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How the Real Grownups Fared in 2022's Oscar Nominations

​The list of this year's potential big winners is out, and here's who is in the running

spinner image Will Smith in King Richard, Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth and Nicole Kidman in Being the Ricardos
(Left to right) Best Actor nominees Will Smith and Denzel Washington; Best Actress nominee Nicole Kidman
Chiabella James/Warner Bros.; Apple TV+; Glen Wilson/Amazon Content Services

The 2022 Oscar nominations (for the best films of 2021) are in, and grownups made a strong showing again this year: Twenty nominees in major categories are over 50. Nine of the 20 performers nominated for best acting (in leading and supporting roles) are also grownups — better than last year’s seven and 2019’s six, but worse than 2020’s bumper crop of 10.​​

Actors over 50 nabbing noms​​

In the lead acting categories, four grownups earned nominations: Javier Bardem, 52, and Nicole Kidman, 54 (Being the Ricardos), Will Smith, 53 (King Richard), and Denzel Washington, 67 (The Tragedy of Macbeth).

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​​Grownups nabbed three noms for supporting actor: Ciarán Hinds, 68 (Belfast), Troy Kotsur, 53 (CODA), and J.K. Simmons, 67 (Being the Ricardos). They also earned two noms for supporting actress: Judi Dench, 87 (Belfast), and Aunjanue Ellis, 52 (King Richard).

​​Ellis told AARP, “I did not have faith in myself. I had no money and was raised by my grandmother on government assistance. But she believed in me, so I try to encourage other people who dim their lights to let their lights shine. It took me until age 50 to get nominated for anything. There’s no life expectancy on creativity, no time limit.”​​

Don’t miss this: The 7 Things Aunjanue Ellis Suggests Doing Now​​

Top Oscar-nominated movies​​

The Power of the Dog got 12 nominations, more than any other film. Jane Campion, 67, who hadn’t made a film in 12 years, is the first woman nominated twice for best director — and she’s up against Steven Spielberg, 75, whose 1993 Schindler’s List beat her movie The Piano. Dune got 10 nominations, followed by West Side Story and Belfast with seven each and King Richard with six.​​

But first: AARP Movies for Grownups Awards

​​In Hollywood, the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards are seen as partial predictors of who's going to get some Oscar love. While we await the 20th Anniversary Movies for Grownups ceremony, airing on the PBS show Great Performances on March 18 at 9 p.m. (check local listings) and on the PBS Video app, and the Oscars on March 27, study up (and watch what you can!) with this full list of films and performers honored with nominations by both AARP and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

​​Best Picture

  • Belfast
  • King Richard
  • The Power of the Dog
  • West Side Story


  • Kenneth Branagh
  • ​Jane Campion​
  • Steven Spielberg​


  • The Power of the Dog
  • Belfast
  • Licorice Pizza


  • Summer of Soul

Foreign Film

  • Drive My Car
  • The Hand of God​​
spinner image A gold Oscars statue below the Oscars logo
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

All nominations for the 94th Academy Awards

Best Picture​

  • Belfast
  • CODA
  • Don’t Look Up
  • Drive My Car
  • Dune
  • King Richard
  • Licorice Pizza
  • Nightmare Alley
  • The Power of the Dog
  • West Side Story​​

Best Director

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, 51 (Licorice Pizza)​
  • Kenneth Branagh, 61 (Belfast)​
  • Jane Campion, 67 (The Power of the Dog)​
  • Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)​
  • Steven Spielberg, 75 (West Side Story)​​

Best Actress

  • Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)​
  • Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)​
  • Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)​
  • Nicole Kidman, 54 (Being the Ricardos)​
  • Kristen Stewart (Spencer)​​

Best Actor

  • Javier Bardem, 52 (Being the Ricardos)​
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)​
  • Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick … Boom!)
  • ​Will Smith, 53 (King Richard)​
  • Denzel Washington, 67 (The Tragedy of Macbeth)​​

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)​
  • Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)​
  • Judi Dench, 87 (Belfast)
  • ​Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)
  • ​Aunjanue Ellis, 52 (King Richard)​​

Best Supporting Actor

  • Ciarán Hinds, 68 (Belfast)​
  • Troy Kotsur, 53 (CODA)​
  • Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)​
  • J.K. Simmons, 67 (Being the Ricardos)​
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)​​

Best Costume Design

  • Cruella (Jenny Beavan) ​
  • Cyrano (Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran)​
  • Dune (Robert Morgan and Jacqueline West)​
  • Nightmare Alley (Luis Sequeira)​
  • West Side Story (Paul Tazewell)​​

Best Sound

  • Belfast
  • Dune
  • No Time to Die
  • The Power of the Dog
  • West Side Story

​​Best Original Score

  • Don’t Look Up (Nicholas Britell)​
  • Dune (Hans Zimmer)​
  • Encanto (Germaine Franco)​
  • Parallel Mothers (Alberto Iglesias)​
  • The Power of the Dog (Jonny Greenwood)​

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • CODA (Siân Heder)​
  • Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe)
  • Dune (Eric Roth, 76, Jon Spaihts, 52, and Denis Villeneuve, 54)​
  • The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)​
  • The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion, 67)​​

Best Original Screenplay

  • Belfast (Kenneth Branagh, 61)​
  • Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay, 53, and David Sirota) ​
  • Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson, 51)
  • King Richard (Zach Baylin)​
  • The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt)

​​Best Animated Short

  • Affairs of the Art
  • Bestia
  • Boxballet
  • Robin Robin
  • The Windshield Wiper​​

Best Live Action Short

  • Ala Kachuu — Take and Run
  • The Dress
  • The Long Goodbye
  • On My Mind
  • Please Hold​​

Best Film Editing

  • Don’t Look Up (Hank Corwin) ​
  • Dune (Joe Walker)​
  • King Richard (Pamela Martin)​
  • The Power of the Dog (Peter Sciberras)​
  • Tick, Tick … Boom! (Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum)​​

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Coming 2 America
  • Cruella
  • Dune
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • House of Gucci

Best Animated Feature

  • Encanto
  • Flee
  • Luca
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines
  • Raya and the Last Dragon​​

Best Documentary Feature

  • Ascension
  • Attica
  • Flee
  • Summer of Soul​ Writing With Fire​​

Best Documentary Short

  • Audible
  • Lead Me Home
  • The Queen of Basketball
  • Three Songs for Benazir
  • When We Were Bullies​​

Best Original Song

  • ​“Be Alive” — Dixson and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (King Richard)​
  • “Dos Oruguitas” — Lin-Manuel Miranda (Encanto)​
  • “Down to Joy” — Van Morrison (Belfast)
  • ​“No Time to Die” — Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (No Time to Die)​
  • “Somehow You Do” — Diane Warren (Four Good Days)​​

Best Cinematography

  • Dune (Greig Fraser) ​
  • Nightmare Alley (Dan Lausten)​
  • The Power of the Dog (Ari Wegner)​
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (Bruno Delbonnel)​
  • West Side Story (Janusz Kaminski)​​

Best International Feature

  • Drive My Car (Japan)​
  • Flee (Denmark)​
  • The Hand of God (Italy)
  • Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)​
  • The Worst Person in the World (Norway)​​

Best Production Design

  • Dune (Zsuzsanna Sipos and Patrice Vermette)​
  • Nightmare Alley (Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau)​
  • The Power of the Dog (Grant Major and Amber Richards) ​
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (Stefan Dechant and Nancy Haigh)​
  • West Side Story (Rena DeAngelo and Adam Stockhausen)​​

Best Visual Effects

  • Dune
  • Free Guy
  • No Time to Die
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voice and LA Weekly.

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