Oscar nominations 2023 snubs and surprises

What happened to Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and all the women from “Women Talking”? Paul Mescal and Everything Everywhere at Once.

If there’s one thing the Oscar nominations morning teaches each year, it’s never be too sure of a sure thing.

While it’s not surprising that the A24 breakout Everything Everywhere All at Once would lead the field with 11 nominations at the 95th Academy Awards, given that it’s the front-runner for Best Picture, it’s shocking to see the crowd’s favourite. The Woman King” come empty-handed, even Oscar winner Viola Davis did not make it into the final selection for best actress.

At the 2023 Oscars, Academy members paid little attention to films directed by women. Was that at the expense of recognizing more international talent, with the German-language All Quiet on the Western Front earning a staggering nine nominations?

Some surprises were predictable: we knew there were a few scattered, unpredictable slots, but we didn’t know who would fill them. Now we know that voters really liked “Triangle of Sadness” and “Aftersun” garnered enough attention for star Paul Mescal to earn a Best Actor nomination, ahead of Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”) and Tom Hanks (“A Man Called Otto”).

IndieWire dives into these references and more, tracking the biggest snubs and surprises from this year’s Oscar nominations below.

The 95th Academy Awards will air Sunday, March 12.

Snub: “The Woman King”

An A+ cinema score is no easy task, and a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival often puts projects in the Best Picture competition, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical epic earned zero Oscar nominations. Many factors may have contributed to his snub, from Best Picture’s anti-action film bias to Andrea Riseborough’s last-minute grassroots campaign that potentially knocked out perennial contestant Viola Davis. Films by black or female directors received little attention from the Academy; Being a black director means being overlooked on two fronts.

Surprise: “Triangle of Sadness”

In the 95th Academy Awards nominations, picking 10th place for Best Picture seemed impossible. Everything from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery to RRR was in the mix, but ultimately the 2022 Palme D’Or winner saw a spot high in the early predictions for the best picture saw it through to the end – Ruben Östlund even got a Best Director nomination.

Snub: James Cameron, “Avatar: The Way of Water”

We’ve all been told never to bet against the Avatar Helmer, but while its epic sequel earned a Best Picture nomination, former Best Director winner Cameron didn’t make the shortlist. He has three more sequels ahead of him, so perhaps the 2029 Oscars will be his big return.

Surprise: Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”

Up until last week’s BAFTA nominations, the only major nomination for the “Aftersun” star by a televised awards show was the Critics’ Choice Awards — a group that doesn’t overlap with Academy voters. Not only did Mescal beat the aforementioned toms, he also earned Screen Actors Guild nominee Adam Sandler (“Hustle”) and Golden Globe nominee Hugh Jackman (“The Son”) — quite a triumph for the 26 year old.

Snub: Danielle Deadwyler, “Till”

While her SAG nomination felt like a good indicator that the featured role of “Till” was being considered, her lack of a Best Actress category could likely be due to voters’ unanimous decision, despite all deliberation and opposition resist seeing a film about the Emmett Till tragedy Deadwyler and director Chinonye Chukwu made sure it was accessible to all.

Surprise: Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”

Welp, the viral campaign worked. Though her performance in the small indie has always been hailed, the pressure on social media to get her nomination amid the ongoing voting could be the new game for actors in little-seen works.

Snub: Paul Dano, “The Fabelmans”

In a reversal of the SAG nominations, Dano was eliminated from the Best Supporting Actor race, while his co-stars Michelle Williams and Judd Hirsch both made it. Unresponsive to his character’s opposition that his son would become a filmmaker, voters sided with the artists in Steven Spielberg’s fictionalized version of his family.

Surprise: Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway”

While it may come as a surprise for the Atlanta star to be nominated for his soulful performance in Apple TV+’s quiet gem Causeway, it might be even more surprising that this is his first Oscar nomination. The Academy shows the character actor well-deserved love after scene-stealing in films like ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and ‘Widows’.

snub and Surprise: No actors in “Women Talking”

Though most have now predicted that outcome, it’s still a bit of a shock that Sarah Polley’s drama about a group of Mennonite women who decide to flee or fight their male terrorists didn’t make the Best Supporting Actress category. However, the competition was stacked — and with so many amazing performances, the women of “Women Talking” may have canceled each other out.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2023/01/2023-oscars-snubs-surprises-academy-awards-1234803236/ Oscar nominations 2023 snubs and surprises

Lindsay Lowe

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