On Tuesday morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2022 Oscar nominations. The lineup of nominees was full of predicted picks, but also plenty of surprises — and even a few disappointing snubs.
Netflix’s The Power of the Dog led the announcement with 12 nominations, followed by Dune with 10. The under-seen Belfast and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake tied at 7. Meanwhile a few films that may have entered award season with higher hopes left this morning disappointed. House of Gucci only managed one nomination, in Makeup and Hairstyling, and not a single nominee for Best Actress was from a Best Picture nominated film.
Here are some of the best and worst surprises of the 2022 Academy Award nominations:
Lady Gaga missed a Best Actress nomination
The list of snubs has to start out with perhaps the most surprising one: Lady Gaga. The pop star and actress felt like a nomination lock for her performance in House of Gucci going into the announcements, but this morning seems to have been replaced with Kristen Stewart’s nomination for Spencer.
Gaga followed a Best Actress win at the New York Film Critics Circle with nominations at this year’s (nearly invisible) Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and the BAFTAs, all of which shut out Stewart. While both actresses were terrific and likely deserved nominations, it seems only one of them could take home a nomination since they didn’t don a full set of prosthetics and makeup like Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. (And yet the extra layers didn’t help Jared Leto pickup a Supporting Actor nom for his work in Gucci ...)
The good and bad of Best Director
Another positive surprise this year was the success of Japan’s Oscar submission, Drive My Car. While international movies are a few years past having to prove themselves as viable Oscar candidates — see: Roma and Parasite — this three-hour long meditation on grief out of Japan was still only expected to get one nomination for Best International Feature. Instead it took home four including Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Ryusuke Hamaguchi, who also made this year’s fantastic The Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy.
Of course, there was also a major snub in the directing category this year as Denis Villeneuve, the director behind Dune, missed out on a nomination. Dune was dominant on the technical side of the Oscars this year, earning 10 nominations — a somewhat shocking feat to accomplish without a Best Director nomination.
Netflix’s has another shot at the top prize
Another thing that stands out from this year’s Academy Award nominations is the position of Netflix. While it didn’t necessarily dominate with a wide range of movies, The Power of the Dog is clearly this year’s frontrunner at the awards. This shouldn’t come as a surprise after it cleaned up the prizes from other awards bodies, but it is the most dominant position that Netflix has been in recently, and its best chance at a Best Picture win since 2018.
Unfortunately, 2018 was also the year that Roma picked up 10 nominations and only managed three wins, or The Irishman, which also got 10 nominations but didn’t get a single win. However, with the weight of guild awards behind them, it seems that all signs are pointing to a Netflix win this time around.
No Spider-Mans but a Spider-Man
Just because we respect Kevin Feige’s audacious claims that Spider-Man: No Way Home should be nominated for Best Picture (on the basis that it made a lot of money) doesn’t mean we have to agree with him ... and we don’t. But while Marvel fans might be disappointed that Spider-Man didn’t manage more than a visual effects nod, everyone should be thrilled that Andrew Garfield earned a second Best Actor nomination for his excellent performance in Netflix’s musical Tick, Tick ... Boom!.
Garfield has been on a non-stop press tour for his staggering three movies this year — all of which earned Oscar nominations. He’s also managed to make his superhero junkets part of his Oscar campaign thanks to his year of playfully lying about his Spider-Man status. So while his nomination isn’t for his performance in No Way Home, it’s sort of spiritually a Spider-Man Oscar.