Oscar nominations announce this year's shocks and snubs

Los Angeles, California – Nominations for the 94th annual Academy Awards are in, and boy are there some shockers and snubs.

This year's Oscar nominees include Will Smith (top r.), and the first nominations for both Kristen Stewart (bottom r.), and Billie Eilish (l.).
This year's Oscar nominees include Will Smith (top r.), and the first nominations for both Kristen Stewart (bottom r.), and Billie Eilish (l.).  © Collage: IMAGO/Independent Photo Agency, Future Image, & Matrix

Actors Leslie Jordan and Tracee Ellis Ross did the honors by leading a lighthearted virtual announcement on Tuesday morning to unveil this year's Oscar nominees, many of whom had been predicted on the previously released shortlist.

2022's Best Picture category names ten films including Netflix's Don't Look Up and The Power of the Dog, the movie musical remake of West Side Story, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, Coda, Drive My Car, Dune, and Belfast.

The Power of the Dog leads the pack with 12 nods, the most of any film this year.

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Best Actor in a Leading Role is the race to watch, pitting Hollywood legends Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Javier Bardem, Andrew Garfield, and Benedict Cumberbatch against each other. Best Actress in a Leading Role also features heavy hitters Penélope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman, and Kristen Stewart.

Music stars Beyoncé and Billie Eilish both scored their very first Oscar nominations for Best Song. They're up against competition from Van Morrison, Diane Warren, and music from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Encanto – which has given Disney its first chart-topping hit in decades.

Eilish, who penned the James Bond theme song No Time To Die with her brother Finneas, reacted to the news on Instagram: "It was an absolute dream to write a song for a @007 film and I'm so honored that it's nominated. Peak life experience."

Lady Gaga arguably receives the year's biggest snub

Lady Gaga did not receive a nomination for her role in this year's film House of Gucci, which received mixed reviews.
Lady Gaga did not receive a nomination for her role in this year's film House of Gucci, which received mixed reviews.  © IMAGO/Italy Photo Press

Yet, other pop music royalty received one of the biggest snubs of the year: Lady Gaga's turn in House of Gucci was noticeably left off the list.

Also, Dune's director Denis Villeneuve was surprisingly not nominated for Best Director despite bringing to life the epic that had been largely deemed "unfilmable" and the movie snagging ten other nominations, including Best Picture. Of this year's Best Director nominees, veterans Steven Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh, or Jane Campion – whose nod marks the first ever two-time directing nomination for a woman – will most likely take home the coveted statue.

The 2022 Oscars will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 27 at 8 PM EST from the Dolby Theatre auditorium in Los Angeles.

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"This year's Oscar theme is 'Movie Lovers Unite,'" Ross said. "Oscar nominees in most categories are chosen by members of their respective branches, but nominees for Best Picture are chosen by the entire Academy membership."

The Oscars are incorporating an interactive element this year by allowing fans to vote for their favorite films, which will be revealed on the show's telecast. For the first time since 2018, a yet-to-be announced emcee will be at the event's helm – which much speculation on who the chosen golden host might be.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/Independent Photo Agency, Future Image, & Matrix

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