This year’s Oscar nominations were announced on January 24, and as ever, surprises abound. Curiously for some, it isn’t so many of the exclusions that shock, but the inclusions. Here’s the list. Brief thoughts follow.

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


It is a common trap to go on about the movies, performances, and crew that were left off the nominations. This is found in nearly every awards program and, frankly, what gets left off ends up being so strictly because there are only so many slots and someone has to go. It’s often not a qualitative slight.

More interesting are the movies that got the nod, and again it isn’t necessarily about quality. I personally think that both Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick are well-made entertainments. Do I think either is absolutely worthy of the ranking? Not really, but both films brought a reticent audience back to theaters, and in a big way. In a year where exhibitors were on the verge of collapse and bankruptcy, it may not be hyperbolic to believe these two movies saved Hollywood.

The Best Picture category is, with this in mind, fairly solid and mostly expected. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis made a lot of money, too, but unlike the two previously mentioned entries, this one is divisive. I side with the commentators who wish Luhrmann would go sit in a corner with a fidget spinner and chill out for a few decades. Elvis is – one imagines – like being terrorized in the midst of an amphetamine high. Consciously gaudy and over the top, it features Austin Butler, a nominee for Best Actor, and I’m on the fence about this. He was okay, but I can’t say this was awards-worthy. At the same time, co-star Tom Hanks was baffling, cartoonish, and not nominated for his Col. Tom Parker. This could be one of the worst performances of the year, and how all of these coexist in the minds of the Academy voters is perplexing.

Another nominee I’m struggling with is Ana DeArmas for Blonde, a biopic about the cruel horrors beset upon Marilyn Monroe in the violent Hollywood of the so-called Golden Age. While DeArmas does surprising justice to the memory of Norma Jean, the purpose of the film itself is nauseating. Meant to be shocking, it chronicles Monroe’s exploitation, purportedly being critical of it. At the same time, the film is highly exploitative, all at once preaching how bad this was and getting off on it. Worse than any horror movie of 2022, Blonde was the most dehumanizing.

While The Fabelmans wasn’t a terrible film by any stretch, I feel like it is here in the Best Director slot because it is a Steven Spielberg film, essentially telling the life story of Spielberg, and crowning the glory of Hollywood in the guise of a domestic drama. This one feels like it was going to be there no matter what anyone wanted or said, so suck it up, Big Chungus.

The most conflict I feel at this moment resides in two categories: Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. I want Brendan Fraser to win for The Whale, but that’s more for Fraser and not the film. If it was on quality alone, I’d put my weight behind Bill Nighy in Living, an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s classic, Ikiru, a story of a man who has just been told he is dying. Nighy conveyed so much more with the role than what Fraser’s character – under that same deathwatch – did, although Fraser did an excellent job. Sadly for Nighy, I think Fraser’s position as Comeback Kid #1 will see the win.

I’m even more conflicted about Comeback Kid #2, Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once. He deserves to win, not just for the warm fuzzies of his Lazarus-like return to movies and burying the shadows of Data and Short Round, but because he was so damn good in the twisting tale set forth by The Daniels, the directing team behind this. A multiverse story, Quan and everyone in the cast had to play their singular roles and a multitude of versions of those roles, and he handled all of these to great effect.

But it means that Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, both from the pitch black comedy The Banshees of Inishirin, have to lose and that’s a bitter pill. Both do a stellar job, with Keoghan’s role being especially tragic, and if it was a game of favorites versus a numbers game, all three of these actors would land in a three-way tie. They won’t. I expect Quan to win, and I won’t be terribly disappointed about that. 

I want Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis to both win for Everything Everywhere All At Once. I think Cate Blanchett will win for TAR, but given the criticism leveled at the film for its negative portrayal, and allegation by famed conductor Marin Alsop that much of her biography has been grafted into the film without consent and with an unwarranted, dim view of that character, I’m not looking forward to this conclusion. Blanchett is probably a lock. This sucks because I really want to see Yeoh and Curtis potentially mix it up in aftershow celebrations.

The 95th Academy Awards will be held March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and televised live on ABC.

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Dw. Dunphy

Dw. Dunphy is a writer, artist, and musician. For Popdose he has contributed many articles that can be found in the site's archives. He also writes for New Jersey Stage,, Ultimate Classic Rock, and Diffuser FM. His music can be found at

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