The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is announcing this year’s nominees, and you can watch it live here.
The Oscar nominations are expected to be spread around.
What will be nominated? Our expert makes his predictions.
After leading for three years, Netflix is expected to take a back seat.
The number of actors of color nominated could increase.
A year after the slap, don’t expect to see Will Smith.
In a year when moviegoers returned en masse to big-budget spectacles — and skipped nearly everything else — Oscar voters on Tuesday were poised to spread best picture nominations remarkably far and wide.
The blockbuster sequels “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” with $3.5 billion in combined ticket sales worldwide, will likely be recognized. “Elvis” could hear its name called alongside the newfangled “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Awards analysts have predicted best picture recognition for the ultrasophisticated “Tár,” which took in a scant $6 million in theaters, and the German-language “All Quiet on the Western Front,” a streaming-service entry.
In some ways, nominations spread widely over a number of films would reflect the jumbled state of Hollywood. No one in the movie capital seems to know which end is up, with streaming services like Netflix hot then not, and studios unsure about how many films to release in theaters and whether anything but superheroes, sequels and horror stories can succeed.
The inclusion of multiple blockbusters could also signal that voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have finally decided to help the Oscars show by widening the best picture aperture. In 2009, academy leaders expanded the nominee pool to 10 from 5. The audience for the ceremony was in decline, and more slots would make room for a broader range of films, perhaps even populist movies — or so academy officials hoped. Voters mostly just doubled down on little-seen art films.
The 2022 show drew 16.6 million viewers, the second-worst turnout on record after the pandemic-affected 2021 telecast. If the Nielsen ratings do not improve, the academy faces a financial precipice: Most of its revenue comes from the sale of broadcasting rights to the show. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.
ABC will broadcast the 95th ceremony live on March 12.
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”
Expect the unexpected: This is an unusually fluid awards season, and most of the top categories still feel up for grabs.
When it comes to best picture, three films have been nominated by the producers, directors and actors guilds — “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans” and “The Banshees of Inisherin” — and each has won a televised award for best film, too. Those are your front-runners in a category that recently expanded to 10 guaranteed slots, followed closely by “Tár,” the intellectual favorite, and “Top Gun: Maverick,” the popcorn pick.
The next two slots should go to two box-office success stories: “Elvis,” the rare adult drama to make a killing last year, and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which put up eye-popping numbers all through the Oscar-voting period and is poised to pass $2 billion worldwide.
What about another huge sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which made the producers’ lineup, and the epic-scaled “RRR” and “The Woman King,” both of which that guild snubbed? ABC executives would be thrilled if the telecast could tout those crowd-pleasers, but the expanded best picture lineup has never been dominated by so many action-driven blockbusters. (And I’d have more faith in “Wakanda Forever” if the Screen Actors Guild, which gave the first “Black Panther” its top film prize, had nominated this sequel in the same category.)
The best actor winner almost always hails from a film nominated for best picture, so if you think a resurgent Brendan Fraser could go all the way this year, then expect a nod here for “The Whale,” which cast him in a transformative role as a 600-pound recluse. And though Netflix has been pushing “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” it’s the streamer’s German-language “All Quiet on the Western Front” that most resonates with the voters I’ve spoken to.
There’s still a shot that the Sarah Polley-directed “Women Talking,” which received a SAG ensemble nomination, or the British fave “Aftersun” could show up here. But I’m predicting the final slot goes to the class-warfare comedy “Triangle of Sadness,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, just as another social satire, “Parasite,” did four years ago.
For my predictions for the nominees in the other top categories, read more here.
For the last three years, Netflix has received more Oscar nominations than any other company, underscoring the rise of streaming services in Hollywood, especially as a platform for sophisticated films. This year, however, Netflix will probably lose the most-nominated crown to the Walt Disney Company, in part because two high-profile Netflix movies — “White Noise” and “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” — failed to gain traction with critics and film festival audiences.
Disney-owned studios are behind “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “The Banshees of Inisherin,” a windswept comedic drama about a moldered friendship. Those three films should easily collect a combined 20 nominations. Netflix may have to make do with closer to 15, with “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Guillermo del Toro’s lavishly campaigned “Pinocchio” leading the way.
The #OscarsSoWhite outcries from 2015 and 2016, prompted by all-white slates of acting nominees, continue to reverberate at the academy, which has been trying to diversify its membership by race, gender and nationality. In 2021, nine of the 20 acting nominations went to people of color. Last year, it was four.
This time around, Michelle Yeoh was expected to be nominated for best actress for playing a Chinese immigrant who discovers that she can jump between universes in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”) and Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) were poised to join her in the category. Awards prognosticators predicted that Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) would receive a supporting actor nomination. Possible supporting actress nominees included Angela Bassett, for her regal “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” performance; Stephanie Hsu, for her role as Yeoh’s daughter in “Everything Everywhere”; and Hong Chau, for playing a stern caregiver in “The Whale.”
There is a strong possibility that all five nominees for best director will be men — and, if Daniel Kwan (“Everything Everywhere”) is left out, it could be an all-white-guy field, for the first time since 2011. For decades, women and people of color were almost entirely excluded from the category. In 2021, for the first time, two women were nominated: Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) and Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), with Zhao winning. Last year, Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) won the Oscar for directing.
Will Smith, the reigning best actor winner, remains eligible to win Oscars (in absentia), and his team had hoped that academy voters would be so blown away by his volcanic performance in “Emancipation” that they would at least nominate him. Set during the Civil War and directed by Antoine Fuqua, “Emancipation” stars Smith as a man who escapes slavery and joins the Union Army to fight against his former captors. It arrived on Apple TV+ in December.
But it appears that Smith remains too toxic following his behavior at last year’s ceremony, when he marched onstage and slapped Chris Rock. “Emancipation” has been largely ignored by awards organizations, including Hollywood guilds. None of the handicappers at Gold Derby, an entertainment honors site, expect Smith to receive a nomination on Tuesday. There is little reason to think that any of the other artists involved in “Emancipation,” including Fuqua, will fare any better.
As a result, Apple TV+ may not figure into the 2023 Oscars at all — a wild swing from last year, when Apple triumphed with “CODA,” which became the first film from a streaming service to be named best picture.
Almost everyone in Hollywood agrees that the Oscar ceremony is broken, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has — belatedly, given years of stops and starts — made fixing the telecast a six-alarm priority. The academy, which is under new management, had little choice after last year’s debacle, when Will Smith angrily slapped Chris Rock before going on to win the best actor trophy, stupefying viewers and embarrassing moviedom’s elite.
Specific plans for the show are still secret. So far, the academy has said that there will be a host (Jimmy Kimmel, who has done the job twice before) and that all 23 categories will be presented live. (Eight were sidelined to commercial breaks last year, in a futile effort to save time.) Unlike in previous years, the academy hired producers for the telecast who are actually experienced in making live television.
Fewer stars have attended the Oscars over the past decade, in part because they don’t want to sit through the marathon event. (Celebrities: They’re just like us!) Academy officials have said they plan to make a renewed push for A-list attendees. But one star — Smith — will not be invited, even though it is customary for best actor winners to return to present the Oscar for best actress. The academy barred him from attending for 10 years because of his “harmful behavior” toward Rock.