The Academy Awards Are Coming

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Mar. 27, 2022 will mark the 94th Academy Awards and the second Oscars ceremony since the pandemic derailed the entertainment industry. Last year, the show was shifted from February to April and attendance was limited to a much smaller venue (LA’s Union Station), leading to a little less pomp and circumstance than before. This year, however, things seem to be moving forward. The show is back to its home base, the Dolby Theatre, with 75 per cent seating capacity.

Here is the low down on this year’s Oscars nominees before you sit down for next Sunday’s show:

Most Nominations

Jane Campion’s slow-burning western, Power of the Dog, garnered an impressive 12 nominations, including Best Director (making Campion the first woman to be nominated twice for the category) and Best Picture. The Netflix film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, a wily, volatile, and intimidating cattle rancher who bullies his genteel brother George (Jesse Plemons), George’s delicate new wife Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and Rose’s effeminate son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). In second place for most nominations this year is Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi masterpiece Dune.

Diverse Inclusions

Among the ten Best Picture nominees is Japanese film Drive My Car, also nominated under Best International Feature Film. Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the movie is an adaptation of internationally bestselling author Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women and Japan’s first to be nominated for Best Picture.

CODA is also the first Best Picture nominee with a predominantly deaf cast in leading roles; CODA’s Troy Kotsur is the first deaf male actor to receive an acting nomination (for Best Supporting Actor). The coming-of-age, family dramedy also stars Marlee Matlin, who was the first deaf performer to win an Oscar (she won Best Actress in 1987).

A Whole Host of Hosts

For the first time since 2011, there will be more than one emcee: Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall are all tapped to host an hour each of the three-hour ceremony. The Oscars have been host-less for the last three years; the role is traditionally a thankless and difficult one that many seasoned comedians and superstars avoid. Hopefully, with multiple emcees, any criticism can be diffused.

Controversial Cuts

In 2019, the Academy announced that some award presentations would be cut for time – namely Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Make-up and Hairstyling – which prompted outrage from members of the industry. Alfonso Cuarón tweeted, “Masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without cinematography and without editing.” The Oscars quickly backed down and reversed their decision, making sure that all categories were telecast.

This year, however, it has been firmly decided that eight awards will not be aired: Documentary (Short Subject), Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Short Film (Animated), Short Film (Live Action), and Sound.

Rose Ho | Staff Writer

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