The 2023 Oscar nominations and what should be on the list (2023)

If Oscar nominations had a movie title, this year's synopsis would borrow one from Stanley Kubrick's first feature film, Fear and Desire. The film industry news of the past year has been box office slumps for almost everything but blockbusters, and the Academy has responded by mouthing where their money is with best picture nominations for the mega hits.Avatar: The Way of Water“, „Elvis," y "Top-Gun: Maverick', plus one for the Force, Netflix, whose 'All Quiet on the Western Front' had an almost untraceable theatrical run.

Desire is among the eleven nominations, more than any other film, for "Everything everywhere at once”, which represents the common pursuit of rarity and diversity; While its emotional reach isn't weird at all (its slight sentimentality is its secret weapon), its finishes are more idiosyncratic than almost anything Hollywood has released in the last year. The casting is the greatest achievement of its directors. By bringing together Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, great actors whose talents have been underutilized due to the lack of leading roles for Asian performersJamie Lee Curtis(who has endured the ageism that most actresses face) and the almost new (movie) Stephanie Hsu, deserves an Oscar in her own right. (However, there is no award for the Technical Casting category.)

On the other hand, the Hollywood releases of 2022 offered a great film that met both commercial success and imaginative extravagance,' — and he wasn't nominated for anything. Jordan Peele is the Rodney Dangerfield of Hollywood: He doesn't get any respect, at least not since he won Best Original Screenplay for "Sal.” His neglect and that of his films is appalling and disturbing. It is also appalling that while there were two great Black actors nominated this year (Angela Bassett and Brian Tyree Henry), not a single film by a Black filmmaker received a Best Picture for Director nomination in a year that produced many great ones . for the screenplay or for the best international feature film.

Instead, the Academy has thrown its weight behind the nonsense of "All Quiet on the Western Front": For those who lament that they don't do it the way they used to, German director Edward Berger has proved them wrong. So does the bushel of nominations for "The Banshees by Inisherin', with its folkloric theatricality and dark frivolity. (The nostalgia that their success represents above all is for the films of the early Coen brothers: it captures some of their tone without their cinematic panache, wit or confidence.) The other international film to earn a Best Picture nomination , "triangle of sadness', is mostly in English and his sentiment is painfully simple.

On the other hand, the good news is that “women speak“ received a couple of nominations, for best picture and for its screenplay, and that the daring and subtle “Marcel the shell with his shoes', a remarkable combination of stop motion and live action, is listed as a nominee in the Animated Film category. (Also, I'm pleased to note that The New Yorker Studio producedfive of the fifteen short films nominated- the documentaries"Transport"y"stranger at the door, that Live-Action-Movie "go at night' and animated films 'ice cream vendor"y"the flying sailor.“)

I'm against individual industries making nominations in their categories; Cameramen, editors, actors have the knowledge and understanding of their trade, but this practice leads to a kind of union protectionism that upholds the rules rather than rewarding the experience. The prizes must be awarded for the effects achieved for aesthetic, artistic reasons and must instead be nominated by all members.

This circling at a difficult time, when the industry's financial uncertainties weigh heavily on their artistic daring and long-standing business footholds, suggests a different theme for this year's Oscar nominees: "Back to the Future." With an open field of concerned migrations and no guidance for industry decision makers, industries and the academy in general have taken a conservative, retrospective approach. In this respect, the Oscars are eminently ambitious, a picture of what the industry values ​​and where it wants to go, what the nominee list promises for the production lists in the coming years, is frightening.

best picture



time of Armageddon

Both sides of the leaf


the eternal daughter

get on the way

no bears


San Omer

I've recently re-watched some of these films, and it reminded me why releases of Oscar-worthy films tend towards the end of the year: recent screenings are stimulating, even distorting at times, and Academy members are likely to prefer films from the end of the year. . I watched "Benediction" when it opened (barely) in May, and again a month later with even more excitement: knowledge of the story and familiarity with the dramatic setting made its lighthearted details stand out even more. . Its liveliness is fixed in the memory and makes it appear permanently new.

2022 was an unusual cinema year. To continue with the best, it's been a great year but there hasn't been much depth on the bench. As in 2021, American independent cinema is on hold awaiting its next big hit as many top international films find it increasingly difficult to obtain distribution. I acknowledge the utopia of picking my ten favorites of the year for the Oscar nominee roles. At the Oscars proper, few nominees for best picture are international and non-English language films, and even fewer are ultra-low-budget independent films (like The Cathedral). I keep my list in this fantasy land to highlight the gap between what's typically on the academy's radar and what's going on in the film world in general. Realistically, I would love to see other outstanding Hollywood and off-Hollywood films such as "until"y"Maestro“ to be nominated. (Unfortunately I'm sure that "don't worry honey', one of the best star-centric Hollywood films of the year, is rejected by the academy as well as by critics).

best director

Terence Davies ("Blessing")

Alice Diop („San Omer“)

James Gray ("A Time of Armageddon")

Jafar Panahi ("Sin osos")

Jordan Peele ("No")

It would be strange if Best Picture and Best Director diverged wildly anywhere, anytime. Since 2012, all films except for three nominated directors (Bennett Miller for "Foxcatcher", Pawel Pawlikowski for "Cold War" and Thomas Vinterberg for "Another Round") have also been nominated for Best Picture. Even in the 1940s and 1950s, when studios dominated and the word "authors" was unknown to American critics, the winners for best picture and best director coincided in fourteen out of twenty years; they only broke up once in the 1990s. The overlap indicates the very meaning of direction: the integral influence on the work of everyone who makes a significant contribution to the film in question, from the cast and acting style to the tone of the lighting, costumes and decorations. the script, regardless of whether the director is named or not. (The director's authority over commercial American films became clearer in the post-studio era, when there was no longer a house style based on top-down production dictates, no longer a cast and crew with stable, uninterrupted studio contracts. Long term. ) That profound influence was evident on Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch last year, and it's also evident on Terence Davies, who did something impressive with Benediction that was even deemed a failure: They made a movie , who looks almost normal.

The film is a kind of biopic about the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who spans half a century and filigrees his intimate drama into a large map of political and artistic history. Davies' style is no less adventurous than it was when his films were more choreographic and edgy. But now, at the height of his own seventy-seven years, he sees the meaning of Sassoon's story and the implications of Sassoon's time with a furious clarity that comes across in a form as clear as it is exquisite. Charlie Chaplin said that comedy is life in long shots and tragedy is life in close-ups, and I've long thought that a director's sense of distance is just as important as timing. But in the case of Benediction, Davie's finely calibrated distances are not just physical, from the characters in front of the camera, but from himself and the plot, as he fuses the tragedy of Sassoon's life with apparent comedy. one that eventually breaks through with mighty effect. Davies has the audacity to integrate his dramatic sequences with alluring, even visually intoxicating, special effects and open his meticulous historical reconstructions to astonishing subjective depths.

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