Our Favorite 2022 Films without Oscar Nominations

Cha Cha Real Smooth (Dir. Cooper Raiff)

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Dir. Tom Gormican)

Devotion (Dir. JD Dillard)

Pearl (Dir. Ti West)

At the end of Ti West’s X, the audience was given the surprise treat of finding out there would be a follow up to the 2022 slasher film. I never expected for the follow up, Pearl, to be one of the best films of the same year. Pearl is a cautionary tale about suppressing desires and lost dreams. Pearl is a technical feat with stunning, technicolor cinematography, sharp editing, and one of the single best performances from an actor in 2022 with Mia Goth’s performance as Pearl. 

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. (Dir. Adamma Ebo)

Mega churches have been around for a long time, but only in recent times have they begun to be exposed not just in real life, but in TV and film. We’ve seen it with Righteous Gemstones, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and now with Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul—the powerful feature film directorial debut by Adamma Ebo. The film explores a mega-church bouncing back after Pastor Childs had an affair. Ebo’s script never shies away from criticizing the church, but one thing she did do was show how a wife is “supposed to” stand by her man.

The Wonder (Dir. Sebastián Lelio)

The fact that The Wonder didn’t make more of a splash when it contains some of the best acting, writing, production design, and costuming of the year might just be my villain origin story. The psychological period drama from Sebastián Lelio is an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s 2016 novel, with Donoghue herself co-writing the screenplay. Kíla Lord Cassidy gives one of the most impressive youth performances of the year as a young girl in 1862 rural Ireland who has become regarded as a miracle due to her ability to survive without eating. Florence Pugh plays the nurse brought from England to observe her, who sets out to discover the real reason behind the girl’s fasting. It’s one of Pugh’s best performances in a career that already boasts a handful that could compete for the title.

Don’t Worry Darling (Dir. Olivia Wilde)

Nanny (Dir. Nikyatu Jusu)

Do Revenge (Dir. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson)

While Do Revenge isn’t your typical Oscars fare, it’s one of the best high school films to be released in this century. This revenge flick pays homage to films from Clueless to Cruel Intentions while offering something fresh and unseen. The screenplay by Celeste Ballard and director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is clever and keys into Gen Z culture, without seeming hokey or try-hard. Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes have excellent chemistry as the leads, while Sophie Turner’s cameo role is one of the funniest appearances in any film this year.

The Eternal Daughter (Dir. Joanna Hogg)

Joanna Hogg’s latest film was never going to be an Oscar contender, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t deserve any nominations! I’m used to my favorite films of the year never receiving Oscar nominations, but The Eternal Daughter stings a bit more as most of my favorite women directed films blanked at the Oscars. The Original Score in Hogg’s film is so hauntingly beautiful as it ominously guides the audience throughout the hotel property. Ed Rutherford’s cinematography is some of the best of the year; it is stunning, atmospheric, and perfectly fits the mood of the film.

My Father’s Dragon (Dir. Nora Twomey)

This year, director Nora Twomey returned with a gorgeous adaptation of the 1948 children’s novel My Father’s Dragon. Twomey previously worked on the Academy Award-nominated films The Secret of Kells (as co-director) and The Breadwinner (as director). This movie features the same gorgeous 2-D animation that we’ve come to expect from Cartoon Saloon, whose animation seems to harken back to an older, more storybook style while also advancing what it is able to portray.

After Yang (Dir. Kogonada)

After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021, After Yang was officially released in March 2022. It instantly became my number one film of the year and actually remained in my Top Ten by end of year. While the film is truly a smaller fare than some of the Oscar contenders, After Yang is a highly praised film that should have been a contender in numerous categories. 

She Said (Dir. Maria Schrader)

Bones and All (Dir. Luca Guadagnino)

Once again, horror films are never paid their due at the Oscars but Bones and All felt different. The film received an impressive recognition from the Venice Film Festival honoring Luca Guadagnino for his director and Taylor Russell for her performance. Russell delivers a Lead Actress performance for the ages with such vulnerability, bits of violence and such empathy as Maren. Mark Rylance and Michael Stuhlbarg deliver some of the best supporting performances of the year. Timothée Chalamet delivers one of his most heart wrenching performances of his career. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: