Oscar Nominations Announced

By Terrance Turner

Jan. 24, 2023

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 24: A view of the Oscar display before the announcement of the 95th Academy Award nominations at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on January 24, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/WireImage,)

Nominations for the 95th Academy Awards were announced this morning. Actors Riz Ahmed and Alison Williams did the honors. The nominees comprise a mixture of little-seen critical favorites and major commercial successes. As usual, there are a number of surprises and snubs.

The sci-fi adventure Everything Everywhere All At Once leads with 11 nominations, including Best Picture. Tied with nine nominations apiece are the German anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front and a dark tragicomedy, The Banshees of Inisherin. All three films are contending for the top prize.

A partial list of nominees is below:

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)
Malte Grunert, Producer

Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)
James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

Elvis (Warner Bros)
Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, Producers

Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, Producers

The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)
Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers

Tár (Focus Features)
Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, Producers

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)
Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers

Triangle of Sadness (NEON)
Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers

Women Talking (United Artists Releasing/Orion Pictures)
Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, Producers

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Directing

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Todd Field, Tár

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Actor in a Supporting Role

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

Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett in Tár

Ana de Armas in Blonde

Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Overview

Everything Everywhere All at Once follows a Chinese-American immigrant named Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), whose family business is being audited by the IRS. According to the Los Angeles Times, Evelyn is “a woman drowning under the stress of her family’s failing laundromat, her ailing marriage to Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) and the elderly father (James Hong) who disapproves of her life choices.” But perhaps her biggest conflict is with her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu), who wants Evelyn to accept her biracial girlfriend Becky. But while at a meeting with an IRS agent, Evelyn discovers that she’s just one in a vast multiverse of Evelyns — and she’s the only one who can save it.

Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere”. Photo from Twitter.
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The Banshees of Inisherin is set in 1923, on a fictional island off the coast of Ireland, towards the end of the Irish Civil War. Lifelong friends Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) go from inseparable to incensed when Colm simply stops talking to Padraic. He demands to know why, but Colm resists, ordering him to stay away. Colm gives Padraic an ultimatum — with gruesome consequences.

Photo form Vanity Fair.

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All Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of an idealistic German soldier who signs up for the fight, only to be confronted into the horrors of trench warfare. It’s based on the 1929 novel by German author Erich Maria Remarque. That book has been adapted for film before. (The 1930 version won the Academy Award for Best Picture.) But this version distinguishes itself in a notable way: for the first time, a German-language team is behind the acting, writing, and directing.

Photo from The New York Times.
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Best Picture Race

These three films are competing with seven other nominated films. They include the two highest-grossing films of the year, Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick — both blockbuster sequels. Also included: “Elvis,” a musical biopic that scored with audiences last summer. Other contenders include Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans; Tár, a drama about an abusive conductor; Women Talking, a dramatic depiction of rape among the women of a Mennonite religious community; and Triangle of Sadness, a satire of the wealthy that unfolds partly on a mega-yacht.

Acting Contenders

Actor Austin Butler won a Golden Globe for playing the titular rock & roll legend in Elvis. He’s nominated for Best Actor. But so is actor Brendan Fraser, who — after a career sidelined by divorce, sexual assault, and health challenges — is being hailed for his portrayal of a morbidly obese man in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale.

Representation Matters

Actress Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian actress since the 1930s (!!!) to be nominated for Best Actress. “I think this is more than me,” she told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday after the nominations were announced. “At the present moment, constantly, all the time, having Asians walking up to me saying, ‘You can do it, you’re doing it for us.’” Speaking to the historic nature of her nomination for Asian actresses, she said: “We know of so many more amazing actresses than myself. So, this is for them. I stand on their shoulders. And I thank them for paving the way and allowing me to get here.”

Actor Ke Huy Quan, who plays Yeoh’s husband in Everything Everywhere, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. This marks a career resurgence for Quan, who broke through as a child actor in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and a memorable turn as Data in The Goonies (1985). But as he reached his 20s, he had trouble finding parts for Asian actors that weren’t stereotypical. So he quit acting after 1997’s Red Pirate and went to film school at USC. Twenty years later, inspired by the success of Crazy Rich Asians, he returned to acting. Now, he’s an Oscar nominee.

“For the longest time, all I wanted was just a job,” Quan told the Associated Press. “Just an opportunity to act, to show people what I can do. This movie, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once,’ has given me so much beyond anything I could have ever asked for […] There are so many people out there who doubt themselves, who have dreams they’ve given up or didn’t think would ever come true,” Quan said, his voice cracking. “To those people, I hope my story inspires them.”

Photo from the AP.
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Best Supporting Actress

Two of Quan’s co-stars are nominated in the same category. Stephanie Hsu, who plays Yeoh and Kwan’s daughter in the film, scored a nod for Best Supporting Actress. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis (who plays the IRS agent in Everywhere) joins her in that category. It’s the first Oscar nomination of her 40-year career.

Actress Angela Bassett is also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Ramonda in Wakanda Forever. Bassett makes history as the first actor ever to be nominated for a role in a Marvel film.

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Bassett reacted to the news today. “What has drawn me to each of the women I’ve portrayed throughout my career is their strength, conpassion, resilience and power. Wakanda Forever’s Queen Ramonda is a character that touched my spirit because she is a mother and a leader who must care for her grieving nation as much as she cares for her family in mourning. Ramonda is a love letter that reflects and acknowledges what we as women do everyday.”

This story will be updated.

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