2023 Oscar Nominations Winners and Losers
January 24, 2023
It was a wild day on nominations, with plenty of surprise inclusions and omissions. Now that the dust has settled (for now), let's break down who the big winners and losers were on the day. Of course, some of these are relative, as some losers could still have nabbed a few nominations. It's all a matter of context and expectations.
Winner - Triangle of Sadness
Many were predicting Ruben Östlund’s social satire to be this year’s token lone screenplay nominee, similar to the role of The Lobster, Knives Out, and The Big Sick. But the Academy couldn’t be quelled, awarding the film surprise Best Director and Best Picture nominations. It’s odd that Dolly De Leon didn’t come along for the ride in Best Supporting Actress, but distributor Neon will consider this a major victory.
Loser - The Woman King
On its best day, The Woman King would have walked away with 4-5 nominations, including ones for Viola Davis’ lead performance and Best Picture. Unfortunately, today turned out to be its worst day, as it went home empty-handed. It still received a respectable amount of attention during the precursors, but I’m sure Gina Prince-Bythewood and co. were expecting a much better turnout here at the final stop.
Winner - Andrea Riseborough
The To Leslie star has practically revolutionized Oscar campaigning with her successful grassroots effort that solely targeted Academy voters at just the right time. Her film only grossed $20,000 at the box office during its minuscule release back in October, which would end any hopes of a nomination for 999/1000 actresses. But Riseborough stuck to her guns and muscled her way in. Don’t be surprised if this tactic becomes more widely used in the coming years.
Loser - Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the famed fairy tale had the potential to mightily overperform considering it had a healthy haul from various guilds and received additional nominations at BAFTA for Alexandre Desplat’s score and the production design. Alas, this was not going to be the second coming of Nightmare Alley, with the film only getting in for Best Animated Feature. Del Toro probably isn’t that sad, as he’s still the frontrunner to win, making him the first director to win both Best Animated Feature and Best Picture.
Winner - TAR
Many were wondering how much the Academy would embrace such an enigmatic film. The common consensus was that Todd Field’s film was going to nab four nominations on the day: Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Lead Actress. The film managed to get all of those in addition to surprise nominations for Cinematography and Film Editing. It just goes to show that the work doesn’t always have to be showy to get the recognition it deserves.
Loser - The Fabelmans
Sure, it still got in for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Michelle Williams and Judd Hirsch, but The Fabelmans missed some key nominations below the line. Both veterans Janusz Kaminski (cinematography) and Michael Kahn (editor) missed in their respective categories, which spells trouble for the film’s chances for a Best Picture win now that Everything Everywhere All at Once led the day in total nominations. It seems like Spielberg’s film is our usual “early frontrunner that can’t sustain the momentum throughout the whole season.”
Winner - Everything Everywhere All at Once
It’s not every day that a small-budget A24 film leads the pack in total nominations. The film by Daniels got in pretty much everywhere it could have, even getting less-than-secure nominations for Stephanie Hsu and for its Score and Original Song. With both The Fabelmans and The Banshees of Inisherin having good, but not great days, it seems like Everything Everywhere All at Once has pulled strongly ahead in the race for Best Picture.
Winner - All Quiet on the Western Front
This readaptation of the classic anti-war novel was seen as the “best movie nobody is talking about” for about two months after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. That narrative quickly shifted toward the new year, with some major momentum built once the film overperformed at the Oscar and BAFTA shortlists. Netflix widely put all its resources behind Edward Berger’s film at the last minute, resulting in eight total nominations, including Best Picture.