Oscar Nominations Reactions

The nominations for the 95th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. To see the full list of nominees, click here.

HEADLINES:

Critics and studios have much less power than they (we) think
Andrea Riseborough nabbed a shocking Best Actress nomination for the film To Leslie, the recipient of a guerrilla campaign mounted by her fellow actors. She was in a movie that has only grossed $27,000 since it debuted at SXSW Film Festival last March. As a critic whose vote is courted by studios and publicists for the two critics groups I’m a member of, I can tell you I got screeners for every film nominated except To Leslie. To Leslie, subsequently, received no major critical support or awards–no Golden Globes, no SAG, no BAFTA, nothing. BUT…Riseborough had big supporters within her branch of actors, and a few notable actors, mostly women, mounted a last-minute push to their fellow Academy members to get her a nomination. Big names such as Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Cox, Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston and Minnie Driver all hosted screenings for Academy members. Then many more came out in very public support of a nomination for Riseborough, including Kate Winslet, Sarah Paulson, Jane Fonda, and Laura Dern. This groundswell, which happened just as nomination ballots were being filled in, worked, as Riseborough got the coveted nomination, without any support from the studio, box office OR critics, which is truly astounding. Out of the 27 experts who predicted the nominees on GoldDerby.com, only 2 predicted Riseborough to get a nomination. But it’s also worth noting that those same two also predicted a nomination for Danielle Deadwyler, who was snubbed. So, in the end, it’s always important to remember, no matter how much we critics think we know or think we have an influence, we really don’t.

Box office matters
Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick were the two top box office earners in 2022 and they both nabbed Best Picture nominations, the first time that’s happened since 1982 (E.T. and TOOTSIE!!).

It’s Everything Everywhere
Everything Everywhere All At Once scored the most nominations, with 11, including Best Picture, Best Director and four acting nominations, a truly staggering achievement for a film that is absolutely bonkers and I personally thought the Academy wouldn’t connect with at all. But Michelle Yeoh’s respectiability, Jamie Lee Curtis’ star power and Ke Huy Quan’s comeback story kept this one alive, forcing members to watch it and, once you do, it’s impossible to not love it.

Fresh Faces Are A Delight
For the first time in 88 years, the Best Actor race is made up of 5 first-time nominees.

Veterans Still Rule, Though
Steven Spielberg grabbed his 9th Best Director nomination and his film, The Fabelmans, is his 13th Best Picture nomination

Diane Warren pulled in her 14th nomination for Best Song, still never having won a competitive Oscar

And the GOAT, John Williams, at age 90, is the oldest nominee ever, landing his 53rd nomination. Only Walt Disney has ever had more (59).

NOMINATIONS I’M HAPPIEST ABOUT:
Women Talking for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay
-Stephanie Hsu, for Best Supporting Actress in Everything Everywhere All At Once
All Quiet on the Western Front for Best Picture and Best Cinematography
-Brian Tyree Henry for Best Supporting Actor for Causeway
-Paul Mescal for Best Actor for Aftersun
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish for Best Animated Feature
-Bill Nighy for Best Actor for Living

NOMINATIONS I FEEL WERE MISSED (AKA SNUBS):
-Olivia Colman for Best Actress for Empire of Light
-Emma Thompson for Best Actress for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
RRR for Best Picture

WHAT I’D LOVE TO SEE WIN (BUT PROBABLY WON’T)
Women Talking for Best Picture
-Colin Farrell for Best Actor
-Barry Keoghan for Best Supporting Actor
All Quiet on the Western Front for Best Cinematography

WHAT I’D LOVE TO SEE WIN (AND PROBABLY WILL)
All Quiet on the Western Front for Best International Feature
Everything Everywhere All At Once for Best Picture
-The Daniels for Best Director (Everything Everywhere All At Once)
Everything Everywhere All At Once for Best Editing
-Justin Hurwitz for Best Score (for Babylon)
-“Naatu Naatu” for Best Song (from RRR)
-Martin McDonagh for Best Original Screenplay (Banshees of Inisherin)

And how did I do with my predictions, you ask? Of the 11 categories that I predicted, I went 5/5 on two (Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay), 4/5 for five categories, and 3/5 for three. I predicted 9/10 for Best Picture.

If you need to catch up with the movies nominated, here’s a great resource to finding where you can watch all the nominated films: https://ew.com/awards/oscars/where-to-stream-oscar-nominees-2023/

And if you are looking for more great stats and trivia about all the nominees, there is no better resource than AwardsWatch.com.

The 95th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 12 and will be broadcast on ABC at 5pm/8pm and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.