2022 Oscars EXTRAVAGANZA!
Every Oscar nominated movie I saw, rated and ranked
Hello and welcome to my 2022 Oscars EXTRAVAGANZA! In this list, I will rank and rate every film I saw that was nominated for an Oscar of any category. I do not work in film or have a degree in it. I am simply a tiny woman who likes to watch.
A few caveats. First, we all know that the Oscars are pretty biased. Since every movie is voted on by Academy members, the films tend to skew white, American and feel-good. Three of my favourite movies from 2021, Red Rocket, Titane and Passing, weren’t nominated for anything, but I would highly recommend watching them.
Likewise, I can only rate and rank what I’ve been able to see. Unfortunately, there are some blind spots on this list of what I couldn’t manage to check out in time, notably Belfast, Nightmare Alley and West Side Story.
For ease, I ranked each movie out of a possible five stars. All the films are divided into their respective star rankings. This is my ranking rubric:
One Star: Unwatchable. Don’t bother!
Two Stars: Bad. While some things may be good, overall I found too many negative aspects about the film to enjoy it.
Three Stars: Good. Watchable but missing an element that would heighten it even more.
Four Stars: Great. An interesting film with some standout or original cinematic elements.
Five Stars: A masterpiece. Will gladly watch it a thousand times.
Also, I made this list in good fun. You might disagree with my opinions and that’s fine. Nothing actually matters! With that, LET’S RIDE.
19. Don’t Look Up
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Song, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score
I didn’t totally hate this movie while watching it. I thought it captured some anxiety about the climate crisis well and found it fun to see what other A-list actor was about to pop on-screen. But to be nominated for this many Oscars? Let alone BEST PICTURE?! If this movie wins anything it’s evidence that we are truly in the worst timeline.
Will it win? God, I hope not.
18. House of Gucci
Nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Listen, I love Lady Gaga. I’ve been a Little Monster since 2008! But some crimes cannot be forgiven, especially the atrocious Italian accents put on by all parties involved. Why wasn’t this just made in Italian with Italian actors? Oh yeah, because then it wouldn’t have been nominated for even one Oscar! BOOF.
Will it win? No lol.
17. Licorice Pizza
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay
The movie that launched a thousand Twitter discourses, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film was a flop for me. Despite beautiful cinematography and great performances from both Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim, I was underwhelmed by the narrative and found little emotional or character payoff. That’s not even mentioning the decade age gap or the accent jokes, which I personally found weird and uncomfortable. PTA already made a great film about the ‘70s and that film is Boogie Nights.
Will it win? Maybe. Even though reviews were mixed, critics seemed to really like it. I’d place my bet on Best Original Screenplay.
16. Drive My Car
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay
Despite widespread critical and audience praise, I found Drive My Car extremely unsatisfying. I’m all for a three-hour movie, but it needs to justify its run time. The tension between the two male leads was the most interesting to me, but it just completely fizzled out by the third act. Plus, the way Misaki was written wasn’t fleshed out well enough to really feel the emotional payoff in the ending. If you want to see an amazing slow-burn three-hour movie based on a Murakami short story, watch Burning instead.
Will it win? This was widely beloved, so it will definitely win in at least one category. I can see it winning Best International Feature for sure.
15. Tick, Tick… Boom!
Nominated for Best Actor and Best Film Editing
Andrew Garfield carried this movie on his BACK! His performance is excellent and it’s an enjoyable movie musical about what it takes to pursue artistic dreams, but I stopped thinking about it the moment I turned it off.
Will it win? Probably not.
14. The Lost Daughter
Nominated for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay
I originally gave this movie four stars, but it’s weakened in my mind since then. I do think there are some great moments, but overall a lot of the story is so subtle that it doesn’t translate as well visually as it does through Ferrante’s biting prose.
Will it win? Probably not. The flashback sequences featuring Jessie Buckley as young Leda are by far agreed upon as the highlight of the film, but she’ll likely lose to frontrunners Ariana DeBose and Kirsten Dunst.
13. Parallel Mothers
Nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Score
Parallel Mothers is renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s take on motherhood gone awry. I found the “bad mom” themes in this even more interesting than those in The Lost Daughter and found the quick pacing kept the film moving along well. The bigger statement on the Spanish Civil War lost me slightly, only because of my own ignorance about its historical significance, but I still found the film a good watch.
Will it win? Probably not.
Nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Costume Design
EVIL DALMATIANS PUSH HER MOM OFF A CLIFF! This movie is the definition of camp.
Will it win? It should for Best Costume Design.
11. The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Nominated for Best Actress and Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Based on the 2000 documentary of the same name, this film follows the rise and fall of Tammy Faye Baker and her husband, Jim Baker. Together, the pair spread the word of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by creating their own televangelist broadcast network in the 1970s before it all came crashing down financially. Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield are super fun to watch and the movie is engaging throughout, but overall it’s a bit forgettable.
Will it win? It should for Best Makeup and Hairstyling since the transformations for both main actors are unreal.
10. King Richard
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay
King Richard details the early beginnings of Venus and Serena Williams’ rise to tennis stardom in their childhood and teenage years. Although there has been some pushback online about centering their father in the narrative, I thought it was a good framing device for the movie, especially since Will Smith acts his heart out. For its long run time, I thought it was paced excellently and the final match was executed really well. If you’re looking for a feel-good sports movie, this is the one to watch.
Will it win? Odds are in favour for Will Smith to win Best Actor, which I think his performance deserves.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Adapted Screenplay
There are two songs repeated over and over in CODA; I haven’t been able to get either out of my head since I watched it two weeks ago. The movie follows Ruby, a teenage girl who’s the only hearing person in her deaf family, as she struggles to help them succeed with their fishing business while also pursuing her own dream of singing. It’s a very sweet film, sometimes so much that it verges on corny, but it made me cry three times, proof that I still have a heart.
Will it win? Odds are in favour for deaf actor Troy Kotsur to win Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Ruby’s dad, a win which should happen since the best emotional moments of CODA rely so heavily on him.
8. The Tragedy of Macbeth
Nominated for Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design
I haven’t read Macbeth, but I think this adaptation was really well done. I loved the stylistic choice to film everything in a brutalist black-and-white; it had a Bergman vibe that I really loved. However, I’m surprised that neither Frances McDormand nor Kathryn Hunter were nominated for Best Supporting Actress for their roles as Lady Macbeth and the Witches respectively, since they were definitely the highlights of the film.
Will it win? It’s between Denzel Washington and Will Smith for Best Actor, but I think Smith is the one to beat. I could see this winning Best Production Design, but it will probably lose to Dune.
Nominated for Best Animated Feature, Best Song and Best Original Score
We DO talk about Bruno! Encanto follows the family Madrigal in their home in Columbia. Each family member receives a special gift, all except for teenage Mirabel. It’s a story of healing intergenerational trauma that won’t leave a dry eye in sight, plus the songs are ultra-catchy and the animation is brilliantly colourful.
Will it win? Definitely for Best Song, although the most popular ones from the film weren’t even nominated. Oops!
6. The Power of the Dog
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Sound
Sam Elliott’s favourite movie! Jane Campion’s tale of repressed queerness and masculinity in 1920s Montana is one that was so hyped up, I was initially a bit let down on my first watch. However, it’s a movie that’s stuck in my brain long after I finished it, and one that likely rewards multiple viewings to get the most out of it.
Will it win? With twelve nominations, this film is the Oscar favourite to beat in multiple categories; my money’s on it for Best Picture and Best Director.
5. Summer of Soul (Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature
I’m a huge fan of music documentaries and Summer of Soul is one of the best concert docs I’ve ever seen. The film showcases the Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of concerts set in the neighbourhood over the summer of 1969. Thought of as the “Black Woodstock,” the documentary mixes concert footage of legendary acts like Stevie Wonder, The 5th Dimension and Sly and the Family Stone with the history of these musicians, audience members and America at large. It all ends with a spine-chilling performance by none other than Nina Simone. Watch it!
Will it win? It’s really good, but it will likely lose to frontrunner Flee.
Nominated for Best Animated Feature
One of my favourite movies from last year, Luca is an animated film set in Italy about a little sea monster who transforms into a human to hang out with his BFFs Alberto and Giulia. It’s cute, it’s colourful and its metaphor for queerness will make you ugly cry.
Will it win? Sadly, this will likely lose to frontrunner Flee.
3. The Worst Person in the World
Nominated for Best International Feature and Best Original Screenplay
This movie is essentially a Sally Rooney novel but set in Norway instead of Ireland. The Worst Person in the World follows Julia, a 30-year-old woman, as she navigates her career, relationships and family. I loved how it was a coming-of-age story about someone slightly older; it definitely made it feel very fresh and modern.
Although it is a pretty straightforward story, there are some slightly surreal sequences that absolutely took my breath away. This is the kind of movie that ends and then you’re just quiet for ten minutes after. I really wish this had been nominated for more categories, but the Academy hates reading subtitles.
Will it win? It should, although it will only likely win in one category. My bet’s on Best Original Screenplay.
Nominated for Best Actress
Set over three days in Christmas 1991, this movie follows Princess Diana as she slowly descends into greater and greater mental turmoil, a feeling that anyone who has spent time with their extended family over the holidays will relate to. Spencer is a slow, odd and beautiful film that’s not for everyone, but was DEFINITELY for me.
I know the Academy is biased, but I can’t believe this wasn’t nominated for more categories. It could have easily been for Best Cinematography, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score.
Will it win? Kristen Stewart gives her best performance EVER as the People’s Princess. If she doesn’t win for Best Actress I am going to [redacted].
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Costume Design
The best movie theatre experiences are those where pretty quickly, you realize you are watching a fucking masterpiece. This was my experience with Dune. I’m not normally into sci-fi, but Villeneuve’s version of the future as dark, horrific and brutal really struck a chord with me.
Everyone acted their hearts out: Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson and even Zendaya, who pretty much only appears in dream sequences for a grand total of ten minutes. It’s excellently paced and easy to follow the lore, even for those who haven’t read the book. And the SCORE! Dune fucking rules in every single way.
Will it win? Objectively, Dune should win for Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. I want it to win Best Picture, but it probably won’t. But the fact that Villeneuve wasn’t nominated for Best Director?! The Oscars are DUMB!
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