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A Look at Some Potential First Time Oscar Nominees This Year

Searchlight Pictures

One of the more heart-warming aspects of awards season is when you see some be nominated for their first Oscar. In particular, when a veteran of the industry is rewarded by the Academy, it’s easy to celebrate. This fairly joyful aspect of the race got me thinking, namely about just who could be in position for this sort of honor in 2022? Well, luckily, there’s no shortage of folks seeking their first Academy Award citation. A few may even be frontrunners to win their Oscar, too. So, today I’ll be looking at the ladies and gentlemen who fit this criteria, with a future piece on the opposite potential Oscar nominees on the way in a week or so!

There are some pretty likely first timers here, including Austin Butler for Elvis, Danielle Deadwyler for Till, Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Fraser for The Whale, and Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once. That’s just a sampling, too, as we’re not even really into the precursor season, where positions of strength will be established.

Below, you can see some of the men and women with the best shots at becoming first time Oscar nominees this year. You’ll see a few categories that look reasonably similar to what they ultimately might be. You’ll also see some that bear very little resemblance to what the Academy Awards seem poised to be. Consider it a fun experiment, at the very least…


Take a look at what a potential Oscar lineup (above the line) would look like with only first time nominees:

Best Director


1. The Daniels (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

2. Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick)

3. James Gray (Armageddon Time)

4. Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King)

5. Antoine Fuqua (Emancipation)

Best Actor


1. Brendan Fraser (The Whale)

2. Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin)

3. Austin Butler (Elvis)

4. Bill Nighy (Living)

5. Adam Sandler (Hustle)

Best Actress

Universal Pictures

1. Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

2. Danielle Deadwyler (Till)

3. Zoe Kazan (She Said)

4. Ana de Armas (Blonde)

5. Naomi Ackie (I Wanna Dance With Somebody)

Best Supporting Actor

Searchlight Pictures

1. Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin)

2. Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

3. Paul Dano (The Fabelmans)

4. Ben Whishaw (Women Talking)

5. Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway)

Best Supporting Actress

United Artists Releasing

1. Claire Foy (Women Talking)

2. Hong Chau (The Whale)

3. Gabrielle Union (The Inspection)

4. Sadie Sink (The Whale)

5. Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin)

Best Adapted Screenplay


1. Rebecca Lenkiewicz (She Said)

2. Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale)

3. Kazuo Ishiguro (Living)

4. Matt Reeves and Peter Craig (The Batman)

5. Andrew Dominik (Blonde)

Best Original Screenplay

Director James Gray on the set of ARMAGEDDON TIME, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Anne Joyce / Focus Features

1. The Daniels (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

2. James Gray (Armageddon Time)

3. Elegance Bratton (The Inspection)

4. Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness)

5. Cooper Raiff (Cha Cha Real Smooth)


Stay tuned to see which first time Oscar nominees we wind up with!


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Cristian Barros
Cristian Barros
1 year ago

Great list, I would also say Jeremy Pope is a strong possibility as a first-time Best Actor nominee for THE INSPECTION.


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