The worldwide excitement over the 94th Academy Awards (the Oscars), which will be held on March 27 at Hollywood’s iconic Dolby Theatre, acquired a frenzied pitch on Tuesday evening (early morning U.S. Pacific Time) with the live announcement on Twitter of the much-awaited nominations.
For India, the big disappointment was that the Suriya-starrer ‘Jai Bhim’, which was a hot favourite for a nomination nod, did not make the cut. Neighbouring Bhutan, though, made history when its official entry, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”, found its way into the Best International Feature Film nominations.
Of course, in the international category, Riyosuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car”, which has been picking just about every major award announced thus far, has got the nods for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best International Feature Film. The Japanese film is based on the globally celebrated writer Haruki Murakami’s short story.
Kenneth Branagh, whose ‘Belfast’ is a frontrunner, had a jolly good reason to pour himself a Jameson, having ramped up his career record by reaching the pinnacle of seven nominations in as many categories in his lifetime.
For diversity watchers, the big news was the presence of two Black actors in the noms for Best Actor: Will Smith for “King Richard” and Denzel Washington, the second Black man to get an Oscar in the history of the Awards, for “The Tragedy of Macbeth”.
And Jane Campion’s feminine take on the Wild West, ‘The Power of the Dog’, is in the running for all major awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), two nods for Best Supporting Actor (Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Best Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst), among others.
Here’s the full list of the key nominations:
Best Picture: “Belfast”, “CODA”, “Don’t Look Up”, “Drive My Car”, “Dune”, “King Richard”, “Licorice Pizza”, “Nightmare Alley”, “The Power of the Dog” and “West Side Story”.
Best Director: Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Ryusuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) and Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”).
Best Lead Actor: Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”), Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick Â. Boom!”), Will Smith (“King Richard”) and Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”).
Best Lead Actress: Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), PenÃ©lope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”), Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) and Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”).
Best Supporting Actor: CiarÃ¡n Hinds (“Belfast”), Troy Kotsur (“CODA”), Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”), J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”).
Best Supporting Actress: Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”), Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”), Judy Dench (“Belfast”), Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”) and Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”).
Best International Feature Film: “Drive My Car” (Japan), “Flee” (Denmark), “The Hand of God” (Italy), “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan) and “The Worst Person in the World” (Norway).
This year’s Oscars will be an in-person event and will have a host for the first time after three years.