Oscar Nominations Announced! One GMDS Major’s Guide

Oscar nominations for this year’s ceremony have been released. Image courtesy of NBC News.
Colin Tobin, Managing Editor

The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards have recently been revealed, lending an opportunity to reflect on the many great films released over the last year.

This year, the Daniels’ chaotic sophomore effort “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads the pack with 11 nominations, followed by Netflix’s German-language adaptation of “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin,” both with nine. Unlike past years, controversial snubs were avoided for the most part, with a mostly positive reaction from fans and critics. The only category I felt was mishandled was Best Cinematography, leaving off the likes of “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Babylon” and “Nope,” all of which were, in my opinion, the best looking films of the year. Other than that, categories like Best Director, Actor, Actress, Original Screenplay, Animated Feature and Score are a murderers’ row of top tier, deserving talent.

There are two films in particular that I felt were criminally overlooked in the 2022 awards contention, each only scoring one nomination apiece. My favorite movie of the last year, “Aftersun,” was the masterful directorial debut from Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells starring Paul Mescal. The 15 minutes leading up to the final shot ruined my day (in a good way) and, as a whole, this exemplifies another missed opportunity by the so-called “progressive” Academy to recognize an amazing film by a female director, of which there is only one up for Best Picture this year. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the Indian historical epic “RRR.” If you’re like me and have little to no knowledge of Bollywood, “RRR” will blow you away. Its three-hour runtime has anything you could ever want in a movie: some of the most electrifying stunt sequences ever put to film, a dance number set to future Oscar-winning song “Naatu Naatu” and the vilification of the British Empire. In the immortal words of acclaimed thespian, Harry Styles, “my favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie.”

2022 is shaping up to be the year of redemption and recognition for long-underappreciated performers. For starters, Michelle Yeoh’s powerhouse performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” gave her the distinction as the first Asian-identifying actress to be nominated for Best Actress. Yeoh’s co-star, Ke Huy Quan, returned to the big screen in his first major role in over 35 years, bringing the same wholesome charisma as he did in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Brendan Fraser completely transformed himself for a career-defining performance in “The Whale” as a father heartbreakingly trying to reconcile with his daughter. Sorry, Austin Butler and your weird Elvis voice, this is Fraser’s award to lose. With Quan and Fraser as the far and away frontrunners in their respective categories, their prior award show appearances indicate that more teary-eyed acceptance speeches are on the way.

The biggest award of every year, Best Picture, feels like a two-horse race between “The Fabelmans” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” This year’s class offers a diverse body of films, of which, there are about six or seven that I wouldn’t mind see winning, with “Tár,” “Triangle of Sadness,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “The Banshees of Inisherin” being some of my favorites of the year. In the end, I think Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical “The Fabelmans” has the edge, but that could easily shift in the next few weeks. I’d be excited to see either one win, and I find it funny that the award is coming down to a very classical drama about a fracturing family and a sci-fi/comedy/drama featuring people with hot dog fingers and an everything bagel that is threatening to swallow the universe.

This year’s ceremony will take place on March 12 with Jimmy Kimmel returning to host. The moment I’m personally looking forward to the most is the inevitable, and sure to be terrible, Will Smith slap joke that he and the writers cook up.

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