The 2022 Oscar nominations have been freshly announced, with this year’s crop bound to set off some discussion. With surprises, foregone conclusions, and everything you’d expect thrown into the mix, Academy Award hopefuls will be hotly debated until the very night of the telecast. But as sure as into each life some rain must fall, the snubs on Oscar nomination morning are just as guaranteed; and this year includes some pretty big ones if you’re a fan of Lady Gaga or Spider-Man: No Way Home. Pour an espresso, and get ready for some unconventional punishment, as we swing into 2022’s biggest Oscar snubs.
Lady Gaga - Best Actress, House Of Gucci
Where do you begin with this one? As if the total shut out for House of Gucci wasn’t enough, to leave Lady Gaga out of the Best Actress field for her performance as Patrizia Reggiani is something even casual observers can sense is not right. Anchoring Ridley Scott’s soapy biopic in the public eye, the previous nominee/winner was a shoo-in for a mere nomination from the word go. If you wanted a major head scratcher to start the day, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Spider-Man: No Way Home - Best Picture
The fans wanted it, some critics wanted it, and for a moment it felt like Spider-Man: No Way Home might have legitimately landed a nomination for Best Picture. Whether you were rooting for it to happen or not, it’s still a bit of a let down that one of the better MCU movies of the year didn’t find itself into the final round of conversation for top honors. Then again, if Tom Holland isn’t too bothered by the lack of nomination for this multiversal event, how mad can anyone else really be?
Aaron Sorkin - Best Original Screenplay, Being The Ricardos
All of Being The Ricardos’ awards in the 2022 Oscar nominations came from the pool of obscenely talented actors cast in the film; thanks Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, and J.K. Simmons. Though the movie may have been a stretch for the Best Picture race, what never seemed in question was writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s potential competition for Best Original Screenplay duties. And yet somehow, it just wasn’t in the cue cards this time around, no matter how snappy that dialogue may have been.
Denis Villeneuve - Best Director, Dune
Weird doesn’t even begin to cover how a movie like Dune can rack up 10 nominations across the board, but somehow forget its director in the process. Though he’s also up for golden honors through Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture nods, that still doesn’t make up for how pulling all the pieces together on an “unadaptable” film couldn’t secure Mr Villeneuve a seat at the Oscar table. Maybe one of his two planned sequels will be kinder to Denis’ Oscar chances in the future.
Rachel Zegler - Best Actress, West Side Story
It’s not surprising for a newcomer like Rachel Zegler to storm into the conversation like she did with her performance in West Side Story. What is shocking is the fact that it was through the remake of a classic musical, which is always a dicey prospect. Clearly, the Academy loved Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of this storied classic, as several major nominations landed at the film’s doorstep. Unfortunately, while the Academy remembered to give Ariana DeBose her flowers, they forgot to deliver an equally deserving bouquet to Ms. Zegler.
Ruth Negga - Best Actress, Passing
Previous Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga was widely praised and discussed for her work in Rebecca Hall’s Passing, in the role of Claire Bellew. Adapting author Nella Larsen’s racial drama landed praise for Hall’s writing and directing duties, as well as Negga and Tessa Thompson’s central performances in this racial drama. Seeing the film shut out for Oscar nominations is a greatly missed opportunity, especially with the statistics pertaining to female directors in the industry being what they are. Missing out on Ms. Negga’s nuanced performance as a black woman passing as white in 1920’s New York just makes this snub even more noticeable.
Belle, Best Animated Feature
This next slight was predictable, but it doesn’t hurt any less. Director Mamoru Hosoda felt like a good dark horse contender to throw into the Best Animated Feature race with Belle. Adapting Beauty and the Beast into a visually stunning tale of internet anonymity and empathy, the film is as inspiring as it is beautiful. Sadly, with the release schedule being what it was this year, Hosoda’s work was overshadowed by a cloud of Disney/Pixar movies taking a majority of the slots. It’s even more bittersweet considering half of that studio made Oscar history with that same fairy tale roughly 30 years ago.
Guillermo Del Toro - Best Director, Nightmare Alley
Nightmare Alley didn’t do too bad for itself in 2022’s Oscar nominations, with four nods including Best Picture. However, much like Denis Villeneuve’s absence in the Best Director category, the lack of Guillermo del Toro making that same list is just as horrific. Maybe it’s because both films are nominated for Best Picture, with the respective directors also being nominated as producers in that category. Even if that’s the case, it’s no excuse to omit Mr. del Toro from the competition; especially with such a lush finished product in contention.
Jared Leto - Best Supporting Actor, House Of Gucci
Mr. Leto, sir, our apologies. Two years in a row you’ve made our Oscar snubs list, as last year should have netted you a Best Supporting Actor nod for The Little Things. And now Paolo Gucci from House of Gucci is another one of the performances we think should have gotten some sort of recognition. Riding the line of tone for this movie was no easy feat, especially with an accent that made some question it; but those efforts landing as effectively as they did deserved some attention.
No Time To Die - Best Picture
This might feel like another outsider driven by the fans, but looking at how No Time To Die perfectly capped off Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond, this one absolutely deserved a Best Picture slot. Pushing the boundaries of what a Bond film could be, and delivering a performance from Craig that should have also been considered in the final round, Cary Joji Fukunaga landed a knockout punch that mixed spectacle and heart. Skyfall and No Time To Die should have both landed Best Picture nominations, and to see 007 get the cold shoulder again is quite disheartening.
Cooper Hoffman & Alana Haim - Best Actor/Actress, Licorice Pizza
We’re going to round out this year’s crowd of snubs with a pair of pairs so electrifying, it’s amazing they failed to land nominations for their respective Best Picture nominees. This year, the couple to beat is apparently Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem for Being The Ricardos. Which seems all the odder when you realize that Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim weren’t considered for Licorice Pizza.
Again, we’re talking about a movie that has three major nods, with Best Director and Best Original Screenplay among them. Just as it felt like a massive omission not to have Aaron Sorkin’s script in the final running, this amazing pair of first time feature film actors should be running off with commemorative envelopes for their exemplary work.
Jamie Dornan & Catriona Balfe - Best Actor/Actress, Belfast
Here’s an even greater riddle for you: writer/director Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast is a major competitor, right down to landing Best Supporting nominations for both Dame Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds. While one could argue a Best Actor nomination for newcomer Jude Hill in the central role of Buddy, there’s an even greater snub that needs to be called out. For as charming and heartbreaking as Jamie Dornan and Catriona Balfe were as Buddy’s parents, they are somehow devoid of acting nominations today.
The Academy does seem to love sharing the wealth, trying to balance its love of films across a wide spectrum of titles. So maybe it was a “pick and choose” scenario, where Dench and Hinds felt like the better choices in a limited capacity. Then again, who cares about that sentiment when you have Dornan and Balfe making the audience fall in love, even when their discussions hurt the most.
Discussions of snubs are always very subjective, as any of the above bones to pick with the Academy will have a handful of detractors backing those calls. That doesn’t mean these criticisms are any less valid than the ones we may have missed. It’s a natural part of making it through Oscar nomination morning, and with these grievances aired we can start to turn towards working through those who were named to see who the winners could, and should, be.
The 94th Academy Awards will take place on March 27th, 2022; and will be aired on ABC. Meanwhile, the contenders for 2023's Academy Awards are already plotting the race ahead. So check in with the 2022 movie schedule, if you want to get a really early start for the next cycle of snubs and saviors.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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