94th Oscar nominations announced: the dubs and snubs of this year’s film season


Credit: Max Pixel

Jaeden Pinder, Arts Editor

The nominations for the 94th Academy Awards were announced on Feb. 8 in a YouTube live stream event by Tracie Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan. The full list of nominees can be viewed on the official Oscars website.

“The Power of the Dog” leads with the highest number of nominations at 12, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch and Best Director for Jane Campion, the sole woman nominated for the director’s award this film season. Following closely behind includes “Dune” with ten nominations, “Belfast” and “West Side Story” tied with seven and “King Richard” with six, all of which are nominated for Best Picture.

Several recognized directors received another nod with their films nominated for Best Picture and respective Best Screenplay awards, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza,” Guillermo Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” and Steven Speilberg’s “West Side Story.”

Many students have debated whether or not “Don’t Look Up,” a satirical film about the climate crisis, deserved to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, given its polarizing reception. 


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Junior Morgan Moroney agrees with this sentiment, and said, “I don’t think that it should have been nominated for Best Picture. I feel that the Academy was so quick to nominate ‘Don’t Look Up’ because of its all-star cast, meanwhile so many other films with lesser-known casts have a greater chance of being snubbed for that reason alone.”

Andrew Garfield received his second nomination for Best Actor for his performance as playwright Jonathan Larson in “Tick, Tick… Boom!” and Denzel Washington received his eighth overall actor’s nomination for playing the titular role in “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”


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While the nominees for Best Actress include several performances worthy of praise, many students at the University were surprised to learn that Lady Gaga, who was expected to be nominated for Best Actress for her work in “House of Gucci,” did not appear alongside other nominees likes Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) or Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”). “House of Gucci” is nominated in one category, for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. 

Economics and Communications student Julia Dorochenko said, “I didn’t particularly enjoy ‘House of Gucci,’ I thought the plot didn’t really go anywhere, but I do think one of the highlights of the movie was Lady Gaga‘s performance. If you’ve seen ‘A Star is Born,’ it’s clear she is a great actress, but I don’t necessarily think she was snubbed. I think the other actresses’ performances were just more groundbreaking and they contributed more to the film as a whole.”

Despite the disappointment for Gaga, theater lovers can celebrate Ariana Debose receiving a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in “West Side Story.” Debose has previously appeared on Broadway in “Hamilton” and “A Bronx Tale.”

“The Worst Person in the World” and “Drive My Car,” from Belgium and Japan respectively, were nominated in the International Feature Film category. “Drive My Car,” based on the Haruki Murakami short story, is also nominated for Best Picture. “CODA,” a film heavily performed in American Sign Language and featuring a primarily deaf cast, was also nominated for Best Picture.

“Dune” received nominations in multiple technical categories, including Best Production Design, Cinematography and Sound, and Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer.

As usual, Walt Disney Studios holds three of the five films nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, with “Luca,” “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Encanto.” “Flee,” a Danish animated docudrama exploring refugee life as an LGBTQA+ person, is nominated in this category and also in Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film, being the only film ever to achieve this.

When asked what film he wanted to see take home the big awards of the night, Film and Screen Studies major Gino Digregorio said, “I personally would like ‘Power of the Dog’ to win, I want that for Jane Campion and I thought that it was just great. I would be happy seeing ‘Drive my Car’ win as well.”

The ceremony will premiere live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27 on ABC. Announced on Feb. 9, this year’s ceremony requires heavy COVID-19 testing protocol but is not mandating that all attendees must be vaccinated.