And the Oscar Goes to… Previews for the Upcoming Awards Ceremony

The academy awards are just around the corner, and here are the films and people in contention for awards


Lucy Liu

The Academy Award of Merit, or the Oscar Trophy, has been awarded to honor outstanding moviemaking achievements since 1929.

On Sunday, March 12, the 95th Academy Awards will take place, honoring the top films and performances of 2022. If you fear that you are out of the loop with what films and people are in contention for these awards, fear not! Here is a preview of the nominees in some of the major categories that will be awarded. While there are many different categories that will be recognized, we will not touch on all of them, however that does not discredit or downplay the achievements of the nominees in those categories not mentioned. 


Nominees for Best Picture:

All Quiet on the Western Front: Produced by Malte Grunert and released to Netflix on Oct. 28, 2022, All Quiet on the Western Front is an adaptation of a 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque. The German film follows the story of Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), a young man who enlists in the German Army during World War I with hopes of being a hero only to be exposed to the brutal reality of war and forced to fight for survival. Directed by Edward Berger, the film has gained praise for its cinematography and powerful capturing of the violence and peril of wartime battles. “The magnification in scale and dexterity lends itself to showing off. Still, the movie aims to pummel you with ceaseless brutality, and it’s hard not to be rattled by that,” The New York Times writer Ben Kenigsberg said. The film was given a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 90%. 

Avatar: The Way of Water: Produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, Avatar: The Way of Water, released Dec. 16, 2022, is the long awaited sequel to Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar. This sequel continues the story of the first film’s protagonist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), as he tries to protect his family from a new threat encroaching on the planet of Pandora. The Way of Water has already become the third-highest grossing movie of all time, following in the footsteps of its predecessor, which is still number one on that list. While the film has been critically acclaimed for its incredible action and cinematography, some have criticized its runtime (192 minutes) and predictable storyline. “The final stretch, which feels somehow longer than the rest of it, runs aground in action movie bombast, and suggests that even a pop auteur as inventive and resourceful as Cameron may have run out of ideas when it comes to climactic fight sequences,” A.O. Scott of The New York Times said in his review. While the film was given a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, it received a 92% audience score. 

The Banshees of Inisherin: Released on Oct. 21, 2022, and produced by Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, this film dives into the difficult relationship of two lifelong friends (played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson), set on the fictional Irish island of Inisherin. The Banshees of Inisherin has proven to be one of the most acclaimed movies of the year, being nominated for eight other Academy Awards in addition to Best Picture. Praise has been showered on the directing and acting for so powerfully bringing to life the slow and sad story. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 96%, alongside a 75% audience score. 

Elvis: A biopic of the legendary rock star Elvis Presley’s life, Elvis was released on June 24, 2022, produced by Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss. The film stars Austin Butler in the title role, as the story is told through the eyes of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). Elvis has become the second highest grossing biopic of all time behind 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and holds a score of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 94% audience score. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once: Produced by Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, and released on March 25, 2022, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a drama-comedy that blends multiple stylistic choices and genres into one film. The story follows a Chinese-American immigrant (Michelle Yeoh) as she discovers her connection to a parallel universe. The film has gained widespread praise for its stunning visuals and entertaining absurdity. It currently holds a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes with an 88% audience score. 

The Fabelmans: Released on Nov. 11, 2022, and produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, this semi-autobiographical story is loosely based on the director Spielberg’s life. It concerns the life of the fictional Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) as he becomes enamored with the art of filmmaking as a way to understand his dysfunctional family. The movie holds a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes with an 83% audience score, and has been praised for its efficient blend between fictional tale and memoir. 

TÁR: The tale of famed conductor Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), TÁR was produced by Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, and was released on Oct. 7, 2022. The film describes Tár’s navigation through controversial accusations of favoritism and sexual misconduct. Blanchett’s performance in the lead role has been critically acclaimed, earning her her own nomination for Actress in a Leading Role. The film holds a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes accompanied by a 73% audience score. 

Top Gun: Maverick: Produced by Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, and released on May 27, 2022, Maverick serves as a sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun. The story revisits Cruise’s character, Maverick, as he trains a group of new aviation recruits that includes the son (Miles Teller) of his late best friend, Goose. The second highest grossing film of the year, Maverick has been nominated for six awards, including Best Picture. It has a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and an incredible 99% audience score. 

Triangle of Sadness: Released on Oct. 7, 2022, and produced by Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Triangle of Sadness is a satirical black comedy that concerns wealthy guests on a cruise. As the film goes on, misfortune befalls the passengers as their ship is capsized and the survivors end up deserted on an island. The film’s humor and satire have been positively received, but it has also been criticized for uneven storytelling. “This, in the end, is a very bad movie, executed with enough visual polish and surface cleverness to fool the Cannes jurors, something [Director Ruben] Ostlund has done twice,” A.O. Scott said in his film review. It has a 72% score on Rotten Tomatoes with a 70% audience score. 

Women Talking: An adaptation of the 2018 novel by Miriam Toews by the same name, Women Talking was produced by Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, and was released on Dec. 23, 2022. Inspired by real life events that occurred in Bolivia, the movie focuses on a remote Mennonite colony, in which the women – who have been drugged, rendered unconscious, and assaulted by several of the men in their community – must decide amongst themselves what should be done to bring the perpetrators to justice. The film has been praised for effectively portraying the heavy topic, and has a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes with an 80% audience score.    


Nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Austin Butler – Elvis 

Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser – The Whale

Paul Mescal – Aftersun

Bill Nighy – Living

All five candidates have been nominated for an Oscar for the first time in their careers. Fraser is being nominated for his performance as an English teacher suffering from obesity, Mescal for his portrayal of the father of an 11 year old girl in a film about their intricate relationship, and Nighy for playing an English bureaucrat diagnosed with cancer. 


Nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Cate Blanchett – TÁR

Ana De Armas – Blonde

Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie

Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Three of the nominees, De Armas, Riseborough and Yeoh, are all receiving their first career Oscar nominations. De Armas is being nominated for her portrayal of actress Marylin Monroe, and Riseborough for her performance as a single mother struggling to provide for her son. It’s the fifth nomination of Williams’s career and the seventh of Blanchett’s (who has won two Oscars in the past).


Nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin 

Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway

Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Four of the five nominees are receiving their first Oscar nominations. Henry is being recognized for his performance in Causeway as James Aucoin, an auto mechanic who suffers from physical and mental trauma sustained from a car accident. It is the second nomination of Hirsch’s career, as he was first nominated for this same award back in 1981 for his performance in Ordinary People. 


Nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: 

Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau – The Whale

Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once

It is the second Oscar nomination of Bassett’s career, and she receives it for her portrayal of the Queen Mother of the nation of Wakanda in the Marvel film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. All other nominees are being recognized for an Oscar for the first time.


Nominees for Best Directing:

Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans

Todd Field – TÁR

Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness

Kwan, Scheinert and Östlund are receiving the first nominations of their career. Field and McDonagh are being nominated for the first time for directing, but have been considered two and three other times, respectively, in the past for other awards. While all nominations are an honor, it’s not a new one for Spielberg, who is adding an eighth nomination for directing to his repertoire, in addition to numerous other nominations for movies associated with him. He has won twice, for Schindler’s List (1994) and Saving Private Ryan (1999).


Nominees for Best Original Score:

Volker Bertelmann – All Quiet on the Western Front

Justin Hurwitz – Babylon

Carter Burwell – The Banshees of Inisherin

Son Lux – Everything Everywhere All At Once

John Williams – The Fabelmans


Nominees for Best Original Screenplay:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans


Triangle of Sadness


Nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking


Nominees for Best Cinematography:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths


Empire of Light