Oscar Nominations 2023: The Good, the Bad, and the Predictable

Oscar Nominations 2023: The Good, the Bad, and the Predictable
Photo by VENUS MAJOR / Unsplash

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The 96th Annual Academy Awards, known as the Oscars, have announced their nominations, and the 2023 lineup has sparked a wave of reactions. This year, the conversation is not just about who made the list, but notably about who didn’t – a discourse that extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community.

A Queer Year in Cinema, Underrepresented at the Oscars

2023 saw a surge of queer representation in film. Yet, despite significant roles and storylines, many outstanding queer films, actors, and creators have been surprisingly omitted from the Oscar nominations. This oversight is felt more acutely in light of the Academy’s new inclusion standards, which require a film to meet at least two out of four representation and inclusion benchmarks for a nomination.

Notable Snubs and Predictable Omissions

The most talked-about snub this year is Greta Gerwig's absence from the Best Director category for her groundbreaking work in “Barbie.” Despite the film's critical and commercial success, and eight nominations including Best Picture, Gerwig’s direction was conspicuously overlooked. This omission stands out in a male-dominated nominee list and speaks volumes about the industry's attitude toward women disrupting the status quo.

Strong Showings Amidst the Snubs

On a brighter note, “Barbie” still made a significant impact with eight nominations, including acting nods for Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera. Big titles like “Oppenheimer,” “Poor Things,” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” lead the nominations, showcasing a diverse range of storytelling.

Queer Narratives in the Spotlight

The inclusion of queer narratives in films like “Maestro” and “American Fiction” in the Best Picture category is a positive stride. The Best Actor category celebrates openly gay actor Colman Domingo for “Rustin” and Bradley Cooper for portraying the bisexual Bernstein in “Maestro.” However, notable absences, such as Andrew Scott for “All of Us Strangers,” highlight the ongoing challenges in recognizing queer talent.

Leading Actresses Break New Ground

The Best Leading Actress category sees groundbreaking nominations with Annette Benning in “Nyad” and Lily Gladstone in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the latter making history as the first Indigenous American nominated in this category. Emma Stone’s performance in “Poor Things” is a strong contender, though the race remains unpredictable.

Supporting Roles That Shine

Jodie Foster and Danielle Brooks earn nominations for their powerful performances in “Nyad” and the queer-inclusive musical “The Color Purple.” These nominations signify the Academy's acknowledgement of queer themes and narratives in supporting roles.

The Men Behind the Scenes

The Supporting Actor category sees Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Gosling recognized for their roles in “American Fiction” and “Barbie,” respectively. This category also hints at potential upsets, with strong performances from actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo.

Overlooked Films and Performances

While celebrating the nominations, it's impossible to ignore the films and performances that were unexpectedly overlooked. High-profile movies like “All of Us Strangers” and “Saltburn” missed out on nominations, despite critical acclaim and success at other award ceremonies.

Queer Milestones and Historical Significance

The nominations represent significant progress for the queer community, with the potential for Colman Domingo and Jodie Foster to make history. The achievements of Indigenous actors and the recognition of queer storylines in Best Picture nominees mark a step forward in diverse storytelling.

Legendary Filmmakers and Historical Records

Martin Scorsese's nomination for “Killers of the Flower Moon” places him as the living filmmaker with the most Oscar nominations, a testament to his enduring impact on cinema.

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Oscar nominations paint a picture of progress mixed with traditionalism. While there are strides in representation and inclusion, the notable snubs and omissions reflect the industry's ongoing challenges. The final awards ceremony will not only celebrate cinematic achievements but also highlight the evolving landscape of Hollywood and its relationship with diverse storytelling.