Random Thoughts: The 2023 Oscar Nominations

Over the years the annual Academy Awards nominations have become easier to predict. Perhaps its social media or maybe its their growing lean towards trendier picks. But we usually have a good grasp of where the Academy is going prior to announcement day. Yet they always manage to pack in a surprise or two, and you can always count on some glaring omissions. This year is no different, especially in the omission department. There were a few hits but FAR more misses.

This morning we heard this year’s batch, many predictable, a few mild surprises, and some ridiculous and frustrating snubs. Here are a few Random Thoughts on the 2023 Oscar nominations.

  • To no one’s surprise, the trendy “Everything Everywhere All At Once” loaded up with 11 Oscar nominations. It’s an erratic and messy film, but it has a huge social media backing. And that seems to carry a lot of weight these days. It’ll be no surprise when it wins big on Oscar night.
  • Speaking of trendy picks, Paul Mescal gets the final spot for Best Actor. It’s a nice performance, but I can think of several others that deserved that spot more. Take the astonishing work from Felix Kammerer in “All Quiet on the Western Front”.
  • Best Actor looks to be a two-man race between Colin Farrell and Austin Butler, with Brendan Fraser having an outside chance. Let’s be real, 2022 was the year of Colin Farrell. It would be a travesty if he doesn’t win.
  • As for the extraordinary “All Quiet on the Western Front”, despite being tossed aside by the majority of critics groups, the Academy (much like BAFTA) gave the film its due, handing it nine nominations including Best Picture. It was the morning’s brightest spot.
  • That said, judging by how this year has gone, I can see “All Quiet” getting nine nominations and winning nothing.
  • Also nine nominations went to “The Banshees of Inisherin”, a terrific film and Martin McDonagh’s best to date. It takes home nods for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, on top of FOUR acting nominations. It had a deservedly big morning.
  • But just when you’re ready to praise the Academy more, they pull something like this. No Best Actress nomination for Danielle Deadwyler! It’s a ludicrous botch that frankly makes it hard to take the category seriously.
  • Actually, it doesn’t appear that “Till” resonated with Academy voters at all. Not a single Oscar nomination for the piercing period drama.
  • Hollywood had its own #ReleasetheSnyderCut moment with Andrea Riseborough getting a Best Actress nomination following a last minute campaign by some prominent fellows actresses. I (like most people) haven’t seen the movie so I can’t comment on the performance. But Danielle Deadwyler….
  • NOTHING for “Decision to Leave”??? Nothing at all? No Best International Film. No Best Director. No Best Cinematography. No Best Actress. So much could be said but why bother.
  • Surprisingly, the Academy saw through the flimsy facade of “Babylon”. It was barely a blip this morning.
  • The much hyped “Naatu Naatu” gets in for Best Original Song. Don’t get me wrong, I love that it was chosen. But again I ask, would it be nominated if it hadn’t been accompanied by that magnetic dance number? I dunno, but it’ll be great seeing it on Oscar night.
  • It’s ludicrous that “Everything Everywhere All At Once” has two nominees for Supporting Actress yet “Women Talking” gets nothing. Hsu and Curtis were fine, but come on.
  • Sticking with Supporting Actress, give me Condon or Bassett out of that group. Both kill it in their respected roles. Bassett is the very best thing about “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” while Condon holds her own with everyone on screen in “The Banshees of Inisherin”.
  • Among the few nice surprises (and there weren’t many), it was great seeing “The Quiet Girl” nominated for Best International Film. Such a beautiful and underseen movie. Hopefully more people will get a chance to check it out.
  • But no “RRR” for International Film? That’s another miss for the Academy.
  • “Bardo” being nominated for cinematography is terrific. It’s a stunning film in large part thanks to the incredible work from Darius Khondji.
  • Both “The Fabelmans” and “Tár” find themselves in odd places. Plenty of nominations between them, but no real feeling that either will leave Oscar night with many wins.
  • No Best Cinematography nomination for “Top Gun: Maverick”? Really? But hey, how could it compete with “Empire of Light” and “Tár” (sarcasm absolutely intended).
  • No Best Director nomination for Edward Berger for “All Quiet on the Western Front” is sad, especially considering some of those who received noms.
  • The complete dismissal of “The Batman” in the Best Original Score category still irks me. Of course it had no chance of getting an Oscar nomination since it didn’t even make the Oscar short list!!! Ridiculous.
  • It was a surprising morning for “Triangle of Sadness”. The biting ‘Eat the Rich’ satire took home nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
  • I would have loved to see Tom Cruise get a Best Actor nomination. He was great in the “Top Gun: Maverick”, but did he ever really have a chance? I kinda doubt it. Still, with his film have a strong showing this morning, I had hope. But leaving him out is such an Oscar move.
  • So wonderful to see “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” in Best Animated Feature. It’s the clear front-runner for the category. At the same time, it’s a bummer that it didn’t get anything else. No Best Picture, no Best Original Score, no Adapted Screenplay.
  • Speaking of animation, the industry-wide overlooking of Richard Linklater’s stellar “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood” was completed. Nothing for it from the Academy or any organization for that matter. Such a shame.
  • The Best Supporting Actor category has no drama whatsoever this year. Ke Huy Quan is the sentimental choice, and there’s no doubt he will win. This should be Keoghan’s year, but unfortunately it’s not to be.
  • Judd Hirsch getting a Supporting Actor nod for “The Fabelmans” over Paul Dano seems criminal. But it is nice seeing Brian Tyree Henry nominated for “Causeway”. He gives a terrific performance in a movie that has otherwise been overlooked for most of the awards season.
  • A lot of people are disappointed in “The Woman King” being shut out. I liked the film. But to be honest, outside of Lashana Lynch, nothing else would have gotten my vote.
  • Happy for “Women Talking” sneaking into Best Picture over movies like “The Whale” and “Babylon”.

And those are a few of my Random Thoughts about the 2023 Academy Awards nominations. What did you think of this year’s batch? Here is a full list of the nominees.

Best Picture

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • The Fabelmans
  • Tár
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • Women Talking

Best Directing

  • Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
  • Todd Field – Tár
  • Ruben Ostlund – Triangle of Sadness

Best Actor in A Leading Role

  • Austin Butler – Elvis
  • Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Brendan Fraser – The Whale
  • Paul Mescal – Aftersun
  • Bill Nighy – Living

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett – Tár
  • Ana de Armas – Blonde
  • Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
  • Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
  • Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Hong Chau – The Whale
  • Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
  • Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
  • Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Original Screenplay

  • The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once – Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
  • The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner
  • Tár – Todd Field
  • Triangle of Sadness – Ruben Östlund

Adapted Screenplay

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • Living
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Women Talking

Best International Feature Film

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Argentina, 1985
  • Close
  • EO 
  • The Quiet Girl

Animated Feature Film

  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • The Sea Beast
  • Turning Red

Original Song

  • “Applause” – Tell it Like a Woman
  • “Hold my Hand” – Top Gun: Maverick
  • “Lift Me Up” – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • “Naatu Naatu” – RRR
  • “This is a Life” – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Documentary Feature Film

  • All That Breathes
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  • Fire of Love
  • A House made of Splinters
  • Navalny

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Batman
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Elvis
  • The Whale

Production Design

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Babylon
  • Elvis
  • The Fabelmans

Film Editing

  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Tár
  • Top Gun: Maverick

Cinematography

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
  • Elvis
  • Empire of Light
  • Tár

Visual Effects

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Batman
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Top Gun: Maverick

Costume Design

  • Babylon
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Achievement in Sound

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Batman
  • Elvis
  • Top Gun: Maverick

Original Score

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Babylon
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Elvis

Best Documentary Short Film

  • The Elephant Whisperers
  • Haulout
  • How do you Measure a Year?
  • The Martha Mitchell Effect
  • Stranger at the Gate

Live-Action Short Film

  • An Irish Goodbye
  • Ivalu
  • Le Pupille
  • Night Ride
  • The Red Suitcase

Animated Short Film

  • The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
  • The Flying Sailor
  • Ice Merchants
  • My Year of Dicks
  • An Ostrich Told me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It

23 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The 2023 Oscar Nominations

  1. I say boo to Everything etc getting all those nominations. I disagree that it will win big. I think there are enough people like you and me who just said – Really? What’s the deal with that thing? – that it doesn’t have enough votes to pull in many awards. (I can dream)

    I’d like to see Top Gun win it all. In a way it’s not the best picture, in an – Is it art? – way, but it entertained more people than any other picture in 2022. Just for once in the last quite a few years have a popular picture win it all.

    Colin Farrell for Best Actor for me. Brendan Fraser and the kid from Elvis probably the other favorites. I get the idea Cate is a lock for Best Actress, but maybe I don’t know enough about the other nominees.

    The other commenter wondered about relevance. They are definitely of interest to a smaller and smaller audience each year. They haven’t helped themselves with political speeches every year that give the middle finger to a good chunk of the country, and more art house type films winning than in the past.

    • I’m with you on being unenthused with “Everything Everyone”. Mark my words though, it has a very real shot at Best Picture. It’s a lock for Supporting Actor and could surprise at Best Actor. I want to be wrong though.

      I wouldn’t shed a tear if Top Gun won. It may not be the “Best” movie of the year (whatever that means) but millions (including myself) loved it. It also gave a desperately needed jolt that the industry needed.

      Absolutely with you on Farrell. Fingers crossed something goofy doesn’t happen there.

  2. The Batman gets snubbed for Best Original Score but Everything Everywhere All At Once gets in? I don’t remember the music from EEAAO at all, but the music of The Batman is probably the best I’ve heard this year. I like EEAAO a lot, but like you said, it’s very trendy and that should NEVER factor into a Best Picture nomination. As far as Original Song goes, it’s going to come down to Top Gun and Black Panther. Both songs are incredible and emotionally rich. Those two definitely belong on that list. All Quiet on the Western Front might win at least two: Best Cinematography and Best International Feature Film. Both of which the movie absolutely deserves at the bare minimum. It’s not going to get Best Picture, unfortunately.

    • The Batman omission is ridiculous. I still listen to it frequently. And like you, I don’t remember a thing about the EEAAO music. Sigh. As for song, keep an eye out for Naatu, Naatu. It could possibly win. I do fear your right about All Quiet. And I’m not sure International Feature is in the bag. You would think since it’s the only film in the category to also get a Best Picture nod that it would be a lock. But the Academy is done squirrelly stuff before.

  3. Avatar: The Way of Water getting the Best Picture nom is BAFFLING to me. Admittedly, I didn’t like it. Fair enough to those that did but it wasn’t good enough in almost all aspects of filmmaking. But the fact it hasn’t really received any other nomination (including any actor/or directing categories) shows that it isn’t a strong enough movie outside of its visual allure. Why nominate something in a category that is deemed ‘the best movie of the year’ if it’s not good enough for any other category?

  4. So far, Top Gun has been my favorite movie of the year. It was so nice just going to the theater and getting pure joy and nostalgia out of a movie – it felt like I hadn’t experienced that in a long time, and it was a real breath of fresh air for me. I still haven’t seen Avatar yet – the length has kind of scared me away a little bit, but I do want to get around to it, preferably before Oscar night. I did see Everything, Everywhere, All at Once and I thought it was okay. It didn’t blow me away like it has a lot of people, but I still got some enjoyment out of it. And now that I’ve finished re-reading the book, I really need to watch All Quiet on the Western Front! ASAP! The other two best pic noms that I’ve seen are Tar and Elvis, neither of which I liked all that much. Although I can’t deny the star performers in both were pretty top shelf.

    • I’m really excited to hear your thoughts on “All Quiet”. Needless to say I’m a huge supporter of that movie. I’m hoping to see it again (my third viewing) before Oscar night. And I had a similar experience with Top Gun: Maverick. I think a lot of people did which a reason it absolutely belongs in the Best Picture conversation. So many needed that experience.

  5. I thought if any actor was going to get a surprise nom, it was going to be Felix Kammerer. Did not see Paul Mescal coming. I haven’t seen Aftersun yet. Michelle Williams over Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis is…offensive.

    I didn’t love Decision to Leave but I’m surprised it missed International as well. But The Quiet Girl got in, and I thought they wouldn’t so that makes it up for me.

    Glad to see so much All Quiet.

    I weep for Paul Dano.

    • I felt Felix was a longshot but I had hope (misplaced as it turns out). I thought Mescal was fine, but nothing on the level as Kammerer. But he’s another one who had a big online backing which seems to carry a lot more weight than it once did.

      Deadwyler though….no excuse!!!

      Totally agree on The Quiet Girl. Are we the only two shouting its praises???

  6. I have not seen a single film nominated for Best Picture. That usually doesn’t happen as a lot of them came and went. No women nominated for Best Director. That’s bullshit.

    Decision to Leave not getting a single nod. That is also bullshit.

    Diane Warren gets another fucking Oscar nomination for her shitty-ass song in a movie that I’m sure many here haven’t seen. That’s total fucking bullshit.

    This is kind of underwhelming. At least I saw one of the nominees for Best Live Action short in Le Pupille which you can watch on Disney+ as I totally fucking recommend it. I was fucking wowed by this as I can’t believe that Disney+ would show a short film by Alice Rohrwacher starring her sister Alba with a guest appearance by Valerie Bruni-Tedeschi and produced by Alfonso Cuaron. YOU GOTTA WATCH THAT SHIT!

  7. You don’t need another person commenting about their declining interest in the Oscars so I won’t do that. I have always had an issue with judging one work of art as best or better than another. Yet, I sometimes still offer up my own favorites list (with that disclaimer) and I do pay attention to the Oscar nominations. While the Academy membership has gotten larger and more diverse in recent years, and films the masses have seen actually grab a nomination here and there now, they still seem to suffer from “groupthink” when it comes to the major awards and rally around films no one has seen which critics have loved.

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