The biggest talking points from the Oscars 2022 nominations

Lady Gaga's locked out and there's no time for Alana Haim

Once again, the big awards ceremony of the year has been pushed back a little later than usual, but that isn’t stopping the Oscars from making some big statements with its nominees for 2022. Here are the most notable talking points from today’s announcement…

Pop’s musicians-turned-actors were shut out

Two of music’s big names were likely hoping to be included in today’s announcement – and both for Best Actress. Alana Haim should have gotten a nomination for her natural and personable portrayal of Licorice Pizza’s Alana Kane, while Lady Gaga was overlooked for her take on House Of Gucci’s Patrizia Reggiani. In fact, House Of Gucci was snubbed entirely, with cast-mate Jared Leto also missing out on a Best Supporting Actor nod. Star power can’t always guarantee you great success, it turns out.

Belfast continues to dominate awards season

Since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival last September, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast has been sweeping awards ceremonies left, right and centre, dominating every shortlist for its warm and tender portrayal of a family’s life in the Northern Irish city in the ‘60s. The Oscars 2022 are no different. The film has racked up nine nods in today’s announcement, including biggies for Best Picture, Best Director (Branagh), Best Supporting Actor (Ciarán Hinds) and Best Supporting Actress (Dame Judi Dench). The only snub here is Caitríona Balfe being overlooked for for her portrayal of Ma. The competition the heartfelt film faces is tough, though, so we’ll have to wait and see if the Academy voters love it enough to turn those noms into trophies.


Jamie Dornan and Jude Hill in ‘Belfast’. CREDIT: Alamy

Drive My Car gets the acclaim it deserves

Before today, only 12 non-English language films had been nominated for Best Picture since the award was first handed out in 1929. Drive My Car – the Japanese drama based on a short story by Haruki Murakami – has now become the thirteenth, giving Japan its second Best Picture nominee after 2006’s Letters From Iwo Jima. You could argue that the enthralling, Ryusuke Hamaguchi-directed movie is the most international movie ever to be in the running for the category, due to it featuring the use of not just Japanese and English, but also Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesian, Malaysian, Tagalog and German.

Regardless, Drive My Car more than deserves to be in the running for the Oscars big prizes (Hamaguchi is also up for Best Director, while the film has been shortlisted for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best International Film). It’s an utterly absorbing watch – even at nearly three hours long – that explores the complexities of relationships, art and communication in a thought-provoking, moving manner. Here’s hoping it can become the second non-English language movie to take home the top award.

Steven Spielberg is the first director nominated in six different decades

It’s long been known that Spielberg is quite good at the old directing game – you only have to look at his extensive filmography to see that. So it’s no surprise that he has been consistently nominated for Best Director at the Oscars over the last six decades. Since 1978, he’s been shortlisted for the award eight times, including today’s West Side Story nod, and has won the trophy twice – in 1994 for Schindler’s List and again in 1999 for Saving Private Ryan. His take on the classic musical is quite different fare to either of those victorious movies but, given that West Side Story’s on-screen success felt largely due to his helming, it wouldn’t be unlikely to see him claim it for a third time.

The French Dispatch
Lyna Khoudri, Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet in ‘The French Dispatch’. CREDIT: Alamy

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch has been completely ignored

Any awards show is always going to leave someone on the sidelines who deserves more recognition, but there feels like no bigger snub this year than Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. It’s a theme that has been common across most of the big ceremonies this season, with the film missing out on the main prizes in favour of nods for its score, costumes and productions. Yet the Oscars have not even given Anderson’s star-studded latest recognition in any of those categories, its name completely MIA from the shortlists. It’s strange, considering many reviews upon its release hailed it as the acclaimed director’s best film yet.

The whole announcement felt like a mess


To be fair to Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan, the Academy did make them do the nominations announcement at the very specific time of 5:18am PT but, even cutting them some slack for that, the whole thing felt like a shambles. Jordan regularly stumbled over his words, took lines that were meant to be delivered by Ross and cracked lame jokes that his co-announcer good-naturedly laughed along with. Hopefully the main ceremony – which will take place in March – will go by a little more smoothly.

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