NEW YORK, NY (AP) -- Following a year of stuttering movie theaters and streaming services making new inroads into Hollywood's film industry, the Academy Awards voted Tuesday for two movies with great big-screen appeal that could also be streamed to homes. Jane Campion's Gothic western "The Power of the Dog" was supported by the Academy Awards. Denis Villeneuve's sci fi epic "Dune" received strong support from the Academy Awards.
Netflix's "The Power of the Dog", which received 12 nominations for the 94th Academy Awards, led the way in nominations. These included best picture, best director, and recognition for all its top actors: Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smith-McPhee.
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Campion, who was nominated for "The Piano" in 1993, became the first woman to be nominated twice as best director. Chloe Zhao was the only woman to win the award last year. Ari Wegner, Campion's director for photography, was also nominated as best cinematography.
"Dune" was closely followed by 10 nominations, mainly in technical categories. Villeneuve's masterful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, despite Villeneuve's surprise departure, received 10 nominations. The Warner Bros. film premiered simultaneously in theaters, and -- despite the objections of its director - on HBO Max.
The nominees for the best picture award were "Belfast", "CODA," and "Don't Look Up."
Although streaming services have never won best picture, half of the nominees were made available by streamers. The odds are better than ever this year that Netflix or another streaming service will break through the Hollywood wall of Hollywood tradition.
Apple received its first best picture nomination for "CODA," the deaf drama. It also became history when Troy Kotsur, a supporting-actor nominee, was nominated. Marlee Matlin, his "CODA" star, was the first. Netflix supported "The Power of the Dog" (a comedy about the apocalyptic comedy) and Adam McKay's "Don't Look Up" (a comedy about the end of the world). "King Richard" as well as "Dune" were launched on HBO Max. The academy banned hard-copy DVD screenings for its members for the first time. Instead, they could stream submissions to the academy's streaming platform.
The Oscar nominations were based on films that were released in many different ways. They reflect the turmoil of a year that saw many theaters close and Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man: No Way Home", smashing box-office records. Some had called for the Oscars' to honor blockbusters and bring back populism, but Spidey was nominated for visual effects.
Actors Leslie Jordan, Tracee Ellis Ross announced the nominations for this year's awards season. This was largely a virtual one. The Oscars this year will be delayed due to the Olympics. They will take place March 27th and return to their regular venue, the Dolby Theatre.
There were many surprises. Lady Gaga, the star of "House of Gucci," was not nominated in the highly competitive category for best actress. Instead, Jessica Chastain ("The Eyes of Tammy Faye") was nominated, as well as Olivia Colman ("The Lost Daughter") and Penelope Cruz ("Parallel Mothers") -- whose hopes of winning an Oscar were shattered by the Screen Actors Guild.
Ryusuke Hayaguchi's three-hour drama "Drive My Car" won major nominations, including best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay. In recent years, the academy has been expanding internationally. Bong Joon Ho's Korean horror "Parasite", which was nominated for best picture in 2020, was the academy's most recent winner.
There were other underdogs that were also celebrated. Bhutan, a remote Himalayan nation, received its first Oscar nomination in "Lunana" for best international film.
The nominations kept one eye on Hollywood's history and one on Hollywood's future in many ways. Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story", which received seven nominations for Best Director, was the first filmmaker to be nominated in six decades. These 11 nominations for best picture are the most ever. Guillermo del Toro’s carnival noir remake "Nightmare Alley" was another film that recalls a different era in the movie industry. It also scored a best picture nomination, beating streaming titles like Netflix's “tick, tick... Boom!” and Amazon's “Being the Ricardos.” No other release is as old-fashioned than Paul Thomas Anderson’s "Licorice Pizza,” which was nominated for Anderson’s screenplay and direction. Over the past 10 weeks, it has been slowly expanding in theaters.
Will Smith, who portrays the father of Venus Williams and Serena Williams respectively in "King Richard," received his third Oscar nomination. Cumberbatch and Andrew Garfield are also up for best actor ("tick, tick,... Boom!") Javier Bardem ("Being the Ricardos"), Denzel Washington ("The Tragedy of Macbeth"), and Cumberbatch ("tick, tick,... Boom!"). Washington, who was nominated seven times for best actor, is still the most-nominated Black actor.
Plemons and Dunst, who share two children, were nominated for their first nominations in "The Power of the Dog."
Dunst, who was speaking by phone Tuesday to Dunst with the sounds of their children playing in the background, said that she knew she would have more joy if they were both nominated. It's like reading a fairytale, a storybook. It's very special. It would be so cute, I thought. I felt like a grandma about it.
Tuesday's other couple was Bardem and Cruz. Dunst said they were "definitely the more sexier" couple.
She added, "We're quite fun, though."
Dunst was not the only nominee for best supporting actor. There were three first-timers: Jessie Buckley ("The Lost Daughter") and Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”), and Ariana deBose in the "West Side Story” role Rita Moreno won in 1962. Judi Dench is the veteran. Her performance in Kenneth Branagh’s black-and white family drama "Belfast" earned her her eighth Oscar nomination.
Branagh's film "Belfast", which he based on his childhood, was nominated for seven awards, including best director for Branagh, and best supporting actor for Dench’s "Belfast” husband, Ciaran Hinds. This film was shot in Britain for the first time after 2021 lockdown.
Branagh stated that they spent hundreds of thousands on COVID protection. "We loved the chance to do this so much. We didn't know then that there would be a film industry.
J.K. Simmons, co-star in "Ricardos", rounded out the top supporting actor category that Kotsur made history with.
"I feel a little lighter. Kotsur spoke Tuesday via an interpreter, "This chip is off my shoulders." It's like everyone is taking a step forward.
"Dune," which has earned $400 million worldwide, is the biggest movie in the best-picture competition. But McKay's "Don't Look Up," could be the most-watched nomination. According to Netflix, it is the second most popular movie with 359,790,000 total hours.
"No Time to Die", one of the biggest blockbusters of the pandemic, but still a potential money-loser to MGM, received three nominations. This included the sixth Bond theme that was nominated best song. Billie Eilish's title-track "No Time to Die" will be able to surpass Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster soundtrack "Encanto" and its best-song nominee, "Dos Oruguitas."
"Encanto" was also nominated in the best animated feature category, which is very competitive this year. Pixar's Luca, Netflix's The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon, and Disney's Flee are the other nominees. This is the category's first ever documentary nomination. Jonas Poher Rasmussen's animated Danish documentary about an Afghan immigrant, which tells his story for the very first time, was nominated for best documentary, best international film, and best animation.
"Attica," Ascension, "Writing With Fire," and category favourite "Summer of Soul" were also nominated. "When the Revolution Could not Be Televised" was also nominated for best documentary. Questlove's documentary focuses on the 1969 Harlem Culture Festival, its long-buried legacy, and the eventual victory of Ascension.
Questlove stated, "My sole intention was to restore history."
Joachim Trier's Norwegian 30-something drama "The Worst Man in the World" was nominated for best original screenplay. "Flee", "Drive My Car", and "Lunana” were also in the best international film category.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences hopes Tuesday's nominations will help lift its ABC telecast. Last year's broadcast featured a socially distant ceremony at Los Angeles Union Station. Ratings fell to 9.85 million viewers, an all-time low.
The academy is still working out its plans for this year's show. However, it will have a host for 2018, which is the first time since 2018.