Oscars Nominations 2023: Which are favorites and which have caused controversy?


Graphic created by Jimena Grajera

Some of the movies with multiple nominations include (from left to right) “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Avatar: The way of Water” and “Wakanda Forever.”

by Jimena Grajera, Reporter

The Oscars Academy awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood this upcoming March 12. The event will once again be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, and people cannot wait to hear the winners of what is arguably the most important film awards in the world. 

Every year, there are many crowd-selected favorites to win and often controversies arise between the nominees. Winners are chosen from 24 different categories that go from best production design to best makeup and hairstyle. 

The popular categories are: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted or Original Screenplay.

For Best Picture, there are 10 movies nominated, but the media predicts that the winner for this category will be the blockbuster movie “Everything Everywhere all at once”. This film grossed over $106 million globally and earned 11 nominations for the Academy Awards, more than any other movie this year.

“Everything Everywhere all at once” is also a favorite to win the Best Director award (nomination for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), the Best Actress award (Michelle Yeoh) and the Best Supporting Actor Award (Ke Huy Quan).

In the Best Actor category, the media agrees that the favorite to win is Brendan Fraser for his role in the movie “The Whale.To play this role, Fraser had to transform his body to portray Charlie, a man living with a life-threatening case of obesity. He was able to do this via various physical prosthetics as well as digital manipulation.

The highest-grossing movies of the year that have been nominated are: “Avatar: The Way of Water” with four nominations, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” with five nominations and “Top Gun: Maverick,” with six nominations. Other featured films include “The Banshees of Inisherin,” with nine nominations and “Tár” with six nominations.

Yet, there has also been some controversy over some of the nominations.

For example, in the Best Actress category, Andrea Riseborough was nominated for her performance in the movie “To Leslie. This movie is a small independent production that has been little-seen and garnered less than $30,000 at the box office. She received this nomination through a grassroots campaign in which big Hollywood names like Edward Norton and Kate Winslet publicly endorsed the movie during the voting period.

The academy considered revoking Riseborough’s nomination, but after investigating if any rules were broken, they decided that Riseborough will keep her nomination.

“The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” said Bill Kramer, academy chief executive.

This has provoked complaints from the public as Riseborough–a white woman–got nominated while other black actresses in higher-profile works like Violas Davis in “The Woman King “or Danielle Deadwyller in “Till” were left out.

“I think that’s super unfair … that’s not deserved,” said Lauren Hackett, a senior at Linganore and a fan of the awards.

This leads to one of the other biggest controversies over the award’s nominations: the lack of Black women nominated. It is not the first year the Academy has come under attack for not recognizing African-American women. In fact, this has been happening for a while.

In the history of the awards, a black woman has never been nominated in the Best Director category. In addition, Halle Berry is the only black woman that has ever won the Best Actress award. 

There should definitely be more [nominations of black women] because there are plenty of movies with black women, and they should be represented … they work just as hard as all the other actresses and probably [give] better performances,” said Sophia Yuska, a freshman at Linganore and member of the Drama Club.

This year, the public asked for more nominations for the movie The Woman King. The movie is set in 19th-century Africa, and its plot is about the real-life story of an elite group of female soldiers from the African kingdom of Dahomey. The film raised around $19 million, and it was a hit in movie theaters. Despite this, the movie did not receive any Oscar nominations.

The scarcity of nominations for Black women at the awards is a topic of contention every year, and this year the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that first appeared on Twitter in 2016 is back in vogue.

“There are a lot of amazing black actresses in the world that definitely need representation,” said Kaelyn Bass, freshman at Linganore.

Some of the fans of the awards also complained  about the few nominations for horror films. Horror movies have historically been less well-regarded by the Academy, with only a few films nominated and even fewer winning their respective categories. The 1991 psychological horror film “The Silence of the Lambs” is the first and only horror movie to win Best Picture. This took place at the 63rd Academy Awards, which was over 30 years ago.

Hackett said these types of movies are “her favorite” and there “should have been more” nominations for them. Although there are people who support this, there are other fans of the Oscars who believe this genre is not for everyone.

“A lot of people just don’t understand [horror movies], and they automatically [think] that [they] shouldn’t be nominated,” said Yuska.

Despite all the different opinions and any controversy over the nominees, the Oscars expected audience of around 16.5 million people will wait eagerly to hear the names of each winner announced on March 12.