Well, it’s that time again. The 2023 Oscar nominations are out, and for the next few weeks, people will either debate on who they think should win or get accustomed to films/performances to understand the field better. Within the field of nominees, there were some pleasant surprises. It was great to see Everything Everywhere All At Once lead the entire field with 11 nominations. The extensive campaign for To Leslie helped Andrea Riseborough to a Best Actress nomination. Brian David Tyree getting some recognition for Causeway was certainly great to see. However, as with every year, there were some glaring omissions that the Academy may have glossed over.
Here are some that I can think of:
No love for The Woman King: How does this happen? No Viola Davis for Best Actress. No Latasha Lynch for Best Supporting Actress. No Gina Prince-Bythewood for Best Director. I would have thought this year would be the year that a Black woman would have finally been nominated for this category, given how terrific this film is. The Academy had other plans and took a step back by not celebrating this film.
Danielle Deadwyler gets iced out of the Best Actress category: Another baffling non-pick. Deadwyler’s performance in Till is one of the best of 2022. She carries that role with every ounce of fiber in her body. Yet, it’s still not enough, and another masterful performance from a Black actress falls by the wayside. What do Black actors, actresses, and directors have to do for this awards ceremony to acknowledge them?
No Saint Omer or Decision To Leave in the Best International Feature Film category: I will echo my points above concerning Alice Diop and Saint Omer. Leaving Decision To Leave out of this category is a headscratcher. Not only this, but Tang Wei for Best Actress and Park Chan-wook for Best Director.
Dolly De Leon for Triangle of Sadness: One of the best parts of the eat-the-rich satire was De Leon’s portrayal of Abigail – especially in the third act. Given that the film scored some major nominations in the Best Picture and Director categories
No female directors at all: When I saw Women Talking in the best picture category, I for sure thought that this would mean this would be paired with Sarah Polley getting a Best Director nod. That was not the case, nor with the entire category. The Best Director field is an all-boys club. In 2022, you had outstanding contributions from Charlotte Wells with Aftersun, Polley, Alice Diop, and Prince-Bythewood, but no dice.
Tom Cruise?: Going into this season, there was so much buzz around if Tom Cruise was going to get a Best Actor nomination upon returning to be Maverick, and the Academy said no. It would have been cool to see, even though it’s a tough field.
The Academy drops the ball on horror again: There was a supreme lack of Nope in the major categories – especially in sound design. Also, no Mia Goth for Pearl. At this point, I never expect the Academy to warn up to the horror genre. We went through this will Hereditary and Us, and we’ll be back here again unless there’s a significant tonal shift.