‘The Power of the Dog’ leads Oscar nominations with 12 nods

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

LOS ANGELES – Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog” led nominees for the 94th Academy Awards, or the Oscars, with 12 nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday.

The Western psychological drama film picked up nominations across a series of major categories, including best picture, best director for Jane Campion, best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, best supporting actor for Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and best supporting actress for Kirsten Dunst, said Xinhua.

Based on the 1967 novel of the same name, “The Power of the Dog” follows a domineering but charismatic rancher who wages a war of intimidation on his brother’s new wife and her teen son — until long-hidden secrets come to light.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ science fiction film “Dune” came in second in the race for this year’s Academy Awards with 10 nods, followed by musical romantic drama film “West Side Story” and comedy drama film “Belfast” with seven nominations each.

“The Power of the Dog” will compete against “Dune,” “West Side Story,” “Belfast,” “CODA,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Drive My Car,” “Licorice Pizza,” “King Richard,” “Nightmare Alley” for best picture of the year.

Campion will face off against Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Ryuske Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), and Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) in the best director category.  The New Zealand filmmaker is the first woman to be nominated twice for the Oscar best director honors. She was first nominated in 1994 for “The Piano”.

Battle for best actor will be among Cumberbatch, Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”), Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … BOOM!”), Will Smith (“King Richard”), and Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”).

Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”), Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”), and Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) were nominated for the best actress award.

Plemons and Smit-McPhee will face off against Ciaran Hinds (“Belfast”), Troy Kotsur (“CODA”), and J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”) in the best supporting actor category. Dunst will compete against Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”), Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”), Judi Dench (“Belfast”), and Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”) for best supporting actress.

Japanese drama “Drive My Car” is a favourite this Hollywood awards season, making history by becoming the first Japanese film ever to earn an Oscar best picture nomination. The film will compete against “Flee” (Denmark), “The Hand of God” (Italy), “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan), and “The Worst Person in the World” (Norway) in the category of best international feature film, formerly known as best foreign language film.

Disney and its subsidiary Pixar continued to dominate best animated feature category this year, scoring three nominations with “Encanto,” “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Luca.” The other two nominees are “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” and “Flee”.

“Flee” becomes the first film ever to score nominations for best animated feature, best international feature, and best documentary feature in the Oscar race.

“Affairs of the Art,” “Bestia,” “Boxballet,” “Robin Robin,” and “The Windshield Wiper” are on the list in the best animated short film competition.

Rounding out the rest of its nominations were for documentary short film, live action short film, cinematography, screenplay, costume design, film editing, original score, production design, visual effects, sound editing and sound mixing.

Active members of the Academy are eligible to vote for the winners in all 23 categories beginning March 17, through March 22, said the organisation in a news release.

The 94th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on March 27 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood in the western US state of California.