• by Jeff Beck

Nominations for the 94th Annual Academy Awards


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has just finished announcing their nominations for 2021, and as usual, there are plenty of shocking snubs and inclusions. Perhaps one of the biggest shocks of all is to find Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog" leading the pack with a whopping 12 nominations. It's clearly been a favorite throughout the season, but I don't think anyone expected it to end up with the most nods. That spot was highly-expected to go to "Dune," which followed close behind with ten nods.


Speaking of "Dune," one of the biggest shocks is to find Denis Villeneuve snubbed from Best Director, an incident that also recently occurred with BAFTA, but was not expected to be repeated. Best Actress held many surprises, including the inclusion of Kristen Stewart, who has been snubbed previously by SAG and BAFTA. Also making a surprise appearance is Penelope Cruz for "Parallel Mothers," while Lady Gaga was shockingly left out for "House of Gucci" (a role which she's been nominated everywhere else for).


The Supporting categories also held some unexpected twists with J.K. Simmons randomly turning up for "Being the Ricardos," knocking out expected nominee Jared Leto for "House of Gucci" (obviously the Academy was not as taken with the performances as everyone else). In Supporting Actress, Dame Judi Dench surprisingly replaced her "Belfast" co-star Caitriona Balfe, while Jessie Buckley made a last-second appearance for "The Lost Daughter," replacing another assumed nominee, Ruth Negga for "Passing."


While the Adapted Screenplay lineup was exactly as expected, Original Screenplay had a small change that had Aaron Sorkin's "Being the Ricardos" unexpectedly replaced with "The Worst Person in the World," with the other four nominees remaining as predicted. As far as Best Picture goes, the only surprise inclusion here is Guillermo del Toro's "Nightmare Alley," which seemingly knocked out "Being the Ricardos."


Looking at the below the line categories, the only one of real consequence here, and which had the most surprises, is Best Film Editing. Normally, a film needs to have a nomination here to win Best Picture ("Birdman" being the one exception in recent years), and the only one of the three top contenders to make it in was "The Power of the Dog," with "Belfast" and "Licorice Pizza" both getting the cold shoulder.


So should we just go ahead and offer congratulations to "The Power of the Dog" on its upcoming Best Picture win? At this point, it seems all sealed up, but we won't truly know what direction the industry is going until the Producers Guild of America Awards on February 26th. As for the Oscars, the ceremony is set for March 27th, so be sure to check back to see who the big winners are.


In the meantime, please see below for a list of this morning's 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

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


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 Actress

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer


Best Supporting Actor Ciaran Hinds, Belfast Troy Kotsur, CODA Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog


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 Original Screenplay Belfast Don't Look Up King Richard Licorice Pizza

The Worst Person in the World


Best Adapted Screenplay

CODA Drive My Car Dune The Lost Daughter The Power of the Dog


Best Film Editing

Don't Look Up

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

Tick, Tick... Boom!


Best Cinematography

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story


Best Production Design

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story


Best Costume Design

Cruella Cyrano

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story


Best Makeup & Hair

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci


Best Original Score

Don't Look Up

Dune

Encanto

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog


Best Original Song

"Be Alive," King Richard

"Dos Oruguitas," Encanto

"Down to Joy," Belfast

"No Time to Die," No Time to Die

"Somehow You Do," Four Good Days


Best Animated Feature

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon


Best Documentary Feature

Ascension

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul

Writing with Fire


Best International Film

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World


Best Visual Effects

Dune

Free Guy

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home


Best Sound

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story


Best Live Action Short

Ala Kachuu - Take and Hold

The Dress

The Long Goodbye

On My Mind

Please Hold


Best Documentary Short

Audible

Lead Me Home

The Queen of Basketball

Three Songs for Benazir

When We Were Bullies


Best Animated Short

Affairs of the Art

Bestia

Box Ballet

Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper


Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.

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