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Oscar nominations breakdown 2023
And the nominees are...
It’s officially Oscar season! Huzzah!
In a livestream event held at 12:30am Australian Eastern Daylight Time today, actors Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams announced the nominees for the 95th Academy Awards ceremony.
Mercifully, there was minimal stuffing around and they revealed all the nominees in just over 20 minutes.
Everything Everywhere All at Once leads the pack with 11 nominations, followed by All Quiet on the Western Front and The Banshees of Inisherin with 9 nominations each.
The Best Picture race
This is the big one – not only because it’s the most coveted award but also because each year I commit to watching all the nominees.
For the second year in a row, the Academy has chosen to nominate a full slate of 10 films for Best Picture.
Objectively, I think this is a great decision for the film industry. For me, it means more time spent watching movies and cutting back on my already non-existent social life.
The ten nominees are:
All Quiet on the Western Front dir. Edward Berger
Avatar: The Way of Water dir. James Cameron
The Banshees of Inisherin dir. Martin McDonagh
Elvis dir. Baz Luhrmann
Everything Everywhere All at Once dir. Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan
The Fabelmans dir. Stephen Spielberg
Tár dir. Todd Field
Triangle of Sadness dir. Ruben Östlund
Top Gun: Maverick dir. Joseph Kosinski
Women Talking dir. Sarah Polley
I have already seen Everything Everywhere All at Once and Top Gun: Maverick so that leaves me with eight films to watch.
I feel extremely apprehensive about watching Triangle of Sadness as I felt queasy even just during the trailer in the cinemas. This might be the movie that undoes my streak of watching all the nominees!
It’s another year for long movies, with the average length of a Best Picture nominee clocking in at a whopping 144 minutes and 18 seconds. This is even longer than the films from last year’s field (139 minutes and 30 seconds).
This year’s line-up is slightly better at showcasing films firmly focused on female protagonists (i.e. as opposed to a female/male protagonist duo) with Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár and Women Talking. This has historically been a real weak point from the Academy in the past. Interestingly, the only film which fit this criteria last year was CODA, the eventual winner.
Thank goodness for Stephanie Hsu
For me, the biggest surprise of the morning was Stephanie Hsu’s nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Joy Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
This is not due to Hsu’s talent. I wasn’t sure if she was going to get the nomination because she had been left out of other Best Supporting Actress races at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs.
Therefore I am so thrilled that the Oscars have recognised her performance! She was a phenomenal part of Everything Everywhere All at Once. I have been following her career since she originated the role of Christine Canigula in Be More Chill on Broadway a few years ago and it’s great to see her on an even bigger stage.
Apparently women can’t direct or write scores
Disappointingly, there are no women nominated for Best Director or Best Original Score this year.
In over 90 years of Oscar history, there have only been three female winners of Best Director and four of Best Original Score (in its various forms) but this statistic will not be increasing in 2023.
Best Director snubs include Sarah Polley for Women Talking, which did land two nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Gina Prince-Bythewood for The Woman King, which received no nominations at all. Both Polley and Prince-Bythewood were nominated for Best Director at the Critics’ Choice Awards and Prince-Bythewood is nominated at the BAFTAS.
Hollywood still doesn’t seem to like hiring women as composers, with Hildur Guðnadóttir being one of the few contenders for Best Original Score for her work on Women Talking which did land her a Golden Globe nomination and a Critics’ Choice win.
Top Gun: Maverick has done an Encanto
Top Gun: Maverick scored a nomination for Best Original Song for ‘Hold My Hand’ by Lady Gaga and BloodPop.
However, I don’t think this is even the best song from Top Gun: Maverick, let alone from the last year of films. I’m still confused as to why Top Gun chose to back Lady Gaga over ‘I Ain’t Worried’ by OneRepublic.
Not only does ‘I Ain’t Worried’ actually play in the film as opposed to during the end credits, the infectiously upbeat songs serves as a better and more memorable representation of the movie.
At last year’s ceremony, Encanto put forward ‘Dos Oruguitas’ instead of viral sensation ‘We Don’t Talk about Bruno’ with the award ultimately going to ‘No Time to Die’ from the James Bond movie of the same name by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell.
Whether they have nominated their best song or not, Top Gun: Maverick is going to have an uphill battle against solid favourite ‘Naatu Naatu’ from RRR by Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani and Rahul Sipligunj.
Original vs adapted screenplay
This morning I learnt that any screenplay for a sequel film is considered to be an ‘adapted’ screenplay.
This explains why Glass Onion and Top Gun: Maverick are both nominated in the Adapted category as they do not have any external source material (e.g. a novel or short film) except for the first films in their respective series.
I think this is an extremely strange ruling. Story wise, Glass Onion almost has no connection to its predecessor Knives Out except for the continuing presence of Daniel Craig’s detective character Benoit Blanc. Still, I’m very pleased to see Rian Johnson nominated for something.
First nominations for Asian actors
While I knew that Halle Berry was the only woman of colour to win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball, I did not realise that things were even bleaker than I could have imagined and that only one Asian woman had ever been nominated before.
Merle Oberon was the first Asian actress to be nominated for the award in 1936 for The Dark Angel, however, she was forced to hide her ancestry at the time and ‘passed’ as white. Therefore, Michelle Yeoh’s nomination for Everything Everywhere All at Once makes her the first Asian nominee to be ‘known’ at the time and still only the second ever in Oscars history.
On a personal level, I am extremely excited to see Vietnamese nominees at the Oscars!
Actors Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Hong Chau (The Whale) are the first ever Vietnamese actors to be nominated.
Decision to Leave snubbed
I have yet to watch the South Korean film Decision to Leave directed by Park Chan-wook but its intriguing mystery premise and all the raving reviews for it that I’ve seen online made me surprised that it was not nominated at all.
Not only did Decision to Leave miss out on the main field of categories, it did not land a Best International Feature Film nomination either.
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 12 March 2023.