The biggest snubs, surprises, and reactions from the 2023 Oscar nominations

Sorry James Cameron, you won’t be the king of the world this time
January 23, 2023 5:16 p.m. EST
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The time is finally upon us -- it's Oscar nomination day! With the first few awards shows of the year under our belts, the stage is set for Oscar nominations -- who will be honoured with the shot at a golden statue? 

This morning the Academy Awards announced the list of nominees for the 2023 Oscars, with Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams reading out the names of all those who have the hope of taking home the gilded trophy on March 12.


Unsurprisingly for anyone who ventured into a cinema this past year, films like The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, and All Quiet on the Western Front lead the nominations leaderboard. Everything Everywhere… led with 11, while The Banshees of Inisherin and All Quiet… followed up with nine.  


Of course, some names were definitely expected. We’re pretty sure there would have been riots on the streets had Michelle Yeoh not picked up the Best Actress nod for Everything, Everywhere…, or had Brendan Fraser been snubbed from his devastatingly beautiful The Whale performance.


Some Best Picture nominees were also well-deserved but not entirely unexpected, like Avatar: The Way of Water or Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. However, shrieks of delight were heard all across Hollywood when certain names, totally unexpected, received nominations; meanwhile, other shrieks were ones of disappointment as many got the snub.


Women Talking is nominated for Best Picture

Talk about a joyful surprise! Canadian Sarah Polley, whom many of us still think of as Sarah Stanley from Road to Avonlea, directed this haunting tale of Mennonite women discussing the abusive men in their village. Women Talking is up against some huge Best Picture names, like Top Gun: Maverick, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, and of course, top bets like The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once and All Quiet on the Western Front. So if Polley can bring this Oscar home, it will be a huge upset.



James Cameron did not get a Best Director nomination

The famed Canadian director was once “king of the world” when he won Best Director Oscars for Titanic and for 2009’s Avatar. His Avatar sequel The Way Of Water has definitely pushed the boundaries of cinema and imagination,  but it looks like the Academy just wasn’t feeling it. He still might get up on stage, seeing as how Avatar is nominated for Best Picture and a whole host of other noms.



Basically all of Ireland was nominated



We’ve never seen so many Irish nominees in one year! Irish film The Quiet Girl got a Best International Feature Film nomination, and The Irish Goodbye got a nod for Best Live Action Short Film. The Banshees of Inisherin, of course, is providing the most nominees, with the entire cast receiving nominations: Colin Farrell got a Best Actor nod, Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan got Best Supporting Actor nods, Kerry Condon got a Best Supporting Actress nod, and director Martin McDonagh got a Best Director nod, not to mention the film nominated for Best Picture.


But that film isn’t the only Irish talent holding down the fort….


Paul Mescal is nominated for Best Actor

Irish homme du jour Paul Mescal, who wowed audiences back in 2020 with his subtle and utterly devastating performance in the Normal People miniseries, is now nominated for Best Actor at the young age of 26 for his role in After Sun! To put that into context, he’s younger than Timothee Chalamet. Let that sink in!



Viola Davis was snubbed for the Best Actress nom

Viola Davis wowed audiences in The Woman King, and it’s not as if the film was a box office dud! It grossed nearly $100 million at the U.S. box office, and the American Film Institute also named it one of the year’s 10 best movies. Viola has been called the new Meryl Streep so this snub cuts deep.



Tom Cruise was snubbed for Best Actor

You may not think of Tom Cruise as an Oscar-y actor, but he has, in fact, been nominated before for his heartbreaking roles in Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July, and Magnolia. He’s never won and considering that Top Gun: Maverick is nominated for Best Picture, many assumed he would be a contender this year. But alas, he won’t be jumping on any couches this year.



Asian representation is in full force

The Oscars have a reputation for ignoring people of colour, and #OscarsSoWhite has been a big controversy over the years. But a quick look at the list of nominees reveals that Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a huge showing this year. The entire cast of Everything Everywhere… has been nominated in various categories; like Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jennifer Hsu all received noms, while The Whale’s Hong Chau also got a Best Actress nomination for her powerhouse performance alongside Brendan Fraser. 


There is also a great Asian Canadian story that received an Oscar nom….Turning Red, the Pixar animated film set in Toronto’s Chinatown and voiced by Sandra Oh, is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.



Canadians have once again made a splash

Apart from the aforementioned Turning Red, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, and Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, there were other Canadian showings in the noms! Canadian director Daniel Roher’s documentary Navalny received a Documentary nod. Alongside Navalny was the documentary Fire of Love, which is a Canadian co-production. In the Animated Short Film category is The Flying Sailor, which is a Canadian production. Alongside Turning Red in the Animated Feature Film is The Sea Beast, directed by Canadian Chris Williams. Once again, this will be a year to whip out the maple leaf flags and cheer!



The 95th Academy Awards will air on March 12, 2023. The full list of nominations are below:


Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking


Best Director

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Todd Field, TÁR

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness


Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, TÁR

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once


Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once


Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once


Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell, All Quiet on the Western Front

Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Kazuo Ishiguro, Living

Screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks, Top Gun: Maverick

Sarah Polley, Women Talking


Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, The Fabelmans

Todd Field, TÁR

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness


Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red


Best International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina, 1985



The Quiet Girl


Best Documentary Feature

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Fire of Love

A House Made of Splinters



Best Film Editing

Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, The Banshees of Inisherin

Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond, Elvis

Paul Rogers, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Monika Willi, TÁR

Eddie Hamilton, Top Gun: Maverick


Best Cinematography

James Friend, All Quiet on the Western Front

Darius Khondji, Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Mandy Walker, Elvis

Roger Deakins, Empire of Light

Florian Hoffmeister, TÁR


Best Costume Design

Mary Zophres, Babylon

Ruth E. Carter, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Catherine Martin, Elvis

Shirley Kurata, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Jenny Beavan, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová, All Quiet on the Western Front

Naomi Donne, Mike Marino, and Mike Fontaine, The Batman

Camille Friend and Joel Harlow, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, and Aldo Signoretti, Elvis

Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Anne Marie Bradley, The Whale


Best Production Design

Christian M. Goldbeck and Ernestine Hipper, All Quiet on the Western Front

Dylan Cole, Ben Procter, and Vanessa Cole, Avatar: The Way of Water

Florencia Martin and Anthony Carlino, Babylon

Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, and Bev Dunn, Elvis

Rick Carter and Karen O'Hara, The Fabelmans


Best Music (Original Song)

"Applause" from Tell It Like a Woman, music and lyrics by Dianne Warren

"Hold My Hand" from Top Gun: Maverick, music and lyrics by Lady Gaga and BloodPop

"Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, music and lyrics by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Goransson

"Naatu Naatu" from RRR, music by M.M. Keeravaani, lyrics by Chandrabose

"This Is a Life" from Everything Everywhere All at Once, music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski, lyrics by Ryan Lott


Best Music (Original Score)

Volker Bertelmann, All Quiet on the Western Front

Justin Hurwitz, Babylon

Carter Burwell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Son Lux, Everything Everywhere All at Once

John Williams, The Fabelmans


Best Sound

Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, and Stefan Korte, All Quiet on the Western Front

Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, and Michael Hedges, Avatar: The Way of Water

Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray, and Andy Nelson, The Batman

David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, and Michael Keller, Elvis

Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, and Mark Taylor, Top Gun: Maverick


Best Visual Effects

Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank, and Kamil Jafar, All Quiet on the Western Front

Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett, Avatar: The Way of Water

Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands, and Dominic Tuohy, The Batman

Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White, and Dan Sudick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson, and Scott R. Fisher, Top Gun: Maverick


Best Animated Short Film

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse

The Flying Sailor

Ice Merchants

My Year of Dicks

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake, and I Think I Believe It


Best Live Action Short Film

An Irish Goodbye


Le Pupille

Night Ride

The Red Suitcase


Best Documentary Short

The Elephant Whisperers


How Do You Measure a Year?

The Martha Mitchell Effect

Stranger at the Gate


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