WAKE UP! IT’S TIME TO BLITZ! – 94th Academy Award Nominations

The moment has come at last. After a truncated year of eligibility, way too much hype for remakes, and for some reason a “documentary” about Billie Eilish, it is time to finally announce this year’s nominees for the Academy Awards. I was up early (but not bright) at 5am Pacific Time to watch and react to the news as it happened (video below). For the most part, things went as expected, though there was a surprise or two, sadly not for the best. As it stands, I have eight movies left to see to complete the slate of nominees, plus two International Feature shortlisted films and the Short films when they’re released as a bundle later this month. The Academy’s official press release can be found here, and if you want to torture yourself with bad Leslie Jordan jokes and nonsensical cutaways to “movie fans,” you can watch the announcement video here (but really, just watch my reactions to it right here in this post!).

The nominees for the 94th Academy Awards are…

Best Actor
Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield – tick, tick… BOOM!
Will Smith – King Richard
Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Supporting Actor
Ciarán Hinds – Belfast
Troy Kotsur – CODA
Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart – Spencer

Best Supporting Actress
Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Judi Dench – Belfast
Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Animated Feature
Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Cinematography
Dune
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Costume Design
Cruella
Cyrano
Dune
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

Best Director
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Documentary Feature
Ascension
Attica
Flee
Summer of Soul
Writing With Fire

Documentary Short
Audible
Lead Me Home
The Queen of Basketball
Three Songs for Benazir
When We Were Bullies

Film Editing
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick… BOOM!

International Feature
Drive My Car – Japan
Flee – Denmark
The Hand of God – Italy
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom – Bhutan
The Worst Person in the World – Norway

Makeup & Hairstyling
Coming 2 America
Cruella
Dune
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

Original Score
Don’t Look Up
Dune
Encanto
Parallel Mothers
The Power of the Dog

Original Song
“Be Alive” – King Richard
“Dos Oruguitas” – Encanto
“Down to Joy” – Belfast
“No Time to Die” – No Time to Die
“Somehow You Do” – Four Good Days

Production Design
Dune
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Animated Short
Affairs of the Art
Bestia
Boxballet
Robin Robin
The Windshield Wiper

Live Action Short
Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye
On My Mind
Please Hold

Sound
Belfast
Dune
No Time to Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Visual Effects
Dune
Free Guy
No Time to Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Adapted Screenplay
Siân Heder – CODA
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe – Drive My Car
Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth – Dune
Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Original Screenplay
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Adam McKay and David Sirota – Don’t Look Up
Zach Baylin – King Richard
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier – The Worst Person in the World

Best Picture
Belfast
CODA
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

***

There you have it. For better or worse, this is our field. Among the bigger surprises is how much the Academy is trying to legitimize the West Side Story remake and how much of a campaign the Nightmare Alley remake must have had. I mean, it was good, but not groundbreaking. It’s also kind of sad to note that in the 10 Best Picture nominees, we have two direct remakes, one Americanized remake (CODA), and one half of a direct remake (Dune). None of these are necessarily bad films, in fact the latter two I enjoyed immensely. But it is something of a sad commentary when nearly half of the films under consideration for the best of the year are completely recycled. Are we that far gone with our lack of ideas? I sincerely hope not.

Among the other shocks is the fact that neither I’m Your Man nor A Hero were nominated for International Feature, House of Gucci was almost completely shut out, Last Night in Soho WAS completely shut out, Sparks got snubbed on Original Song for Annette, Aaron Sorkin lost out on Original Screenplay, both Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga got left out of the acting categories as Passing came away with nothing, Parallel Mothers got two nominations despite not even being submitted for International Feature (Spain submitted The Good Boss, which got shortlisted), and that despite being shut out of both SAG and the BAFTAs, Kristen Stewart somehow got into the Best Actress field over the likes of Jennifer Hudson.

So, for my annual Blitz, I have eight movies to see across six categories, with 14 the other 17 already complete. As previously mentioned, because I will be able to see the final two shortlisted films in the coming weeks (Playground from Belgium and Great Freedom from Austria), I will hold off on breaking down International Feature until after that point. And then there are the three Short Film categories to view when they get released in theatres on February 25.

For more of my instant reactions, please enjoy this semi-conscious video!

I will have a coverage schedule and my annual hub post ready to go in a couple of days, and starting on Friday, we’ll begin breaking down the categories, starting with Adapted Screenplay!

Ladies and gentlemen (and everyone in between), THE BLITZ IS ON!

Join the conversation in the comments below! What’s your pick for Best Picture? What’s the biggest surprise on this list? Seriously, why is there no love for Edgar Wright? Let me know!

6 thoughts on “WAKE UP! IT’S TIME TO BLITZ! – 94th Academy Award Nominations

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