A Look At The 2023 Oscars


Paolo Acob, Photographer

Celebrating a new year of inclusivity and diversity in the Academy.

Last year was especially memorable for film as we explored perfectionist artistry in TÁR, said our farewells to Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and celebrated the art of film in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. On the heels of an incredible year, 2023 has a lot to live up to at the 95th Academy Awards.

Since 2023 is the first full production year back into film post-pandemic filmmakers are once again at liberty to share their abundance of stories with us following the lift of restrictions and mandates.

Starting the year off with some heavy-hitters, such as The Batman, Turning Red, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Northman, and X, cinema looked promising for the upcoming award season. It was not until films like Nope, X, and Pearl were all excluded from nomination season due to them being categorized into the horror genre, which historically has been ignored in previous oscars.

In an interview with Variety, author Zack Sharf speaks on Mia Goth from both X and Pearl expressing her frustration with the Academy: “I think it’s very political,” Goth commented on  her Oscar snub for Pearl. Goth also stated that, “A shift should take place if they wanted to engage with the wider public. I think it would be of benefit, really, [to nominate horror movies].” As films like Nope, Black Phone, and Pearl continue to break barriers in the horror genre, the Academy appears to remain clouded in their prejudice. 

Despite the exclusion of horror, the genre seems to be improving in quality as filmmakers such as Jordan Peele and Ari Aster continue to break boundaries.

Progress isn’t restricted to purely horror flicks however, as  visual effects, sound, writing, production design, editing, and costume design elements industry-wide harbor many talented nominees. Arthouse films like Babylon, Elvis, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Triangle of Sadness illustrate the very best that cinematography currently has to offer. 

Not to be outdone, exceptional blockbusters such as Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Avatar: The Way Of The Water have also been nominated in some of the same categories as Arthouse, ushering in  a new era of cinema as the two styles of film begin to match in quality.

Underdogs occasionally get an opportunity to bask in the spotlight,when it comes to the writing categories for adapted and original screenplay. Surprisingly, Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out: Glass Onion” received only one nomination for the adapted screenplay category.

The original screenplay category enlists some of the most obvious nominations, making the competition for the award even more dramatic, as Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Fabelmans, TÁR, and Triangle of Sadness are all in consideration.

Even the category for Best Animated Feature Film appears to be a close race with competition that includes Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, The Sea Beast, and Turning Red

As many speculate which film will take home Best Picture, the 2023 Academy Awards released their ten nominations for the award, making the fight for the ultimate achievement in film even more entertaining. Including all the nominees for Best Original Screenplay, the Best Picture nominations also include; All Quiet On The Western Front, Avatar: the Way of Water, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick, and Women Talking

The Daniels may experience their first oscar win this season as Everything Everywhere All At Once took home several golden globe awards this January, making their run for Best Directing look even more impressive.

Joining the two directors in this category are Steven Spielberg, Todd Field, Ruben Ostlund, and Martin McDonagh. Oddly enough, the likes of Ryan Coogler for Black Panther, Damien Chazelle for Babylon, and James Cameron for Avatar were not included in this list, despite their magnificent theatrical work in 2022.

The entertainment continues as Best Actor and Actress in a leading role include Austin Butler for Elvis, Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brenden Fraser for The Whale, Paul Mescal for Aftersun, and Bill Nighy for Living among  the list for Best Actor. 

Best Actress nominations include; Cate Blanchett for TÁR, Ana De Armas for Blonde, Andrea Riseborough for To Leslie, Michelle Williams for The Fabelmans, and lastly Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Even Actor and Actress in a supporting role have promising nominations. For best actor in a supporting role, they include Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brian Tyree Henry for Causeway, Judd Hirsch for The Fabelmans, and Ke Huy Quan for Everything Everywhere All At Once

Angela Bassett for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Hong Chu for The Whale, Kerry Condon for The Banshees of Inisherin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu for Everything Everywhere All At Once are the nominees for Best Actress in a supporting role.

While many of these categories seem to have an easily identifiable winner considering the recent golden globe wins from Brenden Fraser, Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, and Angela Bassett, we will have to wait and see until the Academy Awards airs March 12, honoring the stellar lineup of films throughout this past year. .