1. Will Smith consulted Venus and Serena Williams2. Drive My Car is this year’s longest-running best picture contender3. Jane Campion vs Steven Spielberg again4. West Side Story could break records5. Two LGBTTQI+ actresses nominated in the same year6. A family affair : Oscar 20227. Judi Dench close to a record8. The second deaf actor to win an Oscar 20229. Flee, an animated film that also breaks records
Oscar 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) holds the 94th edition of the Oscar Awards.
Nominated films include Dune, West Side Story, King Richard, and Belfast, all of which have brought them back to theatres after long periods of closure.
A BBC report presents nine quick facts about this year’s nominees: Oscar 2022
1. Will Smith consulted Venus and Serena Williams
The star is likely to win her first Oscar for her performance in King Richard, which tells the story of the father of Venus and Serena Williams, who trained his two daughters to become tennis legends.
“I went to the family and said, ‘I want to tell this story,'” Smith told BBC presenter Graham Norton.
“And Venus and Serena said, ‘Okay, we’ll see you through the process, but we’ll have to see the movie before we decide whether or not to put our names on it,'” the actor added.
His fear was understandable given Hollywood’s tendency to annoy some people when their life is recreated on film.
“I got the call that Venus and Serena went to the theatre to see the movie, and it was the worst two hours of my life until they came out,” Smith recalled.
Fortunately, “they loved it,” he said.
2. Drive My Car is this year’s longest-running best picture contender
The Japanese film has a running time of 179 minutes. However, it is not the longest film in history in this category. “Gone with the Wind”, released in 1939, lasts 238 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the best foreign film category, the most extended production to win an award was “War and Peace” (1967). The film runs for 414 minutes, making it the longest in the entire history of the Academy Awards.
3. Jane Campion vs Steven Spielberg again
Jane Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for Best Director. Her first time was in 1994, with the movie “El Piano”.
That year, he lost to Steven Spielberg, who won the film “Schindler’s List” award.
The director is also nominated again for the musical West Side Story.
Campion has a good chance of winning this year. If this happens, it would be the first time a woman has won best director in two consecutive years, after Chloé Zhao triumphed last year for Nomadland.
4. West Side Story could break records
Spielberg’s adaptation could become the first remake to win the same award as its original film, in the best picture category.
Only one remake has received the award for best picture: Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (2006), which was an adaptation of the police thriller Infernal Affairs (1990) that did not get any nominations.
If it wins the best picture, West Side Story will also become the first musical to win the statuette in nearly two decades.
But there’s a chance she won’t be the winner. In the past 50 years, only one film, “Titanic,” won the best picture without its screenplay being nominated, something Spielberg’s remake failed to do.
Also, best actress nominee Ariana DeBose could win the same award for the same role as her predecessor Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for the 1961 version.
DeBose would also be the first openly queer black actress to hold the statuette.
5. Two LGBTTQI+ actresses nominated in the same year
It is precisely Ariana DeBose for her role in West Side Story and Kristen Stewart’s interpretation of Lady Diana in Spencer.
While LGBTTQI+ stories are becoming more common in film, actors from this community have been almost entirely excluded from awards consideration for the past 20 years.
Since Ian McKellen’s nomination in 2002 for wielding Gandalf’s staff in “The Lord of the Rings,” no openly gay man has been nominated in any acting category.
LBGTTQI+ women have fared slightly better. Angelina Jolie, who is openly bisexual, won Best Supporting Actress for GirlInterrupted (1999), and later earned a Lead Actress nomination for Changeling (2008).
However, since Jolie’s nomination, Lady Gaga, who also identifies as bisexual, was the only LBGTTQI+ person to receive any recognition for her performance, until now.
6. A family affair : Oscar 2022
There are two couples nominated in the acting categories. Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, married since 2010, compete for the main performance awards.
Elsewhere, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons are nominated in the supporting actor categories. The couple has been engaged since 2017 and has two children.
Also, the director of Cyrano , Joe Wright, has a son with the protagonist of the film, Haley Bennett. Meanwhile, the star of the film, Peter Dinklage is married to screenwriter Erica Schmidt.
7. Judi Dench close to a record
The veteran British star could become the oldest winner in an acting category, having been nominated for her role in Belfast.
Judi is 87 years old, four years older than the current record holder, Anthony Hopkins, when he won for The Father in 2021.
She’s not the oldest nominee, though: Christopher Plummer was 88 when he was nominated for “All the Money in the World” in 2018.
8. The second deaf actor to win an Oscar 2022
Troy Kotsur could become the second deaf actor to win an Oscar, following Marlee Matlin in 1986, who won the award for Children of a Lesser God.
The couple now plays a married couple in the film CODA, streaming on Apple TV.
He was initially considered an underdog in the best supporting actor category, but experienced a late boom and has won several pre-Oscar awards.
9. Flee, an animated film that also breaks records
It is the first film to earn nominations for Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary, and Best International Feature Film.
This unusual triptych is due to the nature of the film: most documentaries, by their nature, are not animated.
However, it turned out to be a useful treatment for Flee, which follows the story of a gay Afghan refugee.