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The Student News Site of North Hollywood High School

The Arcade

The Student News Site of North Hollywood High School

The Arcade

A Year in Review: Celebrating the Oscar-Nominated Films of 2023

Credit%3A+The+Scotsman
Credit: The Scotsman

Every year, the Oscar nominations announcements hold unparalleled significance in defining the most important and highly-regarded films of the year to remember in cultural history. Streamed live Tuesday morning by Atlanta star, Zazie Beetz and The Boys star, Jack Quaid, the nominations appreciated the year’s most acclaimed films.

As expected, Oppenheimer led the ceremony with 13 nominations, the most for any film since The Shape of Water in 2018. Its success didn’t come as a surprise after it grossed nearly $1 billion internationally and received widespread critical acclaim since its July release date. Many view this year as Nolan’s moment to win his first Academy Award after 5 previous nominations over the director’s 25-year career. 

Poor Things nominees Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo.
Credit: The Seattle Times

The biopic is also expected to shine in other categories as well: Robert Downey, Jr. and first-time nominee Cillian Murphy’s performances in the film lead many fans eager to see them win, while praise for Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography and Ludwig Göransson’s score has stayed constant since the film’s release. 

Poor Things came in second place and earned 11 nominations, many of which directly competed with Oppenheimer in categories like Best Director for Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and Best Supporting Actor for 4-time nominee Mark Ruffalo. 

Its nod in Best Actress for previous winner Emma Stone also put it up against Lily Gladstone for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which came in third with 10 nominations. Scorsese received his 10th nomination for Best Director, the most for any living filmmaker, while veteran editor Thelma Schoonmaker broke the all-time record with her 9th nomination for Best Film Editing.

Barbenheimer earned a combined total of 21 nominations.
Credit: DiscussingFilm

Arguably the most noteworthy praise came for Barbie, which secured nominations in Best Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling, Best Supporting Actress for America Ferrera, and two nods in Best Original Song for “I’m Just Ken” and previous winner Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” 

Despite the box office giant’s 8 nominations, many fans were still disappointed at the film’s absence in Best Director for Greta Gerwig and Best Actress for Margot Robbie. The news sparked fierce debate online, prompting Gosling to release a statement lamenting the snubs.

Best Actress also saw nominations for Netflix biopics Nyad (for Annette Bening) and Maestro (for Carey Mulligan). The latter also scored nominations in Best Sound, Makeup & Hairstyling, and joint Screenplay and Actor nods for writer-director Bradley Cooper.

In Best Director, first-time nominees Justine Triet and Jonathan Glazer were appreciated for courtroom mystery Anatomy of a Fall and Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest, respectively. Both managed 5 nominations, with Anatomy of a Fall also scoring Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress for Sandra Hüller, and The Zone of Interest securing below-the-line nominations in Best Sound and Best International Film.

Christmas comedy The Holdovers also found success in Best Actor for Paul Giamatti and Best Supporting Actress for Da’Vine Joy Randolph, but many fans were left disappointed by its absence in Best Director for two-time winner Alexander Payne and Best Supporting Actor for newcomer Dominic Sessa.

Jeffrey Wright (right) and Sterling K. Brown (left) received nominations for their performances in American Fiction.
Credit: Chicago Sun-Times

While social satire American Fiction’s nomination in Best Actor for Jeffrey Wright was expected, the film’s appearances in Best Original Score and Best Supporting Actor for Sterling K. Brown surprised many.

Despite being nominated in Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for writer-director Celine Song, A24-distributed Past Lives missed a Best Actress nomination for Greta Lee, leaving many fans of the romantic drama disappointed. 

Netflix melodrama May December was appreciated in Best Original Screenplay, but missed Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Charles Melton and previous winner Julianne Moore, respectively.

Other snubs included wrestling drama The Iron Claw, erotic thriller Saltburn, British romance All of Us Strangers, and the Wes Anderson-directed Asteroid City.

Japanese blockbuster Godzilla Minus One received a nomination for Best Visual Effects.
Credit: Screen Daily

Still, despite the disappointments, the nominations set several records. Out of the 20 acting nominations, an all-time high of 6 were for LGBTQ characters, while half were for first-time nominees. 

And the Best Visual Effects nominations for action blockbusters Godzilla Minus One and Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One marked the first in both franchises’ history. In a now-viral video, the latter’s cast and crew reacted to the news with excitement from Japan-based studio Toho Co.

The wave of appreciation for many of the year’s most acclaimed films builds anticipation for the awards and leaves many scrambling to predict who will win. And while some opposed the snubs for their favorite films, the diversity of appreciation has left something for everybody to be excited about.

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Hi! I'm a senior at NHHS in the SAS program. I'm most interested in filmmaking and plan to pursue it in college, also have hobbies like listening to music, playing ping pong, and more.
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