Movie magic! The Academy Awards are known for shining a spotlight on the biggest films of the year — and the 2022 Oscars Best Picture nominees are no exception.
The Sunday, March 27, awards show will feature 10 movies vying for the coveted title of Best Picture. The group of films will have big shoes to fill after hits including Nomadland (2021), Moonlight (2017), 12 Years a Slave (2014) and The Hurt Locker (2010), previously earned the title throughout the past decade.
This year, The Power of the Dog leads the pack with 12 total nods, the most nominations of any Best Picture contender. Benedict Cumberbatch is up for Actor in a Leading Role, while his costars Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee are both nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role.
Kirsten Dunst, who rounds out the cast of the western drama, is a contender for Actress in a Supporting Role. The Little Women actress, 39, and Plemons, 33, are one of two real-life couples that both earned Oscars nods this year.
“To be honored by the Academy is a truly humbling experience,” Dunst told Us Weekly in a statement after learning of her nomination alongside her fiancé. “For both Jesse and I to get our first nominations together is beyond our wildest dreams.”
Javier Bardem and wife Penelope Cruz are the second duo who could bring home two Oscar statues for their work in Being the Ricardos and Parrallel Mothers, respectively, on Sunday. (Neither of their films, however, are up for Best Picture.)
Despite its impressive number of Oscar nods, The Power of the Dog has received some negative criticism ahead of Hollywood’s biggest night. Sam Elliott made headlines in February when he compared the male characters in the film to Chippendale dancers who “wear bow ties and not much else.”
During an interview on the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, the Tombstone actor, 77, called the movie, which is set in Montana in 1825, a “piece of s–t” that didn’t fit into the western genre.
Cumberbatch, 45, who portrays closeted rancher Phil Burbank, reflected on Elliott’s “very odd reaction” to the movie during a March BAFTA Film Sessions interview.
“Beyond that reaction, that sort of denial that anybody could have any other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they’re born, there’s also a massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality still and toward an acceptance of the other and anything kind of difference,” the Sherlock star explained. “No more so than in this prism of conformity of what’s expected of a man in the Western archetype mold of masculinity. To deconstruct that through Phil, it’s not a history lesson.”
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Scroll down to learn more about all of the 2022 Best Picture nominees — including which film earned 10 nods and which two movies Timothée Chalamet was a part of: