Looking Ahead To Oscars 2022

As March 27 gets closer, a passionate community of film enthusiasts sit in their homes, excited, anxious, and incredibly curious about this year’s Academy Awards. The Academy Awards (commonly known as the Oscars) are a televised award ceremony that recognize the best of movies, shorts films, and documentaries released throughout the year. The awards are presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, a community of nearly 10,000 members who vote on the movie nominees.

This year’s ceremony represents a leap back to life before the pandemic. Last year’s Oscars were held in LA’s Union Station, however, the majority of the nominees joined virtually from their homes. “In person events are definitely more energetic,” argues Mehar Bhasin 23’. “The Oscars are such a big deal that a big part of the show comes from the energy of the audience. Last year’s Oscars definitely felt different.” The ceremony still had some of the magic it usually does, yet nothing compares to the thrilling sensation of watching the most acclaimed actors, actresses, directors, and film crew members walk onto the stage to receive their golden statue. To most fans’ relief, this year’s awards will return to the legendary Dolby theater in Hollywood, California. 

However, not everything about this year’s Oscars ceremony is about returning to its roots. Two new categories were announced by The Academy’s twitter account on February 14th. The first one being The Oscars Fan Favorite Movie and the second The Oscars Cheer Moment (a specific moment from a movie that is “cheerworthy”). Both have become the target of controversy, because unlike the other categories (who’s winners are decided by film connoisseurs) these categories will be decided by the public, through an online voting platform. The new categories definitely provide a fresh air to the award ceremony, however many claim that The Academy is only doing this for more views (or “clout”). Abigail Gugsa 24’ said, “[The Academy] is clearly aiming for a younger audience and I feel that reflects their need for more views.”

Controversial or not, the Academy Awards keep making history. Troy Kotsur, who stars in the best-picture nominated film “CODA” as a deaf fisherman, became the first deaf man to earn an Oscar nomination for his acting. Another milestone was reached when Kenneth Branagh, director of “Belfast” (another best-picture contender), became the first person to ever be nominated in seven categories. Throughout his career Branagh has been nominated for best director, best actor, and best supporting actor. His work has been nominated for best adapted screenplay, best live-action short, best picture, and best original screenplay. 

Best picture contenders include Jane Campion’s western drama “The Power of the Dog”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Adam McKay’s apocalyptic satire “Don’t Look Up”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Meryl Streep, and Jeniffer Lawrence, and Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction classic “Dune”, with Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya. The best actor category includes Will Smith’s performance in “King Richard”, Andrew Garfield’s in “Tick, Tick, Boom”, and Javier Bardem’s in “Being the Riccardos”. Kristen Stewart, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz, along with many others, received nominations in the Best Actress category for their amazing performances.