This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 95th Academy Awards (2023 Oscars). Now that the dust has settled and the nominations have concluded, the campaigning has only just begun for this group of nominees. With the ceremony in March, many of the nominated films will make final pushes to sway voters in their respective categories.
Who will win the coveted prize of Best Picture? With movies from industry giants like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg to genre-bending adventures likeEverything Everywhere All at Once, Best Picture features an excellent batch of films from a diverse group of filmmakers. Listed below are the Best Picture nominees with information on where to watch each of the films.
GenreWar, Drama, Action
StarsFelix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer
Directed byEdward Berger
The horrors of World War I comes to life in Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Told from the perspective of the Germans, a young soldier named Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) and his friends enlist in the German army in 1917, three years into WWI. Their patriotism and excitement quickly disappear when the boys experience trench warfare firsthand.
The film is based on Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel of the same name. This is the second feature film adaptation of the novel. The 1930 film adaptation was critically acclaimed and won Outstanding Production, which was renamed to Best Picture years later, at the Oscars. All Quiet on the Western Frontreceived 9 Oscar nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay for director Edward Berger.
GenreScience Fiction, Adventure, Action
StarsSam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver
Directed byJames Cameron
After a 13-year wait, audiences returned to Pandora for Avatar: The Way of the Water. Set more than a decade after the events of Avatar, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is now fully Na’vi as the chief of the Omatikaya clan. Jake and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) have three biological children, one adopted daughter, and a human teenager who they look after.
The RDA has once again returned to Pandora to colonize the planet. To make matters worse, Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) was revived as a recombinant and sets out to kill Jake and his family. James Cameron’s sequel is more visually impressive and emotionally gripping than the first film. Cameron’s sequel epic sequel garnered 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Visual Effects. As of January 24, Avatar: The Way of Water is only in theaters.
StarsColin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon
Directed byMartin McDonagh
What happens when a man wakes up one day and decided to end a lifelong friendship? This premise plays out with hilarious, sad, and shocking results in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin.On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) decides to cut off his friendship with Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell). Colm believes Pádraic is “dull” and wants to spend the rest of his life composing music instead.
Offended and hurt, Pádraic tries to win Colm back with the help of his sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon), and a local boy, Dominic Kearney (Barry Keoghan). Angered by Pádraic’s persistence, Colm presents Pádraic with an ultimatum that leads to devastating (and bloody) consequences. Bansheesis one of the best-acted films of the year thanks to strong performances from the four leads, who all individually received Academy Award nominations. In total,Bansheesreceived 9 Oscar nominations, with McDonagh breaking into the directing and original screenplay categories.
GenreMusic, Drama, History
StarsAustin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge
Directed byBaz Luhrmann
The “King of Rock and Roll” received the biopic treatment in Elvis. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Austin Butler stars as Elvis Presley, an up-and-coming singer who rose to superstardom thanks to his deep voice, sexual appeal, and unorthodox dance moves. The film is told through the eyes of Elvis’s longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), the former carnival peddler who helped turn Elvis into the biggest solo act in America.
The enthralling concert scenes are fascinating, especially the If I Can Dreamperformance. Butler’s transformation as Elvis is seamless, and his performance garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Additionally, Elvis collected 8 Oscar nominations, including Best Costume and Production Design.
GenreAction, Adventure, Science Fiction
StarsMichelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu
Directed byDaniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
The most unique film of the Best Picture nominees is Everything Everywhere All at Once. Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Quan Wang, the owner of a family-run laundromat. An overworked Evelyn struggles to find joy in her marriage to Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) and clashes with her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) over her non-Chinese girlfriend. To add insult to injury, the laundromat is being audited by the IRS.
During a meeting with the IRS, an interdimensional rupture thrusts Evelyn into the spotlight as she must fight to save the multiverse.EEAAOperfectly balances intense action sequences with a heartwarming message about love and family. Everything Everywhere All at Onceled the field with 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Yeoh and Best Director for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
StarsGabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Whenever Steven Spielberg makes a movie, it’s appointment viewing. The legendary director got very personal with his latest film, The Fabelmans. Loosely based on Spielberg’s own life,The Fabelmansfollows Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), a teenage boy who dreams of becoming a filmmaker after watchingThe Greatest Show on Earth. Sammy is encouraged by his mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams) to make films, while his father Burt (Paul Dano) takes a more practical approach to his son’s life.
As Sammy’s family life becomes more dysfunctional, he uses films to explain and accept the reality of his situation.The Fabelmans garnered 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spielberg, who will be looking to win his third award (after Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan) in the category.
StarsCate Blanchett, Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant
Directed byTodd Field
For his first directed feature film since 2006, Todd Field chronicled the saga of the fictional composer and conductor Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) in Tár.The first female chief conductor of theBerlin Philharmonic will soon record a symphony that will take her career to new heights.
To put it in 2022 terms, “cancel culture” comes after Lydia as she scrambles to save her reputation. Tármade many critics’ “best of” lists in 2022, and Blanchett winning Best Actress is a lock at this point. In total, Tárcollected 6 Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Blanchett and Best Director for Field.
StarsTom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly
Directed byJoseph Kosinski
Tom Cruise became a full-blown star as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in 1986’sTop Gun. 26 years later, Cruise put on his naval jacket, hopped on his Kawasaki, and returned to Miramar for Top Gun: Maverick. In the sequel, Maverick is on the brink of being discharged as a test pilot before his friend, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), steps in and offers him a chance to save his job.
Iceman sends Maverick to San Diego to train a recent class of Top Gun graduates in a top-secret mission with potentially catastrophic consequences. Maverick is surprised to learn that the son of his late partner Goose (Anthony Edwards), Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), is one of the graduates, and the two butt heads immediately.Maverickwas a huge hit at the box office, becoming the second-highest-grossing film of 2022. The film received 6 Oscar nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay.
StarsHarris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Zlatko Burić
Directed byRuben Östlund
Ruben Östlund is a master of satire with hits likeForce MajeureandThe Square.Östlund now enters the Best Picture race with Triangle of Sadness, a black satirical comedy about social hierarchy. A celebrity couple (Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean) are invited on a rich, luxurious cruise with a group of wealthy elites.
The cruise ends in catastrophe as the vessel sinks, stranding the survivors on a deserted island. The ensemble also features performances by Dolly de Leon, Zlatko Burić, Amanda Walker, and Woody Harrelson. Triangle of Sadnessgarnered 3 Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Östlund.
StarsRooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley
Directed bySarah Polley
Based on the 2018 novel of the same name and inspired by true events, Women Talkingdepicts the tragic storyof how innocent women are being assaulted in their sleep and against their will by the men in their isolated religious colony. A select group of women within the community meet at night to discuss how to react and what to do about what has happened.
The ensemble cast includes a strong group of actresses, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Jessie Buckley, and Frances McDormand. Women Talkingreceived 2 Oscar nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay for Sarah Polley. As of January 24, Women Talkingis only in theaters.
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