The snubs and surprises of the 2023 Oscar nominations

Andrea Riseborough and Brian Tyree Henry made it in, while Viola Davis failed to get a nomination.
Photo: Momentum Pictures, TriStar Pictures, A24

The 2023 Oscar nominations are out now, and while they largely went as most awards obsessives had hoped, the surprises were some of the most memorable twists we’ve seen in years. Which expected nominees woke up to disappointing news, and which unannounced contenders might be jumping for joy? Let’s go over the most notable slights and surprises.

Those crazy celebs actually got Andrea Riseborough an Oscar nomination.
In one of the strangest developments of the season, the Oscar voting period saw almost every celebrity in Hollywood take to Twitter to praise Andrea Riseborough’s performance in to leslie, “a small film with a giant heart”. The film, a low-budget sobriety drama that debuted at SXSW, hadn’t technically Out of Nowhere: Riseborough earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination, and the film was on the National Board of Review’s list of best independent films of the year. Yet, to leslie it barely made a glimpse of it when it launched in October and had been ignored by all the major forerunners, leading most pundits to believe that the Twitter blitz would be too little too late. Show what we know! It turns out that professional actors had a better sense of award-worthy acting than those of us who sat behind a laptop all day. Riseborough garnered a nomination against all odds, his self-funded campaign joining #Kony2012 and the Ice Bucket Challenge in the ranks of surprisingly successful social media trends.

Also Ana de Armas.
Riseborough’s improbable victory slightly overshadowed another noteworthy development in the Best Actress race: Ana de Armas actually ran for Blond! Before the Marilyn Monroe biopic was released, everyone assumed it would be the film in which the Spanish-Cuban actress would rise from internet meme to movie star. But when Andrew Dominick’s film turned out to be a three-hour orgy of suffering, de Armas fell off most prediction lists. Even though she did well in the precursors, only missing Critics Choice, it was an open question whether Academy voters would go for such an unsavory film. But de Armas did make it into the Oscars lineup, supposedly thanks to strong international support for Blond — further proof that you should never bet against a transformation. Unfortunately, it came at a cost…

Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler were both rejected for Best Actress.
The entry of Riseborough and De Armas meant that the pair of black actresses who had been widely chosen for nominations were left out. Her movies likely suffered from opposite problems: Voters could have criticized Davis the king woman for being a blockbuster straight to the middle, while Deadwyler’s civil rights biopic until it may have seemed too much to the vegetables. But the image of a group of mostly white celebrities propelling Riseborough to a nomination at the expense of two black women is not flattering to Hollywood.

Brian Tyree Henry came in for raised causeway.
It’s often hard for a supporting actor to get a nomination if no one else in their movie is gaining ground. (See: Ruth Negga in He passed.) Consensus on the AppleTV+ movie raised causeway was that the low-stakes drama was worth watching primarily for the performances, and when Jennifer Lawrence’s role as a recovering military veteran didn’t make much of a splash in the Best Actress race, that meant Brian Tyree Henry’s sensitive turn in front of her faced an uphill battle for recognition. Fortunately, the voters saved him space by giving him The Fabelmans just a seat at the Best Supporting Actor table. (This went to Judd Hirsch on Paul Dano, who got the award from Caitriona Balfe.) In a pleasant surprise, Henry earned his first career nomination, a fitting reward for one of the industry’s most acclaimed character actors.

A lineup of all the Best Actor debutants.
In the field of Best Actor, After the sun‘s Paul Mescal joined the closeted quartet of Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser and Bill Nighy. That’s five men with varying degrees of industry experience: Mescal and Butler are two of today’s most in-demand young stars, Farrell and Fraser are ex-hunks enjoying midlife comebacks, and Nighy is a grizzled veteran. which gets a nom. . What they all have in common is that none of them have been nominated before. Before the season began, some thought Mescal and Butler might be too new to catch Oscar’s eye, but as the results show, you’re never too old or too young for the first time.

All calm on the west front cleaned in the craft.
The German Oscar submission made headlines last week when it dominated the BAFTA nominations, garnering more nominations than any other film. He did not repeat the feat at the Oscars, where Everything everywhere at once proved its strength with 11 nominations, but all silent still tied for second with nine, a remarkable feat for a film that seemed on the brink of the Best Picture race just a month ago. Most of these were in the craft categories, whose shortlists over the holidays were the first indication that the war drama could be a major player, but an adapted script proves that highbrows liked it too. If Edward Berger had made it to Best Director, we could be talking about a Best Picture dark horse, but I think all silent you will still be satisfied with becoming the foreign language title to beat.

Only Best Song for RRR.
Since its US release last spring, the Tollywood blockbuster has amassed a fervent cult following that has fans dreaming of a surprise Best Picture spot. That wasn’t in the cards, and since the film wasn’t selected as India’s official submission, we’ll never know how it would have fared in the race for Best International Film. Still, at least Team RRR you can be happy that “Naatu Naatu,” a musical number fueled by the joyous magic of suspenders, earned a well-deserved Best Original Song nomination. Ram Charan Star told me at the Golden Globes he would be ready to perform the song at the Oscars ceremony; Let’s hope the show’s producers don’t waste this golden opportunity.

women talking had a quiet return.
women talking was the toast of Telluride, but the Sarah Polley film couldn’t keep up with the festival buzz on the precursors, many of whom rejected the magnanimous drama outright. If Polley didn’t get the last laugh at the Oscar nominations, she at least might have earned the right to laugh: Not only did she get the Adapted Screenplay nomination that eluded her at the BAFTAs, but women talking snuck into the Best Picture category at the expense of bigger movies like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Y Babylon. By the way, the sparse field of adapted scripts gave us the weirdest bedfellows of the year, like women talking will be competing against Top Gun: Maverick.

And a little disappointment for The whale.
The whale It launched me into a minor personal crisis after seeing it at TIFF: it’s a film so gruesome and cynical, and seemingly so certain of Oscar success, that I questioned what exactly I was doing with my life. Well, the crisis abated: The whale losing myself both there and in the adapted script is a sign that many at the Academy felt the same way I did. It’s also a sign that Brendan Fraser’s control of the trophy is far from secure: not since Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart has the Best Actor winner not come from a Best Picture nominee.

The category of Best Photography is saved Bard Y empire of light of the erasure
Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Sam Mendes are two longtime Academy favorites whose most recent films were savagely attacked on their festival debuts: Bard for being masturbatory and self-pitying, empire of light for being superficial and unfocused. Each missed out on the nomination they could have counted on (Best International Film and Best Actress, respectively), but the film branch saved them from going home empty-handed by recognizing cinematographers Darius Khondji and Roger Deakins. While I’m going to miss the This had Oscar rumor episodes we could have gotten, credit where credit is due – both movies at least look fantastic.

Everything everywhere at once Y Banshees of Inisherin are his favorites for Best Picture.
On the macro level, not much changed Tuesday morning: The two movies that everyone assumed were at the top of the nominations were also the top two nomination leaders. Both everything everywhere Y Banshees garnered nominations for Motion Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay, in addition to four acting nominations each and a bunch of trades. (The Fabelmanswhich at times seemed like it might be uniting them, lost a bit of ground after Dano’s snub). The pair are separated by a very thin margin: EEAAO I got into Costumes and Song, and Banshees not. Right now, you’d probably give the advantage to the A24 comedy, which has the most passionate fanbase. However, it is also more polarizing, whereas Banshees he’s the kind of beloved contender who usually does well on the preferential ticket. Either way, it’s going to be a fascinating race.

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