Jane Campion makes history as first woman to score two Best Director Oscar nods

Jane Campion has made history as the first woman to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar more than once.

The director of The Power of the Dog earned a nod today (February 8) at the 2022 Oscars for her revisionist Netflix Western starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Campion was nominated for Best Director for The Piano in 1993, which also won her the Palme D’Or prize in Cannes that year.

This year, she’s nominated alongside Kenneth Branagh, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Steven Spielberg. It also marks the first time the Academy has nominated a woman for Best Director in two years in a row, after Emerald Fennell and Chloé Zhao were nominated last year.

Seven women have been nominated for Best Director in the history of the Oscars: Lina Wertmüller, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, Greta Gerwig, Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell and Jane Campion. So far, only Bigelow and Zhao have won.

The Power of the Dog sees Campion adapt Thomas Savage’s novel of the same name, and stars Cumberbatch as a brutal rancher tormenting his brother’s new wife, and her son.

The film led the nominations today, with a total of 12 nods – including all four central actors being recognised for their work.

Speaking to Variety, Plemons explained earlier this year how Cumberbatch on one occasion took his method acting too far while on set.

“There was one time he got under my skin,” Plemons said. “He was like, Hey, big boy’. It wasn’t ‘fatso’. I feel like a few people in my life have been like, ‘Hey, big boy,’ and I was like, ‘Goddamn it. What the fuck?’

The winners of the 2022 Oscars will be announced on March 27. Read the full list of nominations here.

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