From: Silver Screen
Weekend Watchlist: Catching up on the 2022 Oscar nominees
With the 94th Academy Awards only days away, the advent of watching all 53 films nominated for an Oscar before the ceremony has become increasingly unfeasible. Because of this, The Eagle has compiled a list of nominees that are likely to take away some of the night’s top prizes. Check out the full list of nominees for even more films not covered below.
The Power of the Dog (2021)
Leading the competition with 12 nominations is Jane Campion’s neo-Western, “The Power of the Dog.” Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the aggressively flawed rancher Phil Burbank, who finds his status challenged when his brother George (Jesse Plemons) arrives back at their ranch with his new wife Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). A powerful glimpse into masculinity set against the backdrop of the Western frontier, “The Power of the Dog” is bound to walk away from the ceremony with quite a few awards including Best Director for Campion and possibly Best Lead Actor for Cumberbatch.
“The Power of the Dog” is available to stream on Netflix.
Denis Villeneuve adds another fantastic piece of science fiction to his filmography with his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary novel “Dune.” With a star-studded ensemble, featuring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Zendaya, “Dune” sees Chalamet’s Paul Atreides struggle to survive on the fictional planet of Arrakis. A feast for both the eyes and the ears, its lackluster depth is made up for in visuals, framing it as the front-runner for awards in visual effects and cinematography.
“Dune” is available to stream on HBO Max.
West Side Story (2021)
A remake of the 1961 Best Picture winner, “West Side Story” is the second rendition of the late Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical. With Steven Spielberg at the director’s chair, “West Side Story'' is a complete update of the 1961 version, following the blossoming romance between Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler), two young lovers belonging to rival street gangs. However, the true star of the film is Ariana DeBose as Anita, Maria’s closest friend. DeBose’s strong performance puts her in a good position to walk away with Best Supporting Actress, and the film’s strong design puts it in close competition for awards in costume and production design.
“West Side Story” is available to stream on Disney+ and HBO Max.
Drive My Car (2021)
The only international feature nominated for Best Picture is Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s three-hour road movie, “Drive My Car.” The film examines the unique relationship between playwright Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and his newly appointed driver Misaki Watari (Tôko Miura) over the course of their many trips together. While the length might scare some potential viewers away, “Drive My Car” is undoubtedly worth the watch, and is almost certain to win Best International Feature.
“Drive My Car” is now showing in theaters and is available to stream on HBO Max.
Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021)
Rounding out these picks is musician, disc jockey, songwriter and author Questlove’s first foray into documentary filmmaking with “Summer of Soul.” Constructed almost entirely of previously unseen archival footage, “Summer of Soul” documents the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. Overshadowed by Woodstock, the footage was left sitting in a basement for over 50 years, and this film portrays the festival and the culture around it to resounding effect. “Summer of Soul'' is one of the finest documentaries in recent years, and is the frontrunner for Best Documentary Feature.
“Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” is available to stream on Hulu.
Writer’s Pick: The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021)
It’s no secret that Disney’s “Encanto” has dominated the conversation regarding last year’s animated features. And while there is a very good chance that it will win Best Animated Feature, “The Mitchells vs The Machines” is the nominee worthy of the award. The latest film by Sony Pictures Animation portrays the highly dysfunctional Mitchell family as humanity’s last hope after sentient robots have captured everyone else and plan to jettison them into space for all eternity. “The Mitchells vs the Machines” is a beautifully animated film with plenty of humor and a big heart. While “Encanto” is certainly the more popular of the two, “The Mitchells vs The Machines” is arguably more deserving of the award.
“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is available to stream on Netflix.