10 biggest snubs, surprises, and talking points from the Oscar nominations 2022

Lady Gaga at the Oscars
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Oscars 2022 nominations are here – and there were more than a handful of snubs and surprises. Jane Campion's exquisite The Power of the Dog came up trumps, leading the pack with 12 nominations, and Dune followed close behind with 10. While Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic may have won multiple nominations, the filmmaker himself missed out on the Best Director category. That's just one of the major snubs this awards season.

Below, we go through the biggest highs, lows, and general talking points from the Oscar nominations. And if you want our actual predictions, then make sure to read our piece on the Oscars 2022 predictions.

Drive My Car domination

Drive My Car

(Image credit: Bitters End)

Drive My Car, a Japanese drama about a grieving director who struggles with his latest theatrical production, picked up a Best Picture nomination – a nice surprise for a foreign-language film that has been slowly breaking through this awards season. Not only that, but Ryusuke Hamaguchi also picked up a nomination for Best Director, taking the place of...

Denis Villeneuve, robbed!

Hamaguchi's Best Director nomination came at the expense of Denis Villeneuve. Long thought a shoe-in for the award, the Dune director failed to impress his fellow filmmakers with his expansive sci-fi flick. Steven Spielberg was believed to be a maybe, yet managed to pick up a nomination – turns out, being one of Hollywood's most iconic directors and remaking a crowd-pleasing classic is a guaranteed way to get an Oscar nomination. Dune still managed 10 nominations in total, including Best Picture. Without Villeneuve in the directing category, though, the chances of Dune winning the night's big award seems slim. That honour will likely go to...

The Power of the Dog may finally get Netflix that Best Picture win

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Power of the Dog has been nominated 12 times, making it the frontrunner and very probable winner of Best Picture. There are no other nominees that are as universally adored as Jane Campion's movie – and her Best Director nomination makes her the first woman in history to be nominated for Best Director twice. In the acting categories Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Jesse Plemons were all named. That's some heavyweight action. And if The Power of the Dog does go on to win, then that would be Netflix's first Best Picture win, having previously lost out when it came to Roma, Mank, and The Irishman

The best actress category

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

(Image credit: Neon)

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) are this year's nominees for Best Actress – and none of them are in movies nominated for Best Picture. That's a very strange coincidence. However, the two surprises here are Stewart and Cruz, who both failed to pick up SAG nominations, which have historically been accurate Oscar predictors. That also means that there were two snubs, one being Respect's Jennifer Hudson, and the other...

Lady Gaga's House of Gucci

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci

(Image credit: United Artists Releasing/Universal Pictures)

Ridley Scott's tale of revenge, murder, and fashion was largely overlooked in the nominations, netting just one nod for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. The biggest shock is undoubtedly Lady Gaga being passed over for a Best Actress nomination for her role of Patrizia Reggiani. Gaga had noms from BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Critics Choice, and Golden Globes, but no Oscar nomination to add to that list.

Slightly less shocking is Jared Leto's miss. His performance was larger than life, the actor practically disappeared inside the makeup required for the role – but it wasn't enough to nab a nod, even though Leto has already secured nominations for Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild awards. Still, neither Gaga or Leto should be too sad – they've both previously won Oscars, Gaga for her A Star Is Born song "Shallow" and Leto for Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club. 

Ruth Negga and Passing

Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing

(Image credit: AUM Group)

Ruth Negga seemed set for a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in Rebecca Hall's Passing, but the nominations came and went without a nod for her, despite nominations for BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild awards. In fact, the critically acclaimed Passing didn't manage to net a single nomination in any category. 

The film is Hall's directorial debut, and is an adaptation of Nella Larsen's 1929 novel of the same name. Negga plays Clare, a Black woman who "passes" as white. Tessa Thompson co-stars as Clare's friend Irene Redfield. Though Negga has never won an Oscar, she was nominated in 2015 for Best Actress for Loving. 

Spider-Man: No Show Up

Spider-Man and MJ in No Way Home

(Image credit: Marvel/Sony)

Spider-Man: No Way Home was always going to be a long shot for Best Picture. However, that didn't stop Disney and Marvel pushing the movie on voters following its huge box-office takings. The blockbusters ended up with a singular nomination, for Best Visual Effects, which will no doubt be disappointing to those involved. Still, Tom Holland and crew won't be too disappointed – they've made well over $1.7 billion worldwide.

CODA's feel good victory

Marlee Matlin in CODA

(Image credit: Apple)

CODA both tells a feel-good story and is, itself, a feel-good story. Apple's film about a young hearing girl who's family is Deaf has been an outsider this awards season. Yet, the charming Troy Kotsur has been picking up various Supporting Actor nominations, and now has the ultimate nod – an Oscar nomination. CODA has, as a result, been constantly whispered about by Hollywood's leading lights, and now has a Best Picture nomination. It's a Sundance surprise, staying in people's minds since first screening on January 28, 2021.

Nightmare Alley pulls it back

Nightmare Alley

(Image credit: Searchlight)

Guillermo Del Toro's Nightmare Alley has been under the radar this awards season. Despite the director previously winning Best Picture with The Shape of Water, he has not been a big figure on the awards circuit this time around. However, Del Toro has still managed to pull things back, with Nightmare Alley managing to get Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Production Design, and Costume Design. 

Being the Ricardos is an actors favorite... 

Being the Ricardos

(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Being the Ricardos had a mixed reception. Indeed, at the Oscars, the film failed to pick up any nominations – including Best Picture – outside the acting categories. Inside the acting categories, of course, it's a completely different story. Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, and a surprise J.K. Simmons all managed to pick up nominations. So, Being the Ricardos has been somehow both snubbed and picked up surprise nominations. It's fair to say, from here, it's going to be a wild Oscars race.


For more, check out the most exciting upcoming movies heading your way over the next few years.

Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film

With contributions from