The Best Actress Oscar Race Isn't So Cut And Dry For Javier Bardem

It's that time of year again, and the 2022 Oscar noms are officially in. Leading the board is "Power of the Dog" with 12 nominations. Benedict Cumberbatch got one for Best Actor, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemmons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee received Best Supporting Actor nods, and Jane Campion rounded it out with a nom for Best Director and Best Picture.

For the honor of Best Actor, Cumberbatch will be competing against Javier Bardem. Bardem received his third Oscar nomination for "Being the Ricardos," an Amazon Prime film in which he plays Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball's husband. Ball is played by Nicole Kidman, who received a nomination for Best Actress for the role — her fifth nomination overall. 

That's where things get interesting. Typically, you'd think that Bardem would be rooting for his co-star and friend, but that's not necessarily the case this year. Bardem's wife, Penelope Cruz, is competing against Kidman for the Best Actress statue for her role in "Parallel Mothers."

Penelope Cruz and Nichole Kidman are in a tough race

When it comes to this year's Oscars, Javier Bardem may not be sure which Best Actress to root for. On the one hand, there's his wife, Penelope Cruz, who's nominated for "Parallel Mothers." On the other is his "Being the Ricardos" co-star Nicole Kidman. So, who should he support? His real-life wife or his on-screen one?

"I think both did a fantastic job," Bardem told Deadline when asked about the sticky situation. "But Penélope did something extraordinary because she's nominated for the second time for a role in Spanish — that's really historic. Of course, I am rooting for her." Cruz has been nominated for an Oscar three times and won once. The specific award Bardem was referring to was her 2007 nomination for "Volver," a Spanish comedy that, like "Parallel Mothers," was directed by Pedro Almodóvar (per The New York Times). However, just because Bardem is rooting for his wife doesn't mean that he's eager to see Kidman lose. "And I'm also rooting for Nicole, we had an amazing time working together," he added. "I'm rooting for Penélope ... and then I'm also rooting for Nicole. It makes sense."

Win or lose, Bardem is just happy to be celebrating with Cruz. He told the outlet that his own Best Actor nomination would have felt hollow if she hadn't received one as well. "It was beautiful. It was emotional," he said of receiving the joint nominations. "We have each other."