Oscar 2022: Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast Should Earn Multiple Nominations

Belfast Campaigns Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan for Supporting Oscars, Jude Hill Goes for Best Actor Oscar

Judi Dench can make history as the second oldest nominee for supporting actress Oscar, if she’s nominated for Belfast, Focus Features awards frontrunner.

(L to R) Caitriona Balfe as
Rob Youngson / Focus Features

The cast of Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” including Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench, will follow young Jude Hill’s lead on the road to Oscar gold.

Focus Features plans to campaign Hill for the Best Actor, while the rest of the cast will vie for supporting roles attention.

Balfe has the more accessible and resonating role of the cast. Her star has been growing for years now; she appeared in best picture nominee “Ford v Ferrari” (2019) and has gained a following as Claire Randall on Starz’s hit series Outlander, set to return in 2022.

The studio hopes her co-star Dench, who plays the loving Granny, will be nominated alongside her. She’s been an Academy favorite, earning 7 nominations, including one win in supporting actress for playing Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love, which won the 1998 Best Picture Oscar.

When the nominations are announced, on February 8, Dench will be 87. If nominated, that will make her the second-oldest supporting actress nominee, surpassing Ruby Dee (“American Gangster”) and behind Gloria Stuart (“Titanic”).

Supporting actress: In the past 93 years, 35 supporting actress lineups have included two or more co-stars, with 12 taking home the gold, most recently by Octavia Spencer for “The Help” (2011).

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Courtesy of Focus Features

Born in Belfast, Ireland, where the story takes place, Hinds has been a versatile actor for years, featuring memorable turns in Oscar-nominated films such as “There Will Be Blood” from Paul Thomas Anderson and “Munich” from Spielberg. As Pop, a role originally offered to Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, Hinds may get Academy recognition.

Irish actor Dornan, who also grew up in Belfast, is terrific as Pa, channeling the desperation and earnest beats of a man urgently trying to support his family. Dornan has been shepherding an array of exciting roles the last few years, including his passionate musical turn in “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.”

In comparison to the supporting actress category, there have been only 20 instances in the supporting actor league. However, three of those have happened in the last four years, with “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “The Irishman” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.”