OPINION: The Oscar Nominations: Who may win, who may lose and who was snubbed

Graphic by Sasha White

The Oscars are arguably one of (if not the) biggest film award shows of the year. The Oscars, which focuses on all things film, are run by what’s known as “The Academy,” an organization of filmmakers around the world. 

The Academy comes together every year to compile a list of nominations for their award show, The Oscars, which first premiered in 1929. The nominations, which many film fans eagerly await, were released on Jan. 24. For the complete list of nominations, please visit the bottom of this page.

In the past, and to this day, The Academy has been under scrutiny for snubbing some iconic films, such as “The Shining” in 1980, even though it’s a revered horror film and one of director Stanley Kubrick’s best works.

Films released in 2022 aren’t safe from snubs either, and The Academy has plenty of them. But first, let’s dive into the categories.

There are 24 categories for The Oscar awards, including what’s known as the “top five” which are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

If you’re new to the world of Academy Awards, one thing to note is that The Academy picks favorites like nobody’s business. They usually choose their five favorite films and scatter them into every category possible.

This can especially be seen this year, with “Everything Everywhere All At Once” sweeping with 11 nominations, including four out of five of the top-five categories. 

This time around, The Academy’s favorite films included “The Banshees of Inisherin” with nine nominations, “All Quiet on the Western Front” with nine nominations, “The Fabelmans” with seven nominations and “Elvis” with eight nominations.

One category with a promising lineup is Best Animated Feature Film. Nominees include “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Turning Red,” “The Sea Beast,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” 

My predictions on the winner are tied between “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” and “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” both of which were thoroughly enjoyed by both critics and audiences and have received a number of nominations, as well as wins at other award shows during 2022 and 2023.

As for Best Picture, I am hoping either “Avatar: The Way of Water” or “Elvis” will bring home the Oscar, but I have a strong suspicion that “Everything Everywhere All At Once” will be named the winner. Despite my distaste for the chaotic and bizarre film, it has done exceptionally well amongst critics, audiences, the box office and in award shows, winning 86 awards in total according to Rotten Tomatoes. 

[Collage of 2023 Oscar nominees, including acclaimed films like “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”]
Graphic by Sasha White

The winners for Best Actor and Best Actress seem like an obvious answer. Austin Butler’s performance in “Elvis” stunned all those who watched, and he has already brought home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture as well as a People’s Choice Award and an AACTA. 

Michelle Yeoh is a shoe-in for Best Actress for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” which was undeniably amazing. Like Butler, she took home a 2023 Golden Globe for her performance. 

My prediction for Best Director would have been James Cameron for his film “Avatar: The Way of Water” which went crazy in the box office, surpassing $2 billion and still climbing, but unfortunately, he did not receive a nomination, despite the film’s success. To take his place, I predict Steven Spielberg will win the award for Best Director for his film “The Fabelmans,” just like he did at the 2023 Golden Globes earlier this year. 

Best Screenplay is the last of the top five categories, and the lineup has as little diversity as the others. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was tossed into the mix, but I think it’s in over its head with its competition. However, one film stands out a little above the rest, and that’s “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

“The Banshees of Inisherin” is an Irish film starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who’s famous for his role as Mad Eye Moody in the Harry Potter franchise. The film is a dark, slow burn, but it’s an exceptional story that borders between comedy and tragedy. Upon first watching the trailer, I thought the film would be boring and dull, but once I dived into the film I was met with stunning landscapes, a humorous script and great acting. 

“The Banshees of Inisherin” also won Best Screenplay at the 2023 Golden Globes.

Many fans of these films, including myself, are happy with the artistry being recognized, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t upset that our favorites got snubbed.

One film I was hoping to see get a nod was Luca Guadagnino’s film “Bones and All,” which had outstanding performances from both Timothée Chalamet and Mark Rylance. Guadagnino and Chalamet’s last collaboration, “Call Me By Your Name,” was nominated for four Oscars in 2018, and took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, so it was surprising to see they didn’t receive a nomination in any category.

Other surprising snubs were Taylor Swift’s song, “Carolina,” which was not nominated for Best Original Song. Her song was written and performed for the 2022 film, “Where The Crawdads Sing” and secured a Golden Globe nomination, but failed to bring home the award. 

Eddie Redmayne, famous for his roles in “The Theory of Everything,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and recently the Netflix original, “The Good Nurse.” Unfortunately, The Academy didn’t think his performance in “The Good Nurse” was worth a nomination, despite it receiving a nod at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. 

Unfortunately, this lineup of films isn’t enough to wow or excite me for the Oscars. The lack of range in the nominations is just disappointing and seems more like a chance for The Academy to play favorites than to really appreciate films.

According to IMDB, almost 14,000 feature films were released in 2022, and it’s hard to understand how The Academy only thought 39 feature films were worthy of nominations, and similarly felt that they were phenomenal enough to receive over 10 nominations. 

2023 seems to be a stacked year for movies, with “Missing,” “A Knock at the Cabin,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” “Oppenheimer” and “Wonka” releasing. It’s my hope that The Academy will attempt to broaden its nominees, instead of sticking to the same 10 movies and actors for every category.

The Oscar ceremony will take place on March 12. at 6:00 p.m MT on the ABC channel.

The complete list of nominees can be found here.

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