Cinelinx 2022 Oscar Previews – Part 2

This is your guide to the major nominees of the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. Part 2 covers the acting and directing awards.

There’s always a lot of talk leading up to the big day about who will win what awards. We try to make our predictions based on trends from the past, but we can’t help to be swayed by our own personal opinions. Some movies truly strike a chord with us, while others aren’t interesting at all. Furthermore, Oscar films are usually heavy in the drama department and therefore they aren’t always the easiest or most entertaining movies to watch.

That’s why we’re here. We’ve compiled the following brief summaries, interesting facts, and critical reviews for all these films and people. The goal is to give you a solid background even if you haven’t been able to catch up with this year’s nominees. So read on, and then start planning your Oscar-related drinking game. The 94th Academy Awards ceremony will take place Sunday, March 27th.

Click here to see Part 1 of our Oscars coverage! 


BEST ACTOR NOMINEES


Andrew Garfield – as Jonathan Larson in tick, tick….Boom!

Age: 38

Previously Best Known For: 

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Social Network

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2017 – Nomination – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, as Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge

Interesting Fact: Initially auditioned for the role of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network however David Fincher did not like Garfield for the part as he found Garfield’s “incredible emotional access to his kind of core humanity” better tailored for the role of Eduardo Savern. 


Benedict Cumberbatch – as Phil Burbank in The Power of the Dog

Age: 45

Previously Best Known For: 

Dr. Strange

The Imitation Game

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2015 – Nomination – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – as Alan Turing inThe Imitation Game

Interesting Fact: Cumberbatch and Alan Turing, who he portrayed in The Imitation Game are actually related in real life. According to ancestry, the two have family relations dating back to the 14th Century. 


Javier Bardem – as in Being the Ricardos

Age: 53

Previously Best Known For: 

No Country For Old Men

Skyfall

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2011 – Nomination – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, as Uxbal in Biutiful

2008 – Win – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, as Anton Chigurh No Country for Old Men

2001- Nomination – Best Actor in a Leading Role, as Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls

Interesting Fact: His best actor nomination for Before Night Falls made him the first Spanish actor to receive an Academy Award Nomination, and his Best Supporting Actor victory for No Country for Old Men made him the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award.


Denzel Washington – as Macbeth in the Tragedy of Macbeth

Age: 67

Previously Best Known For: 

Training Day

The Book of Eli

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2018 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Roman J. Israel, Esq. 

2017 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – as Troy Maxson in Fences

2013 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – as Whip Whitaker Flight

2002 – Won – Best Actor in a Leading Role – as Det. Alonzo Harris in Training Day

2000 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Leading Role – as Rubin Carter in Hurricane

1993 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Leading Role – Malcolm X

1990 – Won – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – as Pvt. Trip in Glory

1988 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – as Steve Biko in Cry Freedom

Interesting Fact: He turned down Brad Pitt’s role in Se7en, telling Entertainment Weekly that the film was too “dark and evil”. 


Will Smith – as Richard Williams in King Richard

Age: 53

Previously Best Known For: 

Men in Black

Independence Day

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2007 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happiness

2002 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Ali

Interesting Fact: Will Smith has been at the height of 6’2” since he was 13. 


BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES


Jessica Chastain – as Tammy Faye Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Age: 45

Previously Best Known For:

Zero Dark Thirty

The Help 

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2013 – Nominated –  Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – as Maya in Zero Dark Thirty

2012 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – as Celia Foote in The Help

Interesting Fact: For her performance in Crimson Peak she learned the piano and performed all songs in the movie by herself.


Olivia Colman – as Leda in The Lost Daughter

Age: 48

Previously Best Known For: 

The Favourite

The Father

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2021 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – as Anne in The Father

2019 – Won – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Queen Anne in The Favourite

Interesting Fact: The only person to win BAFTA TV Awards in three different categories (Actress, Comedy Actress, and Supporting Actress). 


Kristen Stewart – as Diana in Spencer

Age: 31

Previously Best Known For: 

The Twilight Franchise

Snow White and the Huntsman

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Is one of only 2 American actors to win a Cesar Award in France, the French equivalent to the Oscar. The other American is Adrian Brody. 


Nicole Kidman – as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos

Age: 54

Previously Best Known For: 

Moulin Rouge! 

The Others

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2017 – Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – as Sue Brierly in Lion

2011 – Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Becca in Rabbit Hole

2003 – Winner – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Virginia Woolf in The Others

2003 – Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Satine in Moulin Rouge! 

Interesting Fact: Although naturally left handed, she taught herself to write right-handed for her role in The Hours as the right-handed author Virgina Woolf. 


Penelope Cruz – as Janis Martínez Moreno in Parallel Mothers

Age: 47

Previously Best Known For: 

Volver

Vicky Christina Barcelona

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2010 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – as Carla in Nine

2009 – Winner – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Maria Elena in Vicky Christina Barcelona

2007 – Nominated – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Raimunda in Volver

Interesting Fact: After filming All the Pretty Horses she became a vegetarian. 


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES


Troy Kotsur as Frank Rossi in CODA

Age: 53 

Previously Best Known For: 

The Number 23

Wild Prairie Rose

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: For his role as a Tuscan Raider in The Mandalorian he developed his own sign language. 


Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter Gordon in The Power of the Dog

Age: 25

Previously Best Known For: 

Let Me In

The Road

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Due to a degenerative form of arthritis he is blind in his left eye. 


J.K. Simmons as William Frawley in Being the Ricardos

Age: 67

Previously Best Known For: 

Whiplash

Juno

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2015 – Winner – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, as Fletcher in Whiplash

Interesting Fact: One of the most well-established character actors of his generation, he has appeared in over 200 film and television roles since his debut in 1986. 


Ciaran Hinds as Pop in Belfast

Age: 69

Previously Best Known For: 

There Will Be Blood

Munich

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: As a stage actor, Hinds has enjoyed spells with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre in London and six seasons with Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre.


Jesse Plemons as in The Power of the Dog 

Age: 33

Previously Best Known For: 

Gamenight

Judas and the Black Messiah

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: He got his start in a Coca Cola commercial when he was 3-½ years old. 


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES


Kristen Dunst as Rose Gordon in The Power of the Dog

Age: 39

Previously Best Known For:

Spider-Man

Marie Antoinette 

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Her nickname is Kiki as when she was a child she could not pronounce Kirsten. She then provided the voice of Kiki in the English dubbing of the Miyazaki animated feature, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).


Ariana DeBose as Anita in West Side Story

Age: 31

Previously Best Known For: 

Hamilton

The Prom

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: In 2006 she won a contest to provide dance moves to Fergie’s “London Bridge”. As winner of the contest she received $15,000, Cold Stone Ice Cream for life, and a chance to meet Fergie.


Jessie Buckley as Young Leda in The Lost Daughter

Age: 32

Previously Best Known For: 

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Wild Rose

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: A classically trained actress, she attended an all-girls Secondary School where she would often perform the male roles in plays, including the role of Tony in West Side Story. 


Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene ‘Brandy’ Williams in King Williams

Age: 53

Previously Best Known For: 

Men of Honor

Ray

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Born in San Francisco, but was raised in Mississippi by her grandmother on a farm. 


Judi Dench as Ma in Belfast

Age: 87

Previously Best Known For: 

James Bond films

Notes on a Scandal

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2014 – Nominee – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Philomena Lee in Philomena

2007 – Nominee –  Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Barbara Covett in Notes on a Scandal 

2006 – Nominee –  Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Mrs. Laura Henderson in Mrs. Henderson Presents

2002 – Nominee –  Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – as Iris Murdoch in Iris

2001 – Nominee – Best Actress in a Leading Role – as Armande Voizin Chocolat

1999 – Winner – Best Actress in a Supporting Role – as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love

1998 – Nominee – Best Actress in a Leading Role – as Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown

Interesting Fact: Dench is a supporter of Everton Football Club and she has been named as a patron of the soccer team’s official charity “Everton in the Community”.


BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEES


Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Age: 67

Previously Best Known For: 

The Piano 

Bright Star

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

1994 – Nomination – Best Director for The Piano

1994 – Winner – Best Screenplay, Written Directly for the Screen for The Piano

Interesting Fact: First female director nominated for two Best Director Oscars, and each time she has been nominated, Steven Spielberg was nominated the same year.


Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car

Age: 43

Previously Best Known For: 

Asako I & II

Wheel of Fortune and Fame

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Honed his technical skills while filming three documentaries of the destruction and impact on people’s lives of a devastating Tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. 


Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Age: 51 

Previously Best Known For: 

There Will Be Blood

Boogie Nights

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2014 – Nominated – Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay in 2014 for Inherent Vice

2007 – Nominated – Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay in 2007 for There Will Be Blood

2007 – Nominated – Best Achievement in Directing in 2007 for There Will Be Blood

2007 – Nominated – Best Motion Picture of the Year in 2007 for There Will Be Blood

1999 – Nominated – Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 1999 for Magnolia

1997 – Nominated – Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 1997 for Boogy Nights

Interesting Fact: He is the only Director to win a best director prize at each of the big European film festivals. He won at Cannes for Punch Drunk Love, at Berlin for There Will be Blood, and at Venice for The Master.


Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Age: 61

Previously Best Known For: 

Hamlet

Much Ado About Nothing

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2012 – Nominee – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – as My Week With Marilyn

1997 – Nominee – Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published – Hamlet

1993 – Nominee – Best Short Film, Live Action – Swan Song

1990 – Nominee – Best Actor in a Leading Role – Henry V 

1990 – Nominee – Best Director – Henry V

Interesting Fact: At age 23, he became the youngest actor in the Royal Shakespeare Company to ever play the lead in Shakespeare’s “Henry V”.


Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Age: 75

Previously Best Known For: 

Indiana Jones

Jurassic Park

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

2018 – Nominee – Best Motion Picture for The Post

2016 – Nominee – Best Motion Picture for Bridge of Spies

2013 – Nominee – Best Motion Picture for Lincoln

2013 – Nominee – Best Achievement in Directing for Lincoln 

2012 – Nominee – Best Motion Picture for War Horse

2007 – Nominee – Best Motion Picture for Letters from Iwo Jima 

2006 – Nominee – Best Achievement in Directing for Munich

1999 – Winner – Best Director for Saving Private Ryan

1999 – Nominee – Best Picture for Saving Private Ryan

1994 – Winner – Best Picture for Schindler’s List

1994 – Winner – Best Director for Schindler’s List

1987 – Winner – Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

1986 – Nominee – Best Picture for The Color Purple

1983 – Nominee – Best Picture for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

1983 – Nominee – Best Director for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

1982 – Nominee – Best Director for Raiders of the Lost Ark

1978 – Nominee – Best Director for Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Interesting Fact: Often casts actors for their performances in other works. Very rarely requires auditions for major roles. 

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