Oscars 2022 nominations: Campion, Villeneuve, Branagh and Spielberg lead an eclectic selection

After the scarcity of the year 2021, the Academy of Oscars had a nice set of films to decide for their 94th nominations which were announced on Tuesday. Western, science fiction, action, historical reconstruction or musical comedy are on the menu, with filmmakers Jane Campion, Kenneth Branagh, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg or Ryusuke Hamaguchi, demonstrating a diversity of genres and filmmakers this year.

With 12 nominations, The Power of a Dog tops the selected films. It has already won the Silver Lion for Best Direction at the last Venice Film Festival, and has not been released in theaters in France, where only subscribers to the Netflix platform can view it since December 1. The film evokes family tensions on a ranch in Montana, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst in particular.


Dark and psychological Western, The Power of the Dog is notably in the running in the categories of best film, best director, best actor, best female supporting roles (Kirsten Dunst) and male.

Second most nominated film (10 nominations), the adaptation of the cult novel Dunes by Frank Herbert, puts science fiction in the spotlight. If it is based on a very American Manichean schema, Dunes reveals its complexity in the universe it describes. From an ecological, climatic and geopolitical point of view, some would say philosophical. Published in 1965, Frank Herbert’s novel resonates with all the more power today as these themes have never been so topical. Coincidentally, Denis Villeneuve is now giving the most accomplished cinema version and the most faithful to the novel ever made.

If the anticipation of Herbert is strangely premonitory of our time, the staging of Denis Villeneuve finally achieves the ambitions of the novel. The Québécois is faithful to the hyperrealist aesthetic of his two previous science fiction films, First contact and blade runner 2049. The director draws all the substance from the sobriety of the design, the frame and the light, while giving them an unprecedented scale. The show is splendid.

Belfast, which will be released in France on March 2, evokes the director’s childhood spent in the capital of Northern Ireland. He recalls in this the Irish director John Boorman who evoked his own childhood in London during the Second World War. Towards the end of the 1960s, when the first man set foot on the Moon and the heat of August was still being felt, Buddy’s childhood dreams turned into a nightmare. The latent social unrest suddenly turns into violence in the streets of the neighborhood.

Filmed in black and white, the feature film was nominated in the Best Film and Best Director categories.

The remake of the ten-Oscar musical in 1962 by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins will probably not win as many. Some argued that this new version was useless. It’s quite reductive. Past the first urban choreographies filmed in the streets of New York, the 1961 film took place in the studio, with expressionist lighting that evokes the scenic origins of the film. Spielberg distances himself from it by choosing to shoot in the streets of New York. He had the Sharks played by Latino actors, which was not the case in 1961, and all the actors were closer to the age of their roles (they were in their thirties before). Spielberg plays the card of realism to speak better of today.

The bottom of immigration and communitarianism of 1961 did not change sixty years later, just like that of the circulation of the weapons in the United States, with undoubtedly more acuity today. Sincere and inventive, Steven Spielberg wins his bet.

We wish to give thanks to the writer of this article for this outstanding material

Oscars 2022 nominations: Campion, Villeneuve, Branagh and Spielberg lead an eclectic selection