Ready, there is no more lobby or press campaign to twist fate. The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has already managed and counted the votes of 23 categories of the 94th edition of the Oscarswhose winners will be announced at the gala to be held tonight at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, broadcast on TNT and TNT Series (see box). With the end of the day, when the clock strikes midnight here, the most anticipated moment of an awards season that began at the end of October will arrive: the opening of the envelope with the name of the one chosen as best film. There are ten candidates, including the most nominated: dog powerwith twelve; Duneswith ten; Belfast and love without barriersboth with seven, and King Richard: a winning family, with six. But only two seem to arrive with enough air to compete for victory.
The most striking thing about the contest is the radically opposed character between the favorites. Nail, dog power, in full swing since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival; the other is called CODA: heart signals and she started quietly, without anyone expecting too much from her, but her possibilities increased because she kept the main statuettes of these awards which are generally in tune with the palace of the voters of the Academy of Hollywood . Yes dog power it was the most nominated, with 12; CODA remained in the caboose, with only three. The first has a renowned director with a long history like the New Zealander Jeanne Campionfavorite to establish herself in her field and thus becomes the third woman to do so after Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 in live on the edge and Chloé Zhao last year for nomadland. The second, on the other hand, comes from the unknown heder sianwho had only had one previous feature film (Talulah2016) and does not even compete in the folding chair category.
One is based on the prestigious book of the same name written in 1967 by Thomas Savage; the other is the American remake of The Aries family, a 2014 French comedy as popular in this country as it is underappreciated by critics. One is gritty, implosive, rough, tense and uncomfortable; the other, nice, bright, amiable, emptied of all cynicism, able to generate empathy and spread the conviction that cinema is a land where fantasies must come true, a trait no less than in a context where the world returns a gray reality, with wars and pandemics. On one side is netflix and on the other, AppleTV+. So that’s the only common point, the one by which this evening can be written a historical page in the Oscar: 2022 as the first time the main statuette remains in a streaming company’s display case.
The Silver Lion for Best Direction at the Venice Film Festival for Campion was the first step on a path that will culminate in a string of nominations across all awards this season. Chosen by several critics associations as one of the films of the year, dog power -which takes place in the 1920s and deals with the relationship between two brothers so opposed to each other that, before the arrival of one of them with his new wife and son at the family home, the very tenuous thread that held them together- earned a spot on every major Oscar shortlist, from best picture and direction, to screenplay and four more for its performers (Benedict Cumberbatch in the main actor, Kirsten Dunst in Supporting Female Role, jesse plemons and Kodi Smit McPhee as supporting actors).
Centered on a teenage girl of deaf parents – what is called in English
Child of deaf adults, CODA– who works with his family in a fishing business and dreams of being a singer, CODA
It had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, from where it walked away with the Grand Jury Prize and recognitions for Best Direction, Best Cast and Audience Award. But it made headlines for another reason, as Apple paid a record $25 million to retain its rights. It was not unreasonable to think that the gala nominations of recent months were due to the habit of all associations to include an independent film, one of those which does not have known actors or great values of production. A prognosis that his presence in only three categories at the Oscars (Film, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Role for Troy Kotsur) seemed to validate. But back in the days of steaks, things were different. Very different.
The Dog began barking loudly, winning the Underrated Golden Globes (Film Subcategory in Drama, Directing and Supporting Actor for Smit-McPhee), the English BAFTA (Directing and Film Won) and Critics’ Choice (repeated in Film and Directing, and added Adapted Screenplay and Photography). Between, CODA surprised to be chosen as best cast at the SAG Awards given by the Screen Actors Guild, a highly watched gala because actors are the branch of the industry that brings the most voters to the Hollywood Academy and therefore their votes can tip the scales significantly. Without going any further, On the front pagein 2016, and parasitein 2020 they won the main Oscar, having triumphed there as the most relevant antecedent.
But winning the SAG does not imply automatic consecration in the Dolby Theater either, as Afro-friendly people know. hidden talents (2017) and Black Panther
(2019), who were delighted with the recognition of the actors, but in the end nothing. None of them got the PGA from the Producers Guild like they did.
CODA last weekend. A scenario similar to that of 2021 with nomadlandwho fell in the SAG before The Chicago 7 Trialbut won the PGA, and in 2019 with Green Book: A friendship without borders, who without even being part of the quintet of actors was chosen by the producers. Heder and company are thrilled that in 2022 the same thing will happen as twelve months ago and they can encounter a bump that was unthinkable a month ago. For something, the film has just been re-released in theaters around the world, including Argentina. Campion and his troop, on the contrary, hope that the dog still has the strength for a last bite. The most important, the one that will reserve a place for him in history.