As much as I hate to admit it, I’m always intrigued by the Oscars year in and year out. Sure, it doesn’t really mean anything at the end of the day, and they hardly ever tend to get it right, but it’s always fun to root for your favorites and get unnecessarily angry when The Academy or presenters inevitably mess something up. That being said, I’ve kept up pretty well with this year’s nominees, and I’m the usual mix of happy and upset, so I thought it might be fun to deal with those feelings here—noting my favorite picks, my least favorite picks and the movies I thought were shamefully snubbed.
The Oscars aren’t always wrong. They typically include a handful of cool nominees here and there, and The Academy even gave “Parasite” Best Picture in 2020, so they’ve got their name cleared for at least a couple more years. The most pleasant surprise of the 2022 Academy Awards has to be the Best Picture nomination of “Drive My Car,” but my personal love for Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World” is a pretty close second. It’s always great to see Paul Thomas Anderson picking up some nominations, but sadly I doubt “Licorice Pizza” will bring anything home, even if it is deserving. Not sure if it was much of a surprise, but Andrew Garfield’s nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his part in “Tick, Tick… BOOM!” was great to see. As for my hopes, I’d really just love to see “Licorice Pizza” or “Drive My Car” steal the show, even if that may not be very likely.
Even though there were a couple of pleasant surprises, they do not outweigh the multitude of rough picks that unsurprisingly filled the board. “Don’t Look Up,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence may be one of the most egregious Best Picture nominations in recent years. If it somehow wins, it’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me. There weren’t many other disrespectfully bad picks, but still, a handful were merely passable (at the very best) such as “Coda” and “Belfast.” If I had even seen “Being the Ricardos,” I might be a little upset at how many acting nominations it received, but I couldn’t be bothered to have my view of Javier Bardem tainted. I think the most regrettable offenses will come with the winners of these awards since there are about half for each category that would be physically painful to see. Except the very nomination of “Don’t Look Up for Best Editing”—now that was painful.
Probably the worst part of the Oscars isn’t the questionable movies that get credit, but the great movies that get nothing. I’m not surprised “Red Rocket” wasn’t nominated for anything, but looking at half the categories I really don’t see a movie that beats it out. Although “The Worst Person in the World” got a nomination for International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay, it’s a shame it didn’t get a Best Picture nomination as it’s better than nearly every film on that list. It seems almost as though the Oscars give one foreign film attention every few years to compensate rather than showing all deserving foreign films love. Shockingly, there was nothing for “The French Dispatch” or “C’mon C’mon,” which was weird to see given the Academy’s typical love for Wes Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix. Perhaps the nomination I would have been happiest to see that got snubbed was Dev Patel for his role in “The Green Knight,” but if Andrew Garfield wins that section, I’ll let it slide. I’m also pretty upset that Adam Sandler didn’t get a nomination for “Uncut Gems.” Yes, I know that was two years ago. I’m still not over it.