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'Power of the Dog' and 'Dune' lead nominations for the 94th Academy Awards

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Nominations for the 94th annual Academy Awards are out this morning. They were announced by actors Leslie Jordan and Tracee Ellis Ross just a few minutes ago. "The Power Of The Dog," "Dune" and "King Richard" are all in the running for awards this year. NPR arts correspondent Mandalit del Barco covers the awards every year. She's with us now. Hi, Mandalit.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Hello, Leila.

FADEL: So let's talk about who's in the running this year. And let's start with the big one - best picture.

DEL BARCO: Best picture. Yeah, there are 10 nominations in this category. And that includes "Belfast," Kenneth Branagh's semi-autobiographical story of his childhood in Northern Ireland. Now, Judi Dench, who plays his grandmother, also earned a best supporting actress for this nomination. Another best picture nominee is "Licorice Pizza," Paul Thomas Anderson's nostalgic look at the San Fernando Valley in 1973.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LICORICE PIZZA")

COOPER HOFFMAN: (As Gary) I don't need you to tell me whether I'm cool or not.

ALANA HAIM: (As Alana) You're not cool. And your breath smells.

DEL BARCO: (Laughter) So another film that made that list is "Dune," Denis Villeneuve's version of Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction book. This film earned Villeneuve a best director nomination and got 10 nominations overall. There's also "CODA," about a girl who is the only one in her family who can hear. She wants to sing. Sian Heder, who wrote and directed this film, was nominated. "Don't Look Up" is Adam McKay's satire about two scientists who warn earthlings of impending doom. McKay was also nominated as best director. "West Side Story" is Steven Spielberg's remake of the 1961 film musical. He won a nomination. And just a note here - Spielberg has now been nominated in six decades.

FADEL: Wow.

DEL BARCO: Ariana DeBose, who plays the role of Anita in that one, was nominated as best supporting actress. Another film is "King Richard." That stars Will Smith as the father of tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams. Will Smith got a nomination as producer of the film, as well as a best actor nomination. Smith's co-star, Aunjanue Ellis, was nominated this morning as well. Also on the list is "Drive My Car," it's a three-hour Japanese road movie - and also "Nightmare Alley," Guillermo del Toro's psychological thriller.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "NIGHTMARE ALLEY")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Can you read minds?

BRADLEY COOPER: (As Stanton) Yes, I can, under the right circumstances.

DEL BARCO: But the film with the most nominations overall is "The Power Of The Dog," directed by Jane Campion. She got a nomination as director and producer. Her film is a Western about toxic masculinity. And it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a cowboy bully.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE POWER OF THE DOG")

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: (As Phil) A man is made by patience and the odds against him.

KODI SMIT-MCPHEE: (As Peter) For what kind of man would I be if I did not help my mother?

KIRSTEN DUNST: (As Rose) Peter.

FADEL: So what about best actor, best actress?

DEL BARCO: Yeah. So Benedict Cumberbatch did score a nomination as best actor for "The Power Of The Dog." His co-stars, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee, were both nominated for best supporting actor and best supporting actress. Javier Bardem, who plays TV's Desi Arnaz in "Being The Ricardos," was nominated - and so is Nicole Kidman, who plays Lucille Ball. Andrew Garfield was nominated for "Tick, Tick... Boom!" Denzel Washington got a nomination for his role in "The Tragedy Of Macbeth." That film didn't show up on the best picture list. Among the others were Jessica Chastain, Olivia Colman for "Lost Daughter," Penelope Cruz for "Parallel Mothers" and Kristen Stewart for playing Princess Diana in the film "Spencer."

FADEL: That's NPR arts correspondent Mandalit del Barco. Thank you, Mandalit.

DEL BARCO: Thanks, Leila.

(SOUNDBITE OF SABZI'S "AELOPOLIS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.