Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Reacts to Best Director Oscar Snub

Dune director Denis Villeneuve has reacted to being snubbed by the Academy Awards for a Best Director nomination despite the Best Picture nod.

Dunes director Denis Villeneuve revealed his thoughts about being snubbed by the Academy Awards for a Best Director nomination. Villeneuve’s Dunes is an adaptation of the first half of the novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, which tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he rises to his destiny to become the leader of the desert planet Arrakis. Dunes was released in October of 2021 and since then has gained great acclaim from both audiences and critics, and has been greenlit for a sequel which Villeneuve has confirmed is set to go into production later this year.

In the wake of the film’s success, Dunes has been nominated for a whopping ten Academy Awards. Among its nominations, the film has been recognized in the highly coveted Best Motion Picture of the Year award. However, many were quite surprised to see that Villeneuve himself did not land a nomination for Best Director. Villeneuve has been quite open about how he has been a fan of the novel since he was a young boy, and Dunes is clearly a passion project for the director, leading many to wonder why he isn’t being recognized for turning his passion into such a tour de force.

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In a recent interview on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, Villeneuve has addressed his Oscar snub. Villeneuve himself does not seem to be bothered in the slightest, saying that if someone told him a year ago how many nominations Dunes would receive at the Academy Awards, he would not believe them. He seems very grateful that the movie is recognized at all, and in regards to his own lack of nomination, Villeneuve has pointed out that he would rather be in the position he is now where people wish he was nominated, rather than be nominated and have people wonder “what the hell are you doing there?” See his full quote below:


“If you had told me a year ago that we would get 10 nominations including Best Picture, I would laugh and say, ‘Are you out of your mind?’ To have 10 nominations, all I can say is thank you to the gods of cinema and thank you to the Academy and to drink a glass of champagne to celebrate.”

“It’s better to be in that position than the opposite. I prefer people say ‘You should have been’ instead of ‘What the hell are you doing there?’”


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Villeneuve’s is a very mature standpoint to take on the issue. The director has made it clear that he does not make movies for the recognition, but simply because he loves it, and his passion certainly shows. Including Dunes, Villeneuve’s last four films have all found their way to the Academy Awards, making it clear that whether he is nominated or not, he is more than a competent filmmaker. This, of course, means that companies will still be willing to allow him to make movies which is all Villeneuve seems to want anyway.

Villeneuve’s work on Dunes is undeniably top-notch, and it is very understandable why fans are upset that his work hasn’t been recognized by the Academy. With that said, Villeneuve doesn’t seem put out in the slightest, and with his film nominated for Best Picture as well as he himself being nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay award, it is likely that the director will be coming home with a golden statue anyway. All fans can do is wait to see what Oscar night holds for Dunes, and perhaps Villeneuve’s work will be more recognized when Dune: Part 2 is released.

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Source: Variety Awards Circuit

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