Kirsten Dunst has been devastating us since she was 12.
In 1994, she played haunting child vampire Claudia opposite Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in “Interview with the Vampire.”
Now, 28 years later, she’s earned her first Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actress.
Kirsten “Kiki” Dunst, 39, who grew up in Point Pleasant and The Brick before moving to California, receives the honor for her overwhelming performance in “The Power of the Dog.”
The Netflix film, directed by Jane Campion, topped the nominations for the 2022 Oscars, it was announced on Tuesday. The film received 12 Oscar nominations, including a Best Picture nomination.
In the highly rated film, Dunst plays Rose Gordon, a widow and restaurant owner in 1920s Montana who meets and marries George Burbank (Dunst’s real-life partner, 33-year-old Jesse Plemons).
George is the brother and business partner of rancher cowboy Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch), who ruthlessly mocks Rose’s son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and works his nerves raw. Rose, depressed and driven to alcoholism, desperately wants to protect her son from Phil.
Smit-McPhee and Plemons are nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Cumberbatch is nominated for Best Actor, Campion is up for Best Director, and Jonny Greenwood is nominated for Best Original Score.
Campion is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. “The Power of the Dog” is an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel.
(Campion won his first Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1994 for “The Piano.” This is his second nomination for Best Director. Cumberbatch was previously nominated for the film “The Imitation Game” in 2014.)
Dunst lives in Los Angeles with Plemons and their two sons, Ennis, 3, and James, born last year. The engaged couple met in 2016 on the set of “Fargo,” the FX series in which they played husband and wife Ed and Peggy Blumquist.
Her first Golden Globe nod came as a child actress 27 years ago, for her performance in “Interview with the Vampire.”
The year the film was released, 1994, was his breakthrough year, with the young actor starring alongside Winona Ryder and Clare Danes as young Amy March in ‘Little Women’.
It was just one of many memorable film roles for which Dunst was celebrated during her 33-year career. As a teenager, Dunst’s work with director Sofia Coppola began with her 1999 feature debut, “The Virgin Suicides.” She would go on to play Marie Antoinette in Coppola’s 2006 making of a film about the doomed French queen and appear in the director’s 2017 reimagining of “The Beguiled.”
Dunst played a ’70s teenager who infiltrates Richard Nixon’s White House with a friend (Michelle Williams) in the delightful Watergate comedy “Dick” (1999).
She was the iconic cheerleader Torrance Shipman in “Bring It On” (2000). In the early 2000s, she starred as Mary Jane Watson in the Tobey Maguire era of “Spider-Man.”
Dunst’s Oscar nomination joins his four career Golden Globe nominations and his Emmy nomination.
Ahead of her Globes nomination for ‘The Power of the Dog’ last year, she was nominated for two television roles – for her work in Showtime’s 2020 ‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’ and the series d “Fargo” anthologies in 2016, for which she also received an Emmy nomination.
“The Power of the Dog” is also nominated for Best Sound, Production Design, Film Editing and Cinematography.
Another film with a New Jersey connection, the 2021 version of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” is up for Best Picture. The musical, which stars Clifton’s Rachel Zegler as Maria, was filmed in Paterson, Newark and New York.
Spielberg is up for best director, and Zegler co-star Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita, is nominated for best supporting actress.
“West Side Story” won Best Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes in January, while Zegler won Best Actress in a Musical and DeBose won Best Supporting Actress. “The Power of the Dog” won Best Drama, Campion won Best Director, and Smit-McPhee won Best Supporting Actor.
The 2022 Oscars, aka the 94th Academy Awardswill take place on Sunday March 27 at Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood and will air live beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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