A look at Amazon Studio’s Oscar hopefuls

(Amazon hopefuls)

Oscar buzz is humming through the Omicron infected air of Los Angeles and as more of the movie audience (including guild voters) stream movies at home in the pandemic era, a leader in streaming, Amazon Studios, is buzzing with Oscar hopefuls. Their top film, Being the Ricardo’s, has been an award season favorite thus far which bodes well for Amazon on Oscar night.

Just last year, Amazon Studio’s front runners were nominated by the Academy of Arts and Sciences for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor for the breakout film Sound Of Metal and Best Documentary for their film Time. The Studio took home the gold with their studio darling Sound of Metal for Best Sound and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

In the upcoming 94th Academy Awards,  Amazon Studio’s projects in the categories of documentary, original song, and foreign film are just some of the contenders going for the gold.  Here are the Amazon Oscar Hopefuls this year:


Val is an Amazon Studio documentary that reveals an insider’s perspective of what it’s like to be a Hollywood actor. Like Oscar-winner Amy, archival footage is the secret sauce — in this case, shot by subject Val Kilmer himself and saved over the decades in a cavernous vault.

Kilmer brought in editor Leo Scott a decade ago to digitize that footage. Several years later, Scott and another editor-director, Ting Poo, pitched Kilmer on turning his trove of material into a first-person documentary narrative about his so-called Hollywood life.

Nominations Expected: Best Documentary Feature

Being the Ricardos

In 1952, Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz face personal and professional obstacles that threaten their careers, their relationship, and their hit television show. Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear and cultural taboos in Academy Award (R)-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama Being the Ricardos.

A revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy.

Nominations Expected: Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Original Score, Makeup and Hairstyling


Henry is a stand-up comedian with a fierce sense of humor who falls in love with Ann, a world-renowned opera singer. Under the spotlight, they form a passionate and glamorous couple. With the birth of their first child — a mysterious little girl with an exceptional destiny — their lives are turned upside down. 

It is a rock opera that follows a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and his opera singer wife (Marion Cotillard) and how their lives are changed when they have their first child.

Nominations Expected: Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Song, Original Score

A Hero

A Hero is an Iranian film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, and starring Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh and Alireza Jahandideh. In June 2021, the film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or. At the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Grand Prix. Rahim is in prison because of a debt he was unable to repay.

During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint against the payment of part of the sum, however things don’t go as planned.

Nominations Expected: Best International Feature

The Tender Bar

From director George Clooney and based on the best-selling memoir, The Tender Bar follows an aspiring writer pursuing his romantic and professional dreams. In 1972, 9-year-old J.R. Maguire moves into his grandfather’s dilapidated house in Long Island, N.Y.

Searching for a father figure, he falls under the unconventional tutelage of his uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) a charismatic, self-educated bartender who introduces him to a handful of the bar’s colorful regulars. As the years pass and J.R. grows into a young man, he tries to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer.

Nominations Expected: Actor In A Supporting Role


Ambitious orphan Cinderella gets some magical help from her Fab G to realize her dreams, making a life for herself selling her signature dresses. Cinderella is a romantic musical film based on the fairy tale of the same name by Charles Perrault.

Written and directed by Kay Cannon, it stars singer Camila Cabello as the title character in her acting debut, alongside Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, and Pierce Brosnan. It is a jukebox musical, featuring pop and rock hits, in addition to several original songs.

Nominations Expected: Best Original Song

REELated: Netflix positions itself for Oscar gold

Coming 2 America

Coming 2 America is a 2021 American comedy film that serves as a sequel to the 1988 film Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy. The film is directed by Craig Brewer from a screenplay by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, and David Sheffield, and a story by Blaustein, Sheffield, and Justin Kanew, based on characters created by Murphy.

Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began.

Nominations Expected: Makeup and Hairstyling

The Tomorrow War

The Tomorrow War is a military science fiction action film directed by Chris McKay for Amazon Studios. The world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: thirty years in the future, mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species.

Nominations Expected: Visual Effects

All films are available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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The Oscars are March 27 this year if COVID does not affect it. The nominations are next month on February 7. We will bring you our weekly analysis from a different studio each week.

Megan Penn reports on the indie film market and anything that empowers women and underrepresented groups.