If there’s one thing the mornings of the Oscar nominations teach us every year, it’s to never be sure of certain things.
While it’s no surprise that A24 breakout “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would lead the pack heading into the 95th Academy Awards with 11 nominations as the frontrunner for Best Picture, it’s shocking to see crowd pleaser “The Woman King” arrive. empty-handed, even Oscar winner Viola Davis didn’t make it in the Best Actress category.
At the 2023 Oscars, Academy members paid little attention to films directed by women. Has this come at the expense of recognizing more international talent, with the German-language “All Quiet on the Western Front” receiving an impressive nine nominations?
Some of the surprises were predictable: We knew there were some faltering, unpredictable niches, but we didn’t know who would fill them. Now we know that voters really loved “Triangle of Sadness,” and “Aftersun” garnered enough attention for star Paul Mescal to earn him a Best Actor nomination alongside Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”) and Tom Hanks ( “A Man Called Otto”). “).
IndieWire dives into these and more, tracking down the biggest upsets and surprises from this year’s Oscar nominations below.
The 95th Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12.
Snub: “The Woman King”
An A+ Cinemascore is no easy feat, and a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival often elevates projects among the top films, yet director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical epic received zero Oscar nominations. Many factors could have contributed to the bias against Best Picture action films, right down to Andrea Riseborough’s last-minute grassroots campaign that likely knocked out perennial contender Viola Davis. Films by black or female directors received little attention from the Academy; Being a black woman means being ignored on two fronts.
Surprise: “The Triangle of Sadness”
When it was nominated for the 95th Academy Awards, finding a top 10 for Best Picture seemed impossible. Everything from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” to “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” to “RRR” was in, but in the end, the 2022 Palme d’Or winner is the early best picture predictions occupied a prominent place among until the very end – it even received a best director nomination for Ruben Östlund.
Snub: James Cameron, “Avatar: The Way of Water”
We’ve all been told never to bet against the helmet of “Avatar,” but while its epic sequel received a Best Picture nomination, former Best Director winner Cameron didn’t make it. Three more sequels await him, so perhaps the 2029 Oscars will be his big comeback.
Surprise: Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”
Until last week’s BAFTA nominations, the only major nomination for the “Aftersun” star from a televised awards show was the Critics Choice Awards — a group that doesn’t overlap with Academy voters. Not only did Mescal beat out the aforementioned Toms, but he also got the nod over Screen Actors Guild nominee Adam Sandler (“Hustle”) and Golden Globe nominee Hugh Jackman (“The Son”) — a win for the 26-year-old.
Snub: Danielle Deadwyler, “Till”
While her SAG nomination was a good sign that the standout “Till” is being considered, her absence from the Best Actress category is likely due to voters’ resistance to seeing the Emmett Till tragedy movie for all intents and purposes. Deadwyler and director Chinonye Chukwu made sure it was accessible to everyone.
Surprise: Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”
Well, the viral campaign worked. While his performance in the small indie has always been recognized, the push to legitimately nominate him during the poll on social media may be the new play for actors working in little-seen work.
Snoop: Paul Dano, “The Fabelmans”
In a contrast to the SAG nominations, Dano was left out of the Best Supporting Actor race, while his co-stars Michelle Williams and Judd Hirsch made it. Voters didn’t respond to her character’s resistance to her son becoming a filmmaker, and she sided with the artists in Steven Spielberg’s fictional version of her family.
Surprise: Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway”
While it’s a surprise for the “Atlanta” star to be nominated for her soulful performance in Apple TV+’s quiet gem, “Causeway,” it may be even more surprising that this is her first Oscar nomination. The Academy is giving the character actor some well-deserved love after scene-stealing turns in films like “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Widows.”
Piss and Surprise: There are no cast members from “Women Talking.”
Although most people would have predicted it by now, it’s still a little shocking that Sarah Polley’s drama about a group of Mennonite women who decide to run or fight their male terrorizers didn’t make it into the Best Supporting Actress category. However, the competition was stacked – and with so many amazing performances, the women of “Women Talking” were able to outdo each other.
Snub: Claudio Miranda, “Top Gun: Maverick”
Guild nominations and critics’ awards gave pretty much every indication that the “Top Gun: Maverick” cinematographer would not only be nominated for best cinematography, but would also be the frontrunner in the category. However, since Miranda and “Avatar: The Way of Water” cinematographer Russell Carpenter didn’t make the cut, it seems this branch of voting wasn’t quite looking for technical innovation when choosing their nominations.
Surprise: Florian Hoffmeister, “LIBRARY”
The cinematography of Todd Field’s epic portrait of a musical genius in decline may not have been in the Best Cinematography category for many, but it’s certainly an inspired choice. Take a look at Film Twitter and you’ll see almost every frame of the two-and-a-half-hour film as a work of art.
Snub: Hannah Beachler, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
The first black woman to be nominated and win Best Production Design didn’t make it this time, even though she was the key to bringing the new world of Talokan to life. But a look at the nominations shows that voters were far more interested in capturing an era of history than creating an entirely new world.
Surprise: Rick Carter and Karen O’Hara, “The Fabelmans”
Although the film was expected to be an Oscar front-runner since the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, production designer Rick Carter and set designer Karen O’Hara are far from guaranteed a best production design nomination (the film doesn’t have the same huge nomination). sets as fellow candidates). However, it’s remarkable how the pair bring to life three wildly different locations from the 50s and 60s, from an East Coast movie theater to a California teen party.
Snub: Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Women Talking”
The first solo female composer to ever win a top score has been in trouble with the Academy at every turn this year. First, he was told that his work “TÁR” did not qualify, but he was still included in the Best Original Score category for his work “Women Talking”. While it seemed to be on the rise, even if it didn’t end up winning any critical awards, it’s still surprising that its two Best Picture nominations didn’t lead to its own nod.
Surprise: Son Lux, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
Sometimes a band, sometimes the solo moniker of musician Ryan Lott, Son Lux is more about experimental music than film scores. Their only previous score was for “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” which did not receive a single Oscar nomination. The Best Original Score category isn’t easy to break into, especially in the competition of some previous winners, but the love for A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” helped Son Lux break new ground.
Snub: “Ciao Papa” – Guillermo del Toro, Alexandre Desplat and Roeban Katz (“Guillermo del Toro Pinocchio”)
Desplat is another big snub in the Best Original Score category, but it seems like the Academy just wasn’t in love with the musical aspect of “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” in general. Standout track ‘Ciao Papa’ is expected to wow voters, but it’s believed his chances have been swallowed up by Monstro nominations leader ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’.
Surprise: “It’s a Life” – David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Perhaps it’s unwise to count out the legendary David Byrne, especially for a song from a film that used to be a clear favorite for Best Picture, but just wasn’t recognized by the same metrics as other songs. The Original Song nomination also makes Son Lux’s Ryan Lott a two-time nominee, and gives indie music darling Mitski his first Oscar nod, so this unexpected nod brings a lot to celebrate.
Piss and Surprise: Netflix in Best Animated Feature
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” seemed like a no-brainer, given the director’s tendency to exceed Oscar nomination expectations with each project and that this Netflix film is the star of his animated work, but the streaming service also jumped on board with “The Sea.” . Beast” was a bit of a shock. “Big Hero 6” director Chris Williams’ film entered the awards race just so early that it looked like it would be overshadowed by other big Netflix animated projects like “Wendell and Wild” or “My Father’s Dragon.”
Snub: “Decision to Leave”
In the past few years, the Academy has begun to embrace East Asian cinema like never before. Yes, “Parasite’s” wins for best picture and best director were the ultimate triumphs, but last year’s “Drive My Car” nomination seemed to solidify the region as an Oscar booster. Everything seemed ready for the Academy to finally recognize Park Chan-wook in a big way, the filmmaker who has been a favorite of cinephiles around the world since 2003’s “Oldboy,” but has never made anything accessible enough even for his home country. South Korea competes for Best International Feature Film. While the neo-noir eventually received that accolade from Korea, the award-winning series at last year’s Cannes, the film proved too stylized for Oscar voters and was therefore not nominated at all.
Surprise: “The Quiet Girl”
Consider Ireland’s entry in the Best International Feature Film category to be the biggest success story on the Academy’s December shortlist. The Colm Bairéad-directed drama never made the same splash as international film festival premieres like “Bardo” (Mexico) and “Saint Omer” (France), but it caught the attention of curious voters when it was shortlisted for the international category , and entered. just in time.
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