If your name is Sam Elliot, we’ve got some bad news for you; it turns out that Jane Campion does know a thing or two about cowboys, or at least The Academy thinks so. That’s right, Campion has won the Best Director Oscar at the 94th Academy Awards. Campion won for the incredible Netflix film The Power of the Dog.
One of the stronger categories at the 2022 ceremony Campion managed to see off competition from Licorice Pizza’s Paul Thomas Anderson, Belfast’s Kenneth Branagh, Drive My Car’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and the master Steven Spielberg. The Power of the Dog is adapted from the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name.
It tells the story of Phil and George Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons), two brothers who own a ranch. When George falls in love with the local widower Rose Gordon (Kirsten Dunst), Phil begins a campaign of psychological warfare against his new sister in law. Her son though Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), won’t stand for it and conspires to put an end to Phil once and for all.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the Oscar’s recent reputation, the 2022 ceremony has been a controversial one. The first thing that upset fans of the ceremony (Editor: Yes, they exist) was the inclusion of a Fan Favourite category.
While you might expect this to be popular, it did raise an eyebrow or two among awards aficionados. The Fan Favourite film was voted for by members of the public, not the Academy and was intended to promote interest in the Oscars.
While a good idea on paper, there have been suggestions made that the award may be a simple popularity competition with richer studios able to sway the public with expensive marketing strategies.
Several protests have also been organised to show support for the filmmakers whose awards were presented and received before the live show. Some Academy members have promised to hold their awards upside down, while others have signed a letter sent to the Academy, including Steven Spielberg.
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