This year’s Oscar nominations had an embarrassment of riches to pull from, since so many planned releases from 2020 ended up getting bumped to 2021. That meant more snubs than usual, but also more fun surprises and more drama for film nerds to gossip about.
Jane Campion’s Western Power of Dog led the way with 12 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and acting nods for Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee. With this nomination, Campion has become the first woman to be nominated for Best Director twice (her first nom was in 1993, for The Piano).
Dune was right behind with 10 noms, mostly for craft.
The Academy nominated 10 movies for Best Picture: Belfast; The Power of the Dog; Dune; Drive My Car; West Side Story; Don’t Look Up; Licorice Pizza; CODA; King Richard and Nightmare Alley. Half of those movies are streaming service originals, making it very possible that this will mark the first year that a streamer takes home Best Picture. A few notable snubs: C’mon C’mon; Green Knight and The Card Counter.
Lady Gaga was shut out of the Best Actress category despite (or because of?) mounting one of the most determined and entertaining campaigns in recent memory. In her place, Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye); Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter); Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers); Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) and Kristen Stewart (Spencer) were nominated. Ruth Negga and Alana Haim were also snubbed, despite widespread speculation that they’d be nominated for Passing and Licorice Pizza, respectively.