It’s Christmas morning for movie fans, Oscar nomination day! As always, there were a handful of surprises and a few snubs, and overall I did pretty good with my predictions. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” led the way with 11 nominations (an over-performance, even by its favorite-to-win standards), and “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “The Banshees of Inishiren” both earning nine nods. Several other films that weren’t Best Picture nominees earned multiple nominations, including “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (5), “Babylon,” and “The Batman” (3). Here are the nominees in the “big” categories, with some of my two cents.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
No major surprises here, with maybe “The Whale” being the only true “snub” after earning a PGA nomination last week. “Women Talking” held on to earn its place after delayed releases, limited box office play, and a muted turnout at other awards shows. “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” both rode their popularity to the big show, and then the “obvious” Academy choices like “Banshees,” “Tár,” and “Fablemans” all made it. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” remains the favorite, and the likes of “Triangle of Sadness” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” make it from the international arena.
Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”
Todd Field, “Tár”
Ruben Östlund, “Triangle of Sadness”
The Daniels are the third pair to earn a singular Director nomination, and Spielberg, McDonagh, and Field all get their expected nominations. The fifth slot was always going to be a toss-up, but it was expected to come down to James Cameron for “Avatar” or Edward Berger for “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Instead, Sweden’s Ruben Östlund got in for “Triangle of Sadness” (which, to my credit, was a last-minute prediction I made). It will likely go to the Daniels since “EEAAO” is looking at a “Titanic”-level sweep, but the Academy could also look to reward Spielberg for directing his semi-biographical “Fablemans.”
Austin Butler, “Elvis”
Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”
Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”
Bill Nighy, “Living”
Despite everyone here earning their first career nomination, there were no major surprises. I’m glad Paul Mescal got in for the indie “Aftersun” (if anyone was going to miss it was going to be him, though it would have been for someone random, albeit fun, like Tom Cruise or Adam Sandler). One has to assume Austin Butler is the current favorite for his titular role in “Elvis,” but Colin Farrell is a threat for “Banshees.” Great on Brendan Fraser to complete his comeback tour and get a well-deserved nomination for his emotional work in “The Whale.”
Cate Blanchett, “Tár”
Ana de Armas, “Blonde”
Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”
Michelle Williams, “The Fabelmans”
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
It will likely be Michelle Yeoh over Cate Blanchett, with voters both liking “Everything Everywhere” more than “Tár” and also Yeoh having the benefit of Blanchett already having two Oscars on her mantel so they want to share the love. Ana de Armas (a performance everyone liked in a movie everyone hated) beat out Viola Davis’ work in “The Woman King,” an upset I predicted (I’m not bragging, it’s just what happened!). The real shocker of the morning was Andrea Riseborough getting in for “To Leslie” after a very, very last minute push but the industry (it was only her fifth award nomination of the season), though I’m really sad Danielle Deadwyler, my top performance of the year for “Till,” missed out because of it; you can’t win them all.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
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”
Four of the five are first-time nominees, so that’s cool! My jaw hit the floor when Brian Tyree Henry’s name was announced (though it’s a well-deserved nomination, he was in my top 5 of 2022 for “Causeway”), and my last-second Judd Hirsch prediction paid off. Hirsh likely cancelled out his “Fabelmans” co-star Paul Dano, and both the “Banshees” boys made the cut as predicted. Not that any of this really matters, as Ke Huy Quan is on the warpath and will likely sweep the rest of the season for his comeback role in “Everything Everywhere.”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
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”
No major shocks here, as it was the five nominees from the SAG Awards, though just like Supporting Actor four of the five are first-time Academy Award nominees. Angela Bassett becomes the first MCU performance to earn a nomination (and she will likely win), and I’m glad Kerry Condon, the standout of “Banshees” for my money, didn’t become a surprise snub. Both the “EEAAO” girls made it (good on vet Jamie Lee Curtis and newcomer Stephanie Hsu), and I really liked Hong Chau in several things over the years, including “The Whale,” so happy to see her round out the five.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
“Top Gun: Maverick”
The only real wildcard of the group is “Top Gun: Maverick,” but this is such a weak category it makes sense that a popular film would slip in (I had originally predicted it would get named here, but bumped it last minute for “Pinocchio”). Rian Johnson gets nominated for his second “Knives Out” film (I’ll watch as many of those as they want to make), and “Living,” “All Quiet,” and “Woman Talking,” the assumed favorite, round it out.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Triangle of Sadness”
No shocks here. “EEAAO” should win, but if the Academy doesn’t want to reward Spielberg’s personal story with Director they could opt to do so here (and in the process give another veteran, Tony Kushner, his first career win). Something random like “The Menu” could have been fun here, but hard to argue against any of these five.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”
“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
“The Sea Beast”
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” will likely win (and I won’t complain), but “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” would be such a fun pick by the Academy, and “Turning Red” is a well-deserved nominee here, too.
BEST 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”)
“Everything Everywhere” turning up here shows just how much love and support there is for that film (it was the 14th-ranked song on award tracking site GoldDerby’s predictions). India’s hit “RRR” earned its lone nomination here for its Golden Globe-winning tune, and “Top Gun” and “Black Panther” give popstars Lady Gag and Rihanna excuses to appear at the show. Missing is “Ciao Papa” from “Pinocchio” and maybe Taylor Swift’s “Carolina” from the summer’s mini-sleeper hit “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
I’m still shook up over some of these nominations, but that’s what makes the Oscars so fun! I did pretty good with my predictions, and now the real fun begins! Be sure to check out films you may have missed, because you don’t want to be the only one at the watercooler who hasn’t seen every Best Picture nominee like some sort of nerd!
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