The race for the Oscars 2022 has begun. Here’s who’s already ahead. – News 24

Can it still be called Oscar season if it lasts all year?

After the Covid-19 pandemic extended the final awards race until the end of April 2021, the longest Oscar season in recent memory was continued by the shortest offseason on record. All of this to say that as the leaves change color and the rewards talks begin again, your staunch projectionist is a little less than refreshed, although at least he won’t have to spend another season being mostly driven. on Zoom. (Well, hopefully.)

In any case, a solid majority of films and performances have already been seen in Cannes in July, along with a plethora of fall festivals in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York. Which suitors got people talking? Here are my projections for the major races so far.

Coming out of the fall film festivals, three films emerged as important candidates. One of the best placed is “Belfast” by Kenneth Branagh which won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, a populist barometer previously taken by Best Picture champions like “Nomadland”, “Green Book” and “12 Years a Slave”. “Belfast,” the black and white story of an Irish family trying to stay together amid the unrest of the 1960s, is a crowd-pleaser to watch with your parents as Oscar voters flock to it.

Telluride launched another major competitor with “king richardWhich introduces Will Smith as the larger-than-life father of Venus and Serena Williams. It’s a clever performance that harnesses all aspects of the charisma and ambition that made him a superstar. He’ll be a formidable Best Actor favorite, but the film is set to fight across the board – expect accolades for his supporting performances as well as a powerful Beyoncé original song.

And then there is ” The power of the dog“, Jane Campion’s first film in over a decade and probably an Oscar player at the level of her 1993 breakthrough,” The Piano. ” No woman has ever been nominated more than once for Best Director, but Campion seems like a sure hit with this psychological drama about a cruel rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch) trying to destroy his brother’s new wife (Kirsten Dunst ).

With 10 Best Picture nominees guaranteed now, we should see an eclectic race. The sci-fi adaptation “Dune” is a top-notch handcrafted achievement, but can it fit into the top two Oscar categories? After last season was dominated by lower-budget contenders, voters may be eager to include a possible blockbuster, although there are still plenty of intimate films in the mix, like the Iranian drama Asghar. Farhadi ‘A Hero’, the Peter Dinklage musical ‘Cyrano’ and ‘Spencer’, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.

As usual, expect streaming services to spend hugely. In addition to “The Power of the Dog”, Netflix will present the Italian drama “The Hand of God”, while Apple offers “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and “CODA” by Joel Coen. sensation that will require a relaunch after its sluggish summer debut on the platform.

We’ll see : Three year-end films are being helmed by previous Best Director winners, so a major shake-up could be in store: there’s Steven Spielberg, back with a new take on “West Side Story,” Guillermo del Toro, directing the shiny black “Nightmare Alley”; and Chloe Zhao, who jumps from “Nomadland” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to “Eternals.”

It’s a pretty powerful trio, not to mention a handful of other Oscar nominated veterans like Paul Thomas Anderson (with the dramatic comedy “Licorice Pizza”), Ridley Scott (twice nominated thanks to the medieval drama “The Last Duel ”and the upcoming“ House of Gucci ”), Adam McKay (with environmental satire“ Don’t Look Up ”) and Aaron Sorkin (a writing winner who could make the race for best director for“ Being the Ricardos ”. », On Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz).

Will Smith and Denzel Washington faced each other once at the Oscars, when Smith’s performance in “The Pursuit of Happyness” lost to a volcanic Washington in “Training Day.” This season offers quite the rematch, as Washington’s expert work in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” may be the only real threat to Smith winning his first Oscar, for “King Richard.”

Cumberbatch and Dinklage could clinch two of the other spots here, but I’m curious if Joaquin Phoenix will get a nomination for the attractive ‘C’mon C’mon’, in which he plays a normal guy taking care of his nephew. It’s Phoenix’s sequel to the Oscar-winning “Joker,” but the last time he played someone so warm and grounded, in Spike Jonze’s “Her,” voters ignored him. (They prefer their Phoenix with shiny plumage.)

Other Best Actor nominees include child actor Jude Hill in “Belfast”, Nicolas Cage for an acclaimed spin on “Pig”, Andrew Garfield in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaptation of the musical “Tick, Tick … Boom! And several leading independent men hoping to get Oscar’s attention, including Simon Rex as the failed pornstar in Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket,” Cannes winner Caleb Landry Jones in drama gun slaughter “Nitram” and longtime supporter player Clifton Collins Jr. takes the helm of the horse racing film “Jockey”.

We’ll see : Netflix has Leonardo DiCaprio becoming a standout astronomer in “Don’t Look Up,” while Apple has a pair of two-time Oscar-winning dramas, the Tom Hanks “Finch” sci-fi vehicle and the “Swan Song” cloning with Mahershala Ali.

Two of the last three Best Actress winners are back in the running, with Olivia Colman as the conflicted mother in “The Lost Daughter” and Frances McDormand considering removing Lady Macbeth’s place from “The Tragedy of Macbeth ”. (Although if you want to get technical, these are two of the last four Best Actress winners, since McDormand has won this trophy twice in the last four clashes.)

Their competition includes two other Oscar winners, Jennifer Hudson (“Respect”) and Penélope Cruz (Best Actress in Venice for Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers”), as well as double nominee Jessica Chastain, who will be embarrassed by the reception. mediocre from his biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”. But there are several women who could land their very first nominations, including Kristen Stewart for “Spencer”, Caitriona Balfe as the matriarch of “Belfast”, Tessa Thompson in the racing drama “Passing” and the winner for Best Actress. of Cannes Renate Reinsve in the utterly charming relationship-drama “The Worst Person in the World”.

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The race for the Oscars 2022 has begun. Here’s who’s already ahead. – News 24

Hank Gilbert