There are two primary forces at war in this year’s Oscars nominations. Hungry for little golden trophies and snapping for success with its ravenous jaws, there’s dog power – aka Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog. In the opposite corner (or, hiding beneath the sand and ready to strike at the merest footfall) is desert power – aka Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi spectacular Dune.

Campion’s film has rustled up the most nominations at this year’s ceremony, with a grand total of 12 – including Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, Leading Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, Supporting Actor noms for Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Supporting Actress for Kirsten Dunst. It’s an awards powerhouse – and historic for Campion, the first woman to be nominated twice for Directing, previously for 1993’s The Piano (which she lost out to Steven Spielberg for Schindler’s List). Hot on The Power Of The Dog’s heels is the might of House Atreides, as Dune picked up a hefty 10 nominations too. Among plenty of technical awards (Visual Effects, Cinematography, Sound), Villeneuve’s film bagged a Best Picture nod, as well as Adapted Screenplay – though it didn’t get a director nomination, or any acting nods.

Dune

©Warner Bros / Chia Bella James

Back on Earth, it was good news for Steven Spielberg. West Side Story snapped in from the sidelines to nab seven nominations, including Best Picture, Directing, Supporting Actress for Ariana DeBose, Cinematography, and Sound. But, hopes that the iconic Rita Moreno might return for another Supporting Actress win (as she did for playing Anita in the 1961 film) have been dashed, and there’s nothing for Rachel Zegler, or the scene-stealing Mike Faist. Across the Atlantic, Belfast also fared well with seven nominations – it’s up for Best Picture, Kenneth Branagh is down for Directing and Original Screenplay, and there are Supporting Actor nominations for Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench.

Rounding out the frontrunners is King Richard, earning a lot of (forty-)love with its ace depiction of a young Venus and Serena Williams, and the father who coached them to sporting glory. It’s up for six awards, including Best Picture and Original Screenplay, with a Leading Actor nomination for Will Smith and a Supporting Actress nod for Aunjanue Ellis.

King Richard

Also competing for Best Picture are CODA, Adam McKay’s apocalyptic satire Don’t Look Up (down for Original Screenplay too, but no acting awards), Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza (as well as a PTA Directing nomination, and Original Screenplay – though a shocking snub for Alana Haim), plus Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. But most notable of all might be Drive My CarRyûsuke Hamaguchi’s acclaimed Japanese drama is a rare international film to break into the Best Picture pack, also receiving a nomination for Hamaguchi himself for Directing, plus Adapted Screenplay and International Feature Film.

Elsewhere, there were several pleasing nominations in the wake of some surprising BAFTA snubs – Kristen Stewart is up for Leading Actress for her role as Princess Diana in Spencer, while Andrew Garfield is in the Leading Actor race after singing up a storm as Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick… Boom!. He’ll face serious competition from Denzel Washington for his role as the doomed king in The Tragedy Of Macbeth. Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley were nominated for The Lost Daughter (in Leading Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively), though Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut didn’t get recognised in Best Picture or Directing. Plus, CODA’s Troy Kotsur has become the first deaf actor to be nominated for an Oscar – he’s down for Supporting Actor.

tick, tick... BOOM!

For Team Marvel, it hasn’t been the biggest year – while Chloé Zhao swept the 2021 Oscars with Nomadland, there wasn’t anything for Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home only received a nomination in the Visual Effects category (alongside Shang-Chi). No Time To Die was similarly relegated to the technical categories (Visual Effects, Sound), plus a nomination for Billie Eilish in the Original Song competition. Still, Disney will be pleased with three nominations for Encanto, including Animated Feature Film, Original Score, and Original Song for ‘Dos Oruguitas’. “No ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’?,” we hear you cry – well, it wasn’t submitted. Heartening, too, to see The Mitchells Vs. The Machines in the Animated Feature Film category, even if Mamoru Hosoda’s beautiful Belle was missed out.

Perhaps the starriest film to end up more or less empty handed is House Of Gucci. Aside from Make-Up And Hairstyling, it received nothing – so no Gaga, no Ridley Scott, and (mercifully) no Jared Leto or that accent. Plus, there was a baffling lack of musical nods for Annette, nothing for Rebecca Hall’s Passing either, and very little for Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. And if Belfast is a major frontrunner, it’s surprising not to see Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan among the acting nominees.

Encanto

Still, the most curious set of nominations surely belongs to Flee, whose multifaceted mix of style, subject and form found it up for Animated Feature Film, Documentary and International Feature Film – being all three of those things at once.

Who will triumph on 27 March, then? Will Denis Villeneuve be blasting back to Arrakis with a bucketload of bullion? Will Jane Campion claim her long-overdue awards gold? Will Belfast swoop in and bag the lot? Or will West Side Story triumph in a right royal rumble? Read the full nominations below, and stay tuned for the shiniest awards show of all.

The Full List Of Nominees

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

Best Director

Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Jane Campion – The Power Of The Dog

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car

Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

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 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 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

Best Supporting Actor

Ciarán Hinds – Belfast

Troy Kotsur – CODA

Jesse Plemons – The Power Of The Dog

Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog

JK Simmons – Being The Ricardos

Best Adapted Screenplay

CODA – Siân Heder

Drive My Car – Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe

Dune – Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve

The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal

The Power Of The Dog – Jane Campion

Best Original Screenplay

Belfast – Kenneth Branagh

Don’t Look Up Adam McKay & David Sirota

Licorice Pizza – Paul Thomas Anderson

King Richard – Zach Baylin

The Worst Person In The World – Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt

Best Costume Design

Cruella – Jenny Beavan

Cyrano – Massimo Cantini Parrini

Dune – Robert Morgan & Jacqueline West

Nightmare Alley – Luis Sequeira

West Side Story – Paul Tazewell

Best Original Score

Don’t Look Up – Nicholas Britell

Dune – Hans Zimmer

Encanto – Germaine Franco

Parallel Mothers – Alberto Iglesias

The Power of the Dog – Jonny Greenwood

Best Sound

Belfast

Dune

No Time To Die

The Power Of The Dog

West Side Story

Best Animated Feature Film

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells Vs. The Machines

Raya And The Last Dragon

Best Cinematography

Dune – Greig Fraser

Nightmare Alley – Dan Lausten

The Power Of The Dog – Ari Wegner

The Tragedy Of Macbeth – Bruno Delbonnel

West Side Story – Janusz Kaminski

Best Documentary Feature

Ascension

Attica

Flee

Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Writing With Fire

Best Film Editing

Don’t Look Up – Hank Corwin

Dune – Joe Walker

King Richard – Pamela Martin

The Power Of The Dog – Peter Sciberras

Tick, Tick… Boom! – Myron Kerstein & Andrew Weisblum

Best International Feature Film

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)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes Of Tammy Faye

House Of Gucci

Coming 2 America

Best Original Song

“Be Alive” — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Darius Scott (King Richard)

“Dos Oruguitas” — Lin-Manuel Miranda (Encanto)

“Down to Joy” — Van Morrison (Belfast)

“No Time to Die” — Billie Eilish & Finneas O’Connell (No Time To Die)

“Somehow You Do” — Diane Warren (Four Good Days)

Best Production Design

Dune – Zsuzsanna Sipos & Patrice Vermette

Nightmare Alley – Tamara Deverell & Shane Vieau

The Power Of The Dog – Grant Major & Amber Richards

The Tragedy Of Macbeth – Stefan Dechant & Nancy Haigh

West Side Story – Rena DeAngelo & Adam Stockhausen

Best Visual Effects

Dune

Free Guy

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

No Time To Die

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Live Action Short Film

Ala Kachuu — Take And Run

The Dress

The Long Goodbye

On My Mind

Please Hold

Best Documentary Short Subject

Audible

Lead Me Home

The Queen Of Basketball

Three Songs For Benazir

When We Were Bullies

Best Animated Short Film

Affairs Of The Art

Bestia

Boxballet

Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper

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