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Film

Oscars 2022: Jane Campion makes history as first woman to earn two Best Director nominations

Legendary New Zealand director, Jane Campion, has joined a small list of icons as she’s just made Oscars history. Campion is the first female filmmaker to have had two career nominations in the Best Director category.

Campion is nominated for her critically acclaimed Netflix drama, The Power of the Dog. A Western period piece, backed by a glorious Jonny Greenwood score, the film is tipped to do well at the Oscars, after it secured her the directing prize at Venice Film Festival, as well as a nomination at the Directors Guild of America Awards. 

Famously, Campion’s first Oscar nomination for directing came back in 1994 for the celebrated period drama, The Piano. Unfortunately, she didn’t win in that category but did take home the Oscar for original screenplay. 

Across the board, The Power of the Dog has found itself in different categories. Benedict Cumberbatch is there for best actor, supporting actress for Kristen Dunst, as well as supporting actor for Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It’s also a nominee for adapted screenplay, score, cinematography and editing. 

Interestingly, Ari Wegner, the director of photography of the film, is only the second woman in the history of the Oscars to be nominated as a cinematographer. 

In the directing category, Campion faces off against Kenneth Branagh for Belfast, Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza, Steven Spielberg for West Side Story and Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car

In the history of the Oscars, only seven women have ever been nominated for best director. Aside from Campion with The Piano and The Power of the Dog, these were: Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland and Emerland Fennell for Promising Young Woman. Bigelow and Zhao are the only two who won. 

The Power of the Dog is a faithful retelling of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name. It’s available to stream now on Netflix. 

Watch the trailer for The Power of the Dog below.