Steven Spielberg becomes the king of the Oscar nomination thanks to ‘West Side Story’

Spaniards Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz were also announced today as nominees, becoming the fourth couple in history to claim that honor

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Director Steven Spielberg and Rita Moreno on the set of 'West Side Story.'Photo by Niko Tavernise (AP)

American director Steven Spielberg has set a new Oscar record after his movie West Side Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards on Tuesday. With these seven nominations, Spielberg is now the director whose films have received the highest number of nominations in history – 138. This is six more than William Wyler, the director of classics such as Ben-Hur and Roman Holiday.

The nominations for the 94th Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday morning, with West Side Story in the running in the categories of Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Sound.

The Power of the Dog, from director Jane Campion, racked up the most nominations, with 12. That was followed by Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, with 10, and then seven for Belfast and West Side Story.

In the Best Picture category are The Power of the Dog, West Side Story, Belfast, Dune, Licorice Pizza, King Richard, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car and Nightmare Alley. Of these 10, eight last more than two hours.

Spanish actress Penélope Cruz and her husband, actor Javier Bardem, also entered the history books, becoming the fourth couple to be both nominated for an Oscar in the same year. Cruz is nominated for Best Actress for her role in Parallel Mothers from director Pedro Almodóvar, while Bardem is nominated for Best Actor for his role in Being the Ricardos.

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Venice, in a file photo from September 2021.
Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Venice, in a file photo from September 2021. MARC PIASECKI/GETTY IMAGES (Getty Images)

For Cruz and Bardem, this marks their fourth Oscar nomination. This is the second time Penélope Cruz has been nominated in a foreign-language film: her first nomination was for Volver, which was also directed by Almodóvar. With her second Oscar nod, she joins a small group of actresses who have been twice nominated for an Academy Award for foreign-language films. This group includes Sophia Loren, Isabella Adjani, Liv Ullmann and Marion Cotillard.

At this year’s ceremony, which will take place on March 27, she will be up against Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter), Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) and Kristen Stewart (Spencer).

Bardem, for his part, was previously nominated for the films Biutiful and Before Night Falls, while he took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for No Country for Old Men.


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