE: “Drive My Car” (best picture)
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s profoundly moving drama earned best picture prizes from the Los Angeles and New York film critics, as well as the National Society of Film Critics. The five other movies to sweep these major critics groups — “Goodfellas,” “Schindler’s List,” “L.A. Confidential,” “The Hurt Locker” and “The Social Network” — all earned best picture Oscar nominations.
So why is it surprising to see “Drive My Car” do the same? Well, for starters, it’s a non-English-language film. And it’s nearly three hours long, making it less than ideal for the kind of uninterrupted home viewing needed for it to cast its spell. But cast its spell it did, affirming that as the academy continues to add substantially more international members, the Oscars might be becoming a true global event.
SNUB: Denis Villeneuve, “Dune” (director)
The academy rarely rubber-stamps the Directors Guild’s slate, but it was thought that either Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”) or Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) would be sidelined for Hamaguchi and not Villeneuve, the Oscar-nominated “Arrival” director whose latest movie earned a whopping 10 nominations … but not one for the filmmaker behind its bold ambition.
SURPRISE: Judi Dench, “Belfast” (supporting actress)
Dench won an Oscar for eight minutes of screen time in “Shakespeare in Love.” So maybe any love from the academy shouldn’t come as a surprise.
‘The Power of the Dog’ leads all movies with 12. What this year’s nominations mean for streaming, indie films and the overall future of the Oscars.
SNUB: Caitríona Balfe and Jamie Dornan, “Belfast” (supporting actress and actor)
When it came to “Belfast,” actors branch voters went with age before beauty, nominating Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds, the actors playing the film’s loving grandparents, and ignoring the younger generation, Balfe and Dornan.
SURPRISE: “Nightmare Alley” (best picture)
Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Shape of Water” had its fans (Martin Scorsese was among the most vocal) but was generally considered a commercial and critical disappointment. Though it earned only three other nominations — production design, costume design and cinematography — it somehow broke through for picture, a triumph for theatrical as it beat out streaming contenders including “Being the Ricardos” and “Tick, Tick … Boom!”
Sorry, ‘Spider-Man,’ there are no blockbusters nominated for best picture. Unless we redefine the term
The 2022 Oscar best picture nominees include only one to gross more than $100 million in theaters. Who knows how many saw other titles on streaming?
SNUB: “Being the Ricardos” (best picture and original screenplay)
Most naysayers had resigned themselves to seeing Aaron Sorkin’s showbiz biopic nominated, assuming that industry voters would swoon for a tale of bickering actors, writers and producers overcoming their differences to create art (helped, of course, by a heroic, last-minute save by, um, J. Edgar Hoover). One problem: The real-life events depicted in the movie felt less convincing than the wacky exploits seen weekly on “I Love Lucy.” Another issue: Every character sounded like Sorkin. A year after nominating Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the academy apparently grew tired of his voice.
SNUB: “Tick, Tick … Boom!” (best picture)
These are the Oscars, not the Tonys, and motion picture academy voters had room for just one musical this year, reserving most of their applause for “West Side Story.” The news wasn’t all bad: “Tick, Tick … Boom!” did earn nominations for film editing and star Andrew Garfield. And director Lin-Manuel Miranda picked up an Oscar nomination for one of his “Encanto” songs, so he can hang on to the fact that he’s one step closer to earning his EGOT.
SNUB: “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (best picture)
“Something wicked this way comes” pretty much sums up just about every Oscar nominations announcement, don’t you think?
SURPRISE: “The Worst Person in the World” (original screenplay)
No, Renate Reinsve did not earn an Oscar nomination for her standout turn in Joachim Trier’s coming-of-age story, and that is just plain wrong. But the expertly observed movie itself did turn up in international feature as well as original screenplay, which probably means she came close … and, yeah, that just makes me even sadder and angrier.
SNUB: Ruth Negga, “Passing” (supporting actress)
Rebecca Hall’s piercing drama about friendship and identity seemed to get lost in the shuffle during awards season, but I still thought enough people would have seen it to reward Negga. Her aching turn as a light-skinned Black woman who has embraced “passing” as white was one of the year’s best performances, filled with mystery, empathy and a quiet audacity.
SURPRISE: Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter” (supporting actress)
When it came to “The Lost Daughter,” everyone was so focused on Olivia Colman (and understandably so) that Buckley, who plays Colman’s character as a young woman, flew under the radar. But academy voters loved them both, seeing their work as complementary and equally important to the film’s success.
SNUB: Jennifer Hudson, “Respect” (lead actress)
This Aretha Franklin biopic opened in August, a lifetime ago as awards season time is measured. She earned a SAG Award nomination, but the memory of Hudson’s intense, entertaining portrayal should have lingered more than it did. Where’s the R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
SURPRISE: Jesse Plemons, “The Power of the Dog” (supporting actor)
Plemons was the nice guy in Jane Campion’s western, and nice guys usually finish last. But in a sign of the movie’s strength, the actors branch nominated all four of its primary cast members: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee and, yes, Plemons, who delivered a moving portrayal of decency and understanding.
SURPRISE: J.K. Simmons, “Being the Ricardos” (supporting actor)
Simmons’ lovable grump portrayal of “I Love Lucy” actor William Frawley proved impossible to resist, even if it was, at times, impossible to believe.
Netflix had 27 nominations, the most of any studio. Disney-owned companies and Warner Bros. fared well. Apple got its first best picture nomination.
SNUB: Mike Faist, “West Side Story” (supporting actor)
The women of “West Side Story” — Rachel Zegler, Rita Moreno and supporting actress nominee Ariana DeBose — received most of the attention, but Faist won a great many fans for his primal portrayal of the doomed Riff. He didn’t pick up a nomination, but the movie might make him a star.
SNUB: Ben Affleck, “The Tender Bar” (supporting actor)
Affleck had picked up a SAG Awards nom for his loose, low-key portrayal of a lesson-dispensing Long Island bartender. You miss him whenever he’s not on the screen. Or maybe that’s just me. I can never get a bartender when I want one.
Watch L.A. Times Today at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News 1 on Channel 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News App. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch on Cox Systems on channel 99.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.