Yesterday, the Academy of Oscars revealed its list of nominees for the 95th statuette race to be held on March 15 in Los Angeles. As choosing is giving up, there are – like every year – surprises and disappointments, missing people, but also real shortcomings. We recap.
The few joys
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The real (and excellent) surprise is the nomination of Paul Mescal in the Best Actor category for his first leading film role in Charlotte Wells’ magnificent debut, aftersun. Already nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Connell in the series Normal Peoplehis very first appearance on screen, the Irish actor is the real outsider of this ceremony, eclipsing Tom Cruise, who we imagined to be the favorite.
If France shines by its absence in these nominations, since the Academy did not retain the candidacy of Saint-Omer by Alice Diop for the Oscar for best foreign language film, Ireland dominates the 2023 Oscars. In addition to the nomination of Paul Mescal, The Quiet Girl by Colm Bairéad is the first-ever Irish and Gaelic-language film in the running for Best Foreign Language Film. We also note the presence ofAn Irish Goodbye in the Best Short Film category.
The Banshees of Inisherin, Irish-born director Martin McDonagh’s latest film, set on a small island off the coast of Ireland, garners nine nominations, including four for actors Colin Farrell, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan and Brendan Gleeson, all Irish.
The other real surprise of the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards is the overwhelming dominance of the independent studio A24, only ten years old, and which garnered 18 nominations for six films. While the blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick was announced as the big favorite, it’s their crazy comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, which leaves with the largest number of nominations, eleven in total.
The Whale, aftersun, Causeway, Close and Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, also distributed by A24, complete this impressive list of nominations. Whether Everything Everywhere, All at Once were to walk away with the Oscar for best picture, it would be the first award of this magnitude for the studio since the crowning of Moonlight in 2017. Opposite, the giant Netflix leaves with 16 nominations for eight films, a score at the level of 2019, but with much fewer nominations in the main categories.
The missing and especially the missing
In addition to these few encouraging news, others are conspicuous by their absence, Damien Chazelle in the lead. babylon, his insane Hollywood fresco of 3 h 08, very badly received by critics and the American public, receives only three technical nominations, Best decorations, Best original music and Best costumes. If Hollywood certainly did not appreciate the distorting mirror held up by Damien Chazelle, the Golden Globes were more generous than the Academy of Oscars with the film, offering him five nominations.
More surprising, James Cameron does not appear in the Best Director category either, nor does Jordan Peele, who nevertheless directed one of the most ambitious films of the year, Nope, a futuristic neo-western. His film does not appear in any category of these nominations while in 2018, get-outhis first film, garnered four nominations and won the statuette for best screenplay.
DC fans (and not only) have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the meager harvest of The Batman, by Matt Reeves. Nominated in three categories—Best Sound, Best Hair and Makeup, and Best Special Effects—compared to five for Black Panther 2it is its absence in the Best Cinematography category that surprises, even revolts, those who liked this new version of the adventures of the batman.
But the most damaging of these appointments remains the lack of parity. It’s 2023 and the Oscars, like the Caesars just after themhave once again decided to completely ignore the directors. After two years in a row where women have won the Oscar for best direction — Chloé Zhao in 2021 and Jane Campion in 2022 — they are totally absent from this category. Alone Women Talking by Sarah Polley is in the list of ten feature films competing for the Oscar for Best Picture.
We would however have liked to see the names of Gina Prince-Bythewood, Maria Schrader or Charlotte Wells, who directed what promises to be the most beautiful film of this year 2023.
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