The 2022 Academy Awards are tomorrow; as per usual, a sizable divide exists between audience preference and critical acclaim. In fact, 2021’s highest-grossing film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, garnered merely one nomination, for best visual effects. After the jump, check out links to our coverage for the nominated films, along with information about their nomination, and a few predictions as well!
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur), Best Adapted
I think CODA actually has a decent chance for Best Picture, and if anything would be a close second choice for me in terms of those most deserving to win. Troy Kotsur seems to be a lock to secure his monumental win for Best Supporting Actor. CODA‘s an emotional, deeply affecting film that will speak to so many people.
Nomination: Best Makeup and Hairstyling
How did this get nominated, seriously how? It boggles the mind, but somehow this years-too-late poorly-made sequel is one the roster, and can now classify itself as an Oscar-nominated movie. I’ll keep waiting for Eddie Murphy to make a superior sequel, because I know he has it in him. This should have been an easy home run with years to perfect.
Nominations: Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairsyling
Possibly the best live-action Disney adaptation to date, Emma Stone embodies every bit of this sassy fashionista with a backstory to die for. For what is essentially Disney’s version of The Devil Wears Prada, Cruella deserves to win for Best Costume Design hands-down. Will it trump the traditional types of looks the Academy usually selects though? Probably not.
Nomination: Best Costume Design
The worst music of the year was undeniably Cinderella, but Cyrano was a late-time contender as well. Featuring dreadful choreography and a predictable, trite storyline, actor Peter Dinklage deserved so much better. And yet, the Academy chose to recognize the film for whatever reason. I would be shocked if it walks away with a single trophy.
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best
Don’t Look Up was one of the biggest surprises for me in terms of nominations, mainly because the critical reception has been all over the place. I doubt it will actually walk away with any wins, but it remains one of funniest films of 2021 regardless of the potential awards acclaim.
Nominations: Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Jessica Chastain is an absolutely revelation in what I would consider to be her greatest performance yet. I knew little about the Tammy Faye ahead of my screening, yet the proof is in the pudding. The woman was a gay icon for a reason, and Chastain’s transformative turn pays justice to an unsung legend. I would love to see Chastain take the big Actress prize home, because if anyone is deserving of it, it’s her.
Nominations: Best International Feature, Best Animated Feature
An animation/documentary hybrid unlike anything I have seen before, Flee beautifully explores the life of a gay refugee desperate to find a place he can call home. I watched this for 2021’s Toronto International Film Festival, and have not stopped thinking about it since. Sadly, I don’t foresee Flee winning either of the awards it was nominated for. In a perfect world, it would nab Best International Feature (but I’m sure overrated Worst Person in the World already has that one in the bag.)
Nomination: Best Visual Effects
This one is a super fun virtual reality riff and I adored Ryan Reynolds in it, but I must admit I was shocked to see Free Guy among this year’s nominees. I don’t think there was anything particularly great about the visual effects, though there were quantifiably an insane amount of them. While it may be a genuinely great movie, I don’t think it stands a chance against the likes of Dune and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Nomination: Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Lady Gaga’s egregious snub aside, the makeup and hairstyling of this film is legitimately Oscar-worthy, so I was happy to see it recognized. It’s a shame the critical reception was mixed, because I think Gucci is a campy, ridiculous delight. I think the race is tight between Gucci and Tammy Faye between which deserves to take home the gold.
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson), Best Original
Personally, I did not care for this one, though I am a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson. That said, I am clearly in the minority here as the film has garnered almost universal acclaim. I could see it winning Original Screenplay or Best Director, but I highly doubt Licorice Pizza has a chance at the top prize.
Nomination: Best Animated Feature
For the longest time, Mitchells was my favorite animated movie of the year up until Luca trumped it. For lovers of The Lego Movie and that particular Phil Lord / Chris Miller brand of humor, the film is near-perfect, and contains a crazy amount of heart for a movie about robots taking over the world. I could see a surprise upset with this winning Best Animated, but I won’t be surprised if they pick the “meh” safe choice of Encanto instead. I’m obsessed with that pug!
Nomination: Best Actress (Penelope Cruz)
Allison caught Parallel Mothers back at the New York Film Festival, and did not like it at all. From her review: “Although I do not regret watching Parallel Mothers, I am disappointed by the built-up hype. I found the plot to be incredibly predictable, so much so that I knew exactly what was going to happen the entire film before it played out. In this respect, it feels like the weakest of the Sony catalogue I have seen this year.”
Nomination: Best Actress (Kristen Stewart)
I finally watched Spencer recently as it came to Hulu, and I do not get the hype surrounding it. Minus Kristen Stewart, there isn’t anything special about it whatsoever. Why would they frustratingly choose to focus on a dour and depressing portion of Diana’s life, a mere weekend with the in-laws as it were? When you have a person whose life is that rich, how do you make a movie that’s this boring?
Nomination: Best Visual Effects
One of last year’s best movies (and arguably the greatest Marvel movie of all time), Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s measly one nomination almost feels like a slap in the face. Dune will probably walk away with the win, too, adding insult to injury. The technical skill on even a scripting level to bring this production together is mind-boggling, let alone all the moving parts to make it a box office juggernaut. Still, Spider-Man could emerge with an exciting win, even if just for those visual effects.
Nominations: Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Film Editing
While a whole discussion could be had about tick, tick… BOOM! deserving more Oscar love, I think it has a strong chance of securing two wins here. Garfield is assuredly deserving to win considering how transformative and powerful his performance was. He had a total of four absolutely incredible roles in one year, and of them all, this was my favorite. The editing is another beast entirely, with the film’s “Therapy” sequence soaring to masterful heights.
Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Actor (Denzel Washington), Best
Cinematography, Best Production Design
I absolutely hated this film, with the most positive thing I can think to say about it being that it has excellent cinematography. It’s difficult to care when the narrative bores you to tears. I read Macbeth several times before, and on paper it has a fiery passion that lacks completely from this iteration. Even Washington’s performance is one of my least favorite of his filmography, but maybe it will get that Cinematography win.
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Supporting
Actress (Ariana DeBose), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best
Sound, Best Production Design
West Side Story was my favorite film of last year, and seeing both the critical reception and the amount of award nominations made me giddily happy. I would absolutely love if this musical remake nabbed some of the biggest awards, but the one I’m pretty sure is a lock: Ariana DeBose for Best Supporting Actress. The character of Anita has already been awarded an Oscar, so how great would it be to see history repeat itself 60 years later?
Who are you rooting for to take home the top prizes as the big day approaches? Do you think there were any big snubs this year? Obviously opinion will vary from person to person, but I think this year the Academy actually did a pretty decent job at cherry-picking some of the year’s best. Personally, I’m rooting for West Side Story to nab the biggest prizes!