‘The Power of the Dog’ and ‘Dune’ lead this year’s Oscar race

78th Venice International Film Festival
Director Jane Campion and actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst have all received nominations for this year’s Academy Awards for the film ‘The Power of the Dog.’
REUTERS/Yara Nardi

By Lisa Richwine

Dark Western “The Power of the Dog” led the field of this year’s Academy Awards contenders on Tuesday with 12 nominations for the Netflix Inc film, ahead of the 10 nods for science-fiction epic “Dune.”

Both will compete for the prestigious best picture trophy against drama “Belfast,” about a family living amid sectarian conflict in late 1960s Northern Ireland; deaf community film “CODA;” and “Don’t Look Up,” a darkly comic allegory about climate change.

Other best picture nominees included Japanese drama “Drive My Car,” “King Richard,” about the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams; coming-of-age story “Licorice Pizza;” thriller “Nightmare Alley;” and Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical “West Side Story.”

Jane Campion became the first woman nominated twice for best director with her nod for “Power of the Dog.” She was a contender for her 1993 film “The Piano,” but lost out that year to Spielberg, who won for “Schindler’s List.”

Actors Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin pose during a screening of the film “Dune” at The 78th Venice Film Festival.REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File Photo

“Power of the Dog” also received nominations across the top acting categories for stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kirsten Dunst.

Also in the running for lead acting honors are Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem for playing TV comedy couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in “Being the Ricardos.” Will Smith was nominated for the title role in “King Richard,” along with Andrew Garfield for biographical musical “Tick, Tick … Boom!” and Denzel Washington for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

Kristen Stewart will compete for best actress for her portrayal of Princess Diana in “Spencer.” The other best actress nominees were Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter” and Penelope Cruz for “Parallel Mothers.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars, will reveal the winners at a live ceremony in Hollywood on March 27.