Your guide to the 2023 Oscars

Staff writer Lourdes Lopez breaks down the most exciting nominations


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Lourdes Lopez, Staff Writer

The Academy Awards, more commonly known as the Oscars, become the focus of the global film community and the entertainment industry each year. The Oscars telecast, where hundreds of millions of movie fans tune in to witness the lavish ceremony and find out who will receive the top prizes in cinema, is when interest and anticipation reach a fever pitch. 

This year, Jimmy Kimmel will serve as the host for the third time. Kimmel’s debut hosting gig was made memorable when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally proclaimed “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner —  an award meant for the film “Moonlight.” The comedian and talk show host will undoubtedly make an effort to avoid such mistakes in the future. 

The 2023 performances will feature Lady Gaga and Rihanna performing “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” respectively.

Now for what everyone has been waiting for, this year’s nominations! If you thought that the 2023 Oscars would be utterly devoid of excitement — think again. Over the years, the Oscars had many surprises in store for the viewers and nominees, and this year is bound to be no different. 

This year’s Academy Award nominees were revealed on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 24, and they included a significant number of first-time nominees. The supporting performers and actresses categories include first-time nominees such as Brian Tyree Henry, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis and Hong Chau. All of the nominees in the best actor category are first-timers: Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser, Austin Butler, Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy. 

The popular vote surrounding the 95th Academy Awards is that Cate Blanchett or Michelle Yeoh will win Best Actress for their performances in “TÁR” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” respectively. As a result, Yeoh will either become the first East Asian actress to win the Best Actress Oscar or the Australian actress will win the award for the second time.

Additionally, the fan favorite and critically-acclaimed film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” received a record-breaking 11 nominations, and Andrea Riseborough’s well-publicized grassroots Oscars campaign for her portrayal of Leslie in the independent film “To Leslie” was rewarded with a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination. 

Another noteworthy category to consider includes Best Picture with nominations including “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans,” “Tár,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Triangle of Sadness,” “Women Talking,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” 

Given the popularity and stunning reviews for all of these films, it will be a tough choice to narrow it down to a single winner. However, after the vast amount of awards that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” received during the Golden Globes, I would venture to say it would be the public’s popular choice. Although the plot of the film could be a bit confusing at times, the universal theme and story were ultimately conveyed through inventive directing, editing, acting and cinematography.

The nominations for the Best Animated Feature Film also distinguished some promising contenders: Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio,” “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” “The Sea Beast” and “Turning Red.”

Seeing how different the animation and cinematography styles for each film are, the Academy has its work cut out for them. Since “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” took such an original approach to the little-known story of one of the side characters from “Shrek,” it would be great to see this animated film mainly voiced by famous Hispanic actors like Antonio Banderas to receive such a prestigious award. 

To put it mildly, the 2022 Oscars were historic. The Apple TV+ film “CODA” became the first movie available on a streaming service to win best picture, while its star, Troy Kotsur, made acting history as the first deaf man to win an Oscar. “West Side Story”’s Ariana DeBose also made cinematic history as the first openly queer woman of color to win best supporting actress. And just before Will Smith won best actor, he slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a comment about Smith’s wife. Let’s hope the coming 2023 Oscars will live up to last year’s eventful ceremony.

The year 2022 marked both a change in leadership at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a pivotal year for the movie business, which is still dealing with the pandemic’s effects. The Oscar nominees this year suggest that the voters are anxious to acknowledge a wider variety of directors. Eight women and four individuals of color are the directors of the 15 movies on the documentary feature shortlist. However, even though European nations make over half of the list in the international film category, many of the movies those nations selected center on people from underrepresented backgrounds.