Two married couples celebrate Oscar nominations as Power of The Dog, Dune and Belfast lead the pack

The brooding western The Power of the Dog has dominated the Oscar nominations in a year when the film industry is trying to return to as near as normal as possible after the pandemic.

The Power Of The Dog has 12 Oscar nominations, including Benedict Cumberbatch for Best Actor.

It’s leading the field with twelve nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jane Campion, Best Original Score for Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Best Cinematography, editing and production design. Its four main actors are also in the running for awards; Benedict Cumberbatch is up for Best Actor, Kirsten Dunst is going for Best Supporting Actress and her husband Jesse Plemons is up against Kodi Smit-McPhee for Best Supporting Actor.

Javier Bardem is celebrating his Oscar nomination alongside his on-screen wife Nicole Kidman and his real-life wife Penélope Cruz.

Plemons and Dunst aren’t the only married couple celebrating two nominations, with Javier Bardem up for Best Actor for Being The Ricardos, while his wife Penélope Cruz is in the running for Best Actress for Parallel Mothers, alongside Nicole Kidman, who plays Bardem’s on-screen wife, Lucille Ball.

The ever-growing Academy votership has avoided another diversity scandal with The Tragedy of Macbeth’s Denzel Washington and King Richard’s Will Smith both up for the lead actor prize, alongside Bardem, Cumberbatch and fellow British actor Andrew Garfield, for tick, tick…BOOM!

Only two of the five Best Actor nominees, Cumberbatch and Smith, featured on BAFTA’s shortlist of six, but there’s no overlap at all in the Best Actress category, where Kidman and Cruz are up against Jessica Chastain, for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and two actresses who’d been hot tips for BAFTAs but completely missed out; Kristen Stewart for her portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer and Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter.

Colman’s co-star Jessie Buckley is in the running for Best Supporting Actress, alongside Dunst, King Richard’s Aunjanue Ellis, West Side Story’s Ariana DuBose and Belfast‘s Dame Judi Dench, edging out her co-star Caitríona Balfe, who’s been making most of the running during Awards Season, until now.

Dame Judi Dench (right) and Ciarán Hinds (2nd Left) are nominated for their supporting roles in Belfast.

Ciarán Hinds has been recognised for his portrayal of Sir Kenneth Branagh’s grandfather in Belfast. He’ll be challenging for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar against Plemons and Smit-McPhee, from The Power of the Dog, Troy Kotsur from CODA and Being The Ricardos’ JK Simmons, who won the award for Whiplash, seven years ago.

Jane Campion – the only woman to be nominated twice for the Best Director Oscar – will be up against Steven Spielberg for his adaptation of West Side Story, as well as Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza, Drive My Car’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Sir Kenneth Branagh for Belfast.

Campion and Hamaguchi are also contesting the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, with Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter and Siân Heder’s CODA also in the running.

Two of the other directing nominees, Belfast and Licorice Pizza, are also up against each other in the Best Original Screenplay contest, alongside Adam McKay’s satirical Don’t Look Up, King Richard and The Worst Person In The World. Sir Kenneth’s nomination makes him the first person in Oscars history to have been nominated in seven categories.

Dune has the second highest number of nominations – 10 – but apart from Best Picture, most of them are in the technical categories. Belfast and West Side Story both have 7.

With commentators starting to predict awards winners even before the films have been released, by the time the nominations come around, there are always some surprises – either unexpected nominations or people seen as certain nominees missing out. Until now, the favourite in the Oscar race for Best Actress has been Lady Gaga for House of Gucci, who’s on BAFTA’s shortlist, and her co-star Jared Leto is in the running for the supporting actor honours at the Screen Actor’s Guild, which is usually a reliable Oscar predictor – but both have missed out. Many people had expected Denis Villeneuve to receive a directing nomination for Dune: Part One, to go alongside his nomination for writing and producing the film, but despite Dune collecting a creditable ten nominations, directing wasn’t one of them.  Many of the surprises can be put down to the rapidly changing make-up of the voting Academy, which has increased in size from about six thousand to about ten thousand in a few short years, in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy; this has resulted in an influx of voters who don’t fit the usual stereotypes – from other countries or not being affiliated to the Hollywood unions whose own awards used to act as reliable pointers.

Another film that had previously been touted for awards season, Cyrano, managed to pick up only one nomination, for its costumes. Despite being a musical, its songs didn’t qualify for the Best Original Song Oscar, because they were written for the original stage version of the production.

In an effort to attract more viewers to its awards show after last year’s pandemic-struck ceremony at a railway station in Los Angeles, the Academy has increased its Best Picture shortlist to ten films, to encourage the selection of more commercial hits, but the biggest box-office hit of the selection, Dune, didn’t make the top ten at the box office either globally or in the US, meaning that Oscar’s selections won’t be relevant enough to many viewers to win their interest. The most popular films of the year globally, Spider-Man: No Way Home, secured only one nomination, for the best visual effects. However, with two of the contenders – The Power of the Dog and Don’t Look Up – being Netflix films, although they didn’t spend much time exclusively in cinemas, they will have built up a large following among subscribers streaming them at home.

And here is the full list of nominees:

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Belfast” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
  • “CODA” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
  • “Don’t Look Up” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
  • “Drive My Car” Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
  • “Dune” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
  • “King Richard” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
  • “Licorice Pizza” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
  • “Nightmare Alley” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
  • Will Smith in “King Richard”
  • Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast”
  • Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
  • Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
  • Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Penélope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kristen Stewart in “Spencer”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
  • Judi Dench in “Belfast”
  • Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Aunjanue Ellis in “King Richard”

Achievement in directing

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

Adapted screenplay

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

Original screenplay

  • “Belfast” Written by Kenneth Branagh
  • “Don’t Look Up” Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
  • “King Richard” Written by Zach Baylin
  • “Licorice Pizza” Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Encanto” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Luca” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
  • “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
  • “Raya and the Last Dragon” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Dune” Greig Fraser
  • “Nightmare Alley” Dan Laustsen
  • “The Power of the Dog” Ari Wegner
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “West Side Story” Janusz Kaminski

Achievement in costume design

  • “Cruella” Jenny Beavan
  • “Cyrano” Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
  • “Dune” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
  • “Nightmare Alley” Luis Sequeira
  • “West Side Story” Paul Tazewell

Best documentary feature

  • “Ascension” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
  • “Attica” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
  • “Writing with Fire” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Best documentary short subject

  • “Audible” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean
  • “Lead Me Home” Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
  • “The Queen of Basketball” Ben Proudfoot
  • “Three Songs for Benazir” Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
  • “When We Were Bullies” Jay Rosenblatt

Achievement in 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 and Andrew Weisblum

Best international feature film of the year

  • “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

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Coming 2 America” Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
  • “Cruella” Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
  • “Dune” Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
  • “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
  • “House of Gucci” Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (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

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Be Alive” from “King Richard”
    Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
  • “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “Down To Joy” from “Belfast”
    Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
  • “No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die”
    Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
  • “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Achievement in production design

  • “Dune” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
  • “Nightmare Alley” Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
  • “The Power of the Dog” Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “West Side Story” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best animated short film

  • “Affairs of the Art” Joanna Quinn and Les Mills
  • “Bestia” Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz
  • “Boxballet” Anton Dyakov
  • “Robin Robin” Dan Ojari and Mikey Please
  • “The Windshield Wiper” Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez

Best live action short film

  • “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
  • “The Dress” Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki
  • “The Long Goodbye” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
  • “On My Mind” Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson
  • “Please Hold” K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Achievement in sound

  • “Belfast” Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
  • “Dune” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett
  • “No Time to Die” Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
  • “The Power of the Dog” Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
  • “West Side Story” Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Dune” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
  • “Free Guy” Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
  • “No Time to Die” Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
  • “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
  • “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick