Oscar Nominations 2023

I love movies, but rarely go to the movies these days. I detest much about the Oscars: “I used to be disgusted. And now I try to be amused”, to quote Elvis Costello writing about something else. So why post in reaction to the nominations for the 2023 Oscars?

It’s late January 2023, a good time to reflect on the films of 2022. Many other people, be they critics or civilians, are already in the conversation: here’s an example from my favorite newspaper.

Everything Everywhere All At Once leads nominations. It is also my favorite among the 2022 films I’ve seen, so perhaps I should be less dismissive of the awards. I loved “Michelle Yeoh as an unsuspecting launderette owner who battles evil by connecting with different versions of herself in parallel universes”. I’ve yet to see her main rival for the award: Cate Blanchett in Tar.

The Banshees of Inisherin was also much-nominated and deserving. Martin McDonagh wrote a play, then turned it into a film. The first half would send a theatre audience in to the interval stunned by its greatness: dialogue, acting by humans and other animals,… It ends with a particularly intense scene in a crowded pub.

The second half of Banshees is clumsy, mostly in a “we need to up the stakes as the movie goes on” way. I strongly recommend the film, and enjoyed the second half even as I felt let down after the first. As for Oscars, it made me feel the lack of an ensemble award.

I enjoyed several animated movies in 2022, especially Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, which was nominated and may well win, and Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10½, which was not nominated.

Looking forward to the awards and beyond: I should see more movies; I should be less grumpy about awards. How about you?

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