From 'NOPE' to 'Decesion to Leave': 7 of the Best Movies of 2022 in the Running for the Oscars – Collider

The movies are looking to shape up this awards season.
A few months from now, many film lovers will be exhausted by the awards season gossip ahead of the 95th Oscars ceremony on March 12, 2023. Luckily, that is not yet the case – awards season is just getting started, and many films are now establishing their Oscar hopes. Although many exciting new movies are coming in the months before 2022 closes out, multiple films have already confirmed their chances with Academy voters.
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Whether opening earlier in the year or having impactful festival premieres this autumn, a variety of films are starting to shape up the awards conversation for the upcoming season, all leading up to the big night of the Oscars.
Awarded the prestigious Golden Lion at this year's Venice Film Festival, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is the latest documentary from Laura Poitras. Poitras's new work is a prismatic peek into the colorful life of photographer Nan Goldin and her activist organization P.A.I.N's radical measures to uncover the appalling launch of Oxycontin and its ties to the American opioid epidemic.
Ambitious in its subject matter but always maintaining focus, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a beautiful portrait of Goldin as a radical figure in-tune with many marginalized communities of contemporary American history. Like Poitras's other work, this film presents influential political criticisms without derailing from its main subject. Poitras last won an Oscar in 2015 for Best Feature Documentary for Citizenfour and is a strong front-runner in the same category for All the Beauty and the Bloodshed; some critics even believe the documentary is powerful enough to earn a Best Picture slot.
One of the world's most celebrated and daring directors, South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook has yet to receive an Academy Award nomination. However, that is likely to change at the upcoming Oscars because Park's latest movie, Decision to Leave, is measuring up to be a leading contender in the category for Best International Film.
Constantly subverting expectations of genre filmmaking, Park chooses to experiment with the elements of noir films in Decision to Leave. Starring Tang Wei and Park Hae-il, Decision to Leave is a romantic and unpredictable crime story about a detective who falls for the female suspect of a murder investigation he is assigned. Equal parts Alfred Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai, Decision to Leave embodies a high level of sexy sophistication through its filmmaking, making it a standout in Park's marvelous body of work. Decision to Leave's revisionist perspective on a classic genre will likely fare well with Academy voters, who have become more receptive to international films across all Oscar categories in recent years (Cold War, Roma, Parasite, Drive My Car).
Since making its world premiere at the opening night film of SXSW last spring, Everything Everywhere All At Once has become one of the year's most beloved movies. Grossing over $100 million worldwide, Everything Everywhere All At Once has become distributor A24's most successful film to date and the most prosperous indie work of the year by leaps and bounds. The movie stars Michelle Yeoh as the matriarch of a Chinese American family who must tap into her parallel identities to save the multiverse from inevitable catastrophe.
Quirky, ambitious, and sincere, Everything Everywhere All At Once mixes genres and multiverses fearlessly but still manages to speak deeply to the emotions of moviegoers. The film's astonishing connection to popular culture could strengthen its Oscar chances, particularly for Yeoh's leading character in the Best Actress category and for directing duo Daniels' unparalleled original screenplay. Of course, bizarre works like Everything Everywhere All At Once rarely crack the Best Picture nominations, but this film has already shattered so many expectations, so who knows what the future will hold?
Director Jordan Peele became familiar with Academy Award nominations right out of the gate with his 2017 feature debut, Get Out, which earned four of the most significant Oscar nominations and ended up victorious in the Original Screenplay category. This coming awards season, Peele is likely to re-enter the Oscar conversation with NOPE, the epic sci-fi horror western of the past summer that has amassed critical and commercial success worldwide. NOPE stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as recently orphaned siblings whose family ranch is mysteriously besieged by an unidentified terror from the skies.
With NOPE, Peele continues his trajectory of masterful filmmaking, delivering a summer blockbuster on a monumental scale while astutely recontextualizing expectations of familiar tropes and the Hollywood system's historical capitalization of voiceless classes. Across the board, Nope is a genius work that deserves recognition in nearly every Oscar category, from the crafts to screenplay to direction, and most certainly the big one – Best Picture.
Intellectual, hilarious, and dark, The Banshees of Inisherin finds its filmmaker Martin McDonagh returning to his roots to great success. Starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Kerry Condon, the film concentrates on the abrupt crumbling of a longtime friendship between two pals (Farrell and Gleeson) in a remote island village during the Irish Civil War.
Somewhat contained in its story—tracing back to McDonagh's background as a theatre director—The Banshees of Inisherin finds robust strength in its dynamic performances, along with its wonderfully devilish screenplay that takes many nastily unexpected turns. For his last film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDonagh was well-received by Academy voters. The Banshees of Inisherin could also be rewarded with nominations—most predicatively for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor in a Leading Performance. The film was already awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for Farrell and the Golden Osella for Best Screenplay for McDonagh at this year's Venice Film Festival.
With The Fabelmans, the iconic Steven Spielberg has once again delivered a full-blown cinematic experience of the sort he can only do, but this time with a movie that intimately mirrors his own childhood and devotion to the universe of his filmmaking. The Fabelmans stars Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy Fabelman, a clear stand-in for the young Spielberg, who grows up on the West Coast during the changing times of post-War America.
Spanning many years, The Fabelmans focuses on Sammy's lifelong passion for filmmaking and the slow deterioration of his parent's marriage (portrayed on-screen by Paul Dano and Michelle Williams). After winning the TIFF Audience Award last month, a standard bellwether for Oscar contenders, The Fabelmans has effortlessly proven its mass appeal to mainstream audiences. Juggling exceptional above-the-line credits with a personal story from one of America's most celebrated directors, The Fabelmans is already a clear front-runner in the Oscars race for the upcoming 95th Academy Awards.
Since premiering at Telluride Film Festival in September, director Sarah Polley's latest film Women Talking has certainly kept critics and audiences…well, talking. The film centers around a congregation of Mennonite women and girls who must change their destiny when they uncover years of systematic abuse against them by the men of their insulated religious community.
Based on a 2018 novel of the same name, Women Talking boasts a robust screenplay and impressive performances to match, made up of an almost entirely female cast led by heavy-hitting talents including Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy,and Sheila McCarthy. Women Talking stands out as a cerebral, confident work that speaks directly to the zeitgeist of our times regarding its connections to the strength of women and their historic disenfranchisement by institutions of authority. At this point in the Oscars race, Women Talkingappears to be an obvious standout in the female acting categories, Best Director, and Best Picture.
KEEP READING: Oscars: 10 Movies That Have Potential To Make It Big in the Awards Season
My name is Colton Peregoy, I am currently a List Writer for Collider. I have also written for Taste of Cinema and my own blog Foremost Film. I love traveling to film festivals and have a deep passion for discovering new works of world cinema.
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