Trophy Talk

The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2022 Oscar Nominations

House of Gucci, Jennifer Hudson, and Denis Villeneuve get no love from the Academy, but Drive My Car and Flee make history.

by and | February 8, 2022 | Comments

While we saw a number of significant milestones in last year’s Oscar nominations, this year wasn’t quite as revolutionary. That isn’t to say we didn’t see some surprises in this morning’s announcements — as we mentioned in our own predictions, some of the categories were wide open — but on the whole, there were fewer shocking developments.

That said, we were certainly surprised to see that films like House of Gucci and fan-favorite crowd-and-critic-pleaser Spider-Man: No Way Home were almost entirely shut out, while unlikely candidates like Being the Ricardos’ Javier Bardem and J.K. Simmons scored nominations. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune scored the second-most nominations of any film, but he himself didn’t make the cut for Best Director. Of course, there are many more than what we’ve listed below, so let us know in the comments what surprised you in this year’s Oscar nominations.

The 94th Academy Awards will air live March 27, 2022 at 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT on ABC.


SURPRISE: Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons Recognized for Being the Ricardos

Javier Bardem and J.K. Simmons in Being the Ricardos

(Photo by Glen Wilson/©Amazon Studios)

Nicole Kidman’s transformation into Lucille Ball for Being the Ricardos was considered a lock by many Oscar prognosticators, but the additional nods for co-stars Javier Bardem (Desi Arnaz) and J.K. Simmons (William Frawley) seemed like less of a sure thing. We believed Red Rocket’s Simon Rex stood a chance of sneaking into the Best Actor race above Bardem, and while the Best Supporting Actor category was a bit of a toss-up this year, we thought Bradley Cooper might have beaten out Simmons to be recognized for his role in Licorice Pizza. Speaking of the acting categories…


SNUB: No Love for House of Gucci’s Lady Gaga or Jared Leto

Lady Gaga and Jared Leto in House of Gucci

(Photo by Fabio Lovino/©MGM)

It’s closing time at Olive Garden and unfortunately, Lady Gaga’s all-you-can-eat pasta and breadsticks award season tour has come to a close. The previous Oscar winner was hoping to score her second acting nom, but Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci was all but shut out on nominations morning. Both Gaga and her fellow SAG-nominated co-star Jared Leto failed to score nominations, though Gaga’s personal hair and wig stylist Frederic Aspiras scored a Makeup and Hairstyling nod, the film’s only Oscars recognition.


SURPRISE: Kristen Stewart Nominated for Stewart

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

(Photo by NEON)

Despite multiple critics’ societies awarding Kristen Stewart the Best Actress award for her work in Spencer, an Oscar nod seemed unlikely after she was shut out by both the SAG awards and the BAFTAs, which are usually pretty good indicators of Academy Awards recognition. It was a pleasant surprise to see Stewart notch her first Oscar nod, but it remains to be seen if she can bring it home with a win. On the other hand…


SNUB: Jennifer Hudson Misses Out on Nomination for Best Actress

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

(Photo by Quantrell D. Colbert/©MGM)

Unfortunately, with Kristen Stewart in the mix for Best Actress, someone else had to go. We’ve already mentioned the high-profile snub of Lady Gaga in House of Gucci, but Academy voters also had no R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Jennifer Hudson, who was overlooked for her performance as the Queen of Soul in 2021’s Aretha Franklin biopic (not to be confused with the 2021 Aretha Franklin miniseries, which earned star Cynthia Erivo Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG nods for her equally musical performance).


SURPRISE: Flee Earns a Triple-Nomination Milestone

Still image from Flee

(Photo by ©Neon)

The hybrid animated documentary Flee, which tells the story of an Afghan refugee’s journey to his new home in Copenhagen, scored nominations in three major categories: Animated, Documentary, and International Feature. It’s the first time a film has been nominated in all three categories in the Academy Awards’ nearly century-long history.


SNUB: Denis Villeneuve Denied for Best Director

Denis Villeneuve on the set of Dune

(Photo by Chiabella James/©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Despite nominations from the Director’s Guild, the Golden Globes, and many a critics’ group, Dune director Denis Villeneuve failed to receive what would have been his second Best Director Oscar nod, the first coming for 2017’s Arrival. Villeneuve did get recognized for Adapted Screenplay, however, at both the Oscars and the BAFTAs, and Dune is nominated in the Best Picture/Film category at both ceremonies.


SURPRISE: The Worst Person in the World Secures a Best Original Screenplay Nod

Renate Reinsve in The Worst Person in the World

(Photo by ©Neon)

Joachim Trier’s Cannes sensation was Norway’s International entry and seemingly a lock for that category, but its inclusion in the Original Screenplay category was definitely a surprise. While it’s not the first non-English screenplay to be included in the category — Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won won in 2019 for Parasite — it joins a very small group of films going back to nearly the inception of the category in 1940. (In 1944, German and French film Marie-Louise took home the trophy.)


SNUB: Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Monster Box Office Fails to Translate to Oscar Glory

IMAX Poster for Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by ©Sony Pictures Releasing/©Marvel Entertainment)

The biggest movie of the year scored just one Oscar nomination, for Best Visual Effects, but most would argue that was the bare minimum the film deserved, especially after it drove everyone to the theaters en route to a top-10-of-all-time box office haul and was declared the savior of theatrical moviegoing in 2021. It would have been more understandable if No Way Home was an awful film, but it earned a Certified Fresh 93% on the Tomatometer and a 98% Audience Score. Maybe another time, Spidey.


SURPRISE: Drive My Car Enters the Race for Best Picture and Best Director

Hidetoshi Nishijima and Toko Miura in Drive My Car

(Photo by ©Janus Films)

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s quiet, richly observed drama Drive My Car became the first Japanese film ever nominated for Best Picture, while Hamaguchi became the third Japanese director (after Hiroshi Teshigahara and Akira Kurosawa — that’s some good company) to be nominated for Best Director. The film, loosely adapted from a collection of Haruki Murakami short stories, is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and, of course, Best International Feature.


SNUB: Asghar Farhadi Misses Out on Third Oscar for A Hero

Amir Jadidi in A Hero

(Photo by ©Amazon Studios)

Drive My CAr may be the odds-on favorite to win Best International Feature this year, but its route to the Oscar was made a lot easier by the fact that it won’t be competing against Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes Grand Prix-winning A Hero. Farhadi has already won two Academy Awards in the category, for 2011’s A Separation and 2016’s The Salesman, and A Hero would have likely given Drive My Car a run for its money.


The 94th Academy Awards will air live March 27, 2022 at 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT on ABC.

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