The 2023 Oscars nominations have finally been revealed, and while each nominee for Best Picture is memorable, only one can be the best. The Academy Awards, commonly nicknamed the Oscars, are considered the most prestigious awards that the film industry has to offer. The 2023 Academy Awards, set to be held on March 12th, will be the 95th award ceremony presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Comedian and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will be the host once again, having previously hosted the ceremonies for both the 89th and 90th Oscars.
The 2023 Oscars will have to reckon with the controversial 2022 ceremony, where Best Actor nominee Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in response to the comedian making a joke about his wife's (Jada Pinkett-Smith) shaved head. Following the incident, Smith apologized and resigned from the Academy. He was later issued a 10-year ban from the Academy following a formal review. With such a collection of both highly-acclaimed and incredibly popular films nominated for the ultimate prize of Best Picture, the Academy looks like it is hopeful that it can move on from that incident. Here are all ten Best Picture nominees for the 2023 Oscars ranked.
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10 Triangle of Sadness
Ruben Östlund's class satire, Triangle of Sadness, held its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where it received an eight-minute standing ovation and ultimately won the Palme d'Or, the festival's most prestigious award. Hotly anticipated following the Cannes Film Festival, Triangle of Sadness satirizes the world of the wealthy and the beautiful before everything is thrown into chaos when a yacht is attacked by a group of pirates. While the film is undeniably well-directed and full of career-best performances (Dolly de Leon is a shocking snub for Best Supporting Actress), the film's satire is overly obvious and lacks a fresh perspective.
Baz Luhrmann tells the story of the legendary singer Elvis Presley in a way only he can. Full of flashy imagery, memorable montages, and fast cuts, Elvis rockets through the star's life at a million miles an hour, with very little room to breathe in its 159-minute runtime. Austin Butler dazzles as the titular singer (he's deservedly nominated for Best Actor) while Tom Hanks chews every last piece of scenery in sight as Presley's nefarious manager, the controversial Colonel Tom Parker. Elvis may not offer many new insights into the renowned rock star, but it is undoubtedly an entertaining ride.
8 Women Talking
In stark contrast to the flashy Elvis, Sarah Polley's Women Talking is a somber drama about the women of an isolated Mennonite community who debate the pros and cons of leaving their colony. Polley's film, based on the novel of the same name, tackles horrific themes with deft and showcases the talents of a brilliant ensemble cast. The film's title is no lie; much like 12 Angry Men before it, Women Talking stays in a single location with its characters while they debate their options. Women Talking may not be the most entertaining film nominated for Best Picture in 2023, but it is among the most powerful.
Todd Field's first film in sixteen years, Tár, is anchored by one of Cate Blanchett's greatest performances. Blanchett portrays Lydia Tár, a fictional composer and conductor who acts as a reluctant trailblazer for women in the world of classical music. However, Tár's life slowly unravels as her darkest secrets are exposed to the world. Not just a simple character study, Tár is unafraid to dive head-first into uncomfortable themes of manipulation and obsession and deals with them with some incredible nuance without pulling a single punch.
Related: Oscars 2022: Every Best Picture Nominee Ranked From Worst To Best
6 Avatar: The Way Of Water
James Cameron's follow-up to the highest-grossing film ever made is one of the few sequels that can claim to be better than the original. Early claims that Avatar has no cultural impact were swiftly put to rest by Avatar: The Way of Water's immense success, both critically and commercially. While Avatar: The Way of Water's colossal 192-minute runtime may be too long for some, Cameron makes sure to pack every second with some of the most gorgeous imagery put to screen ever. The film's middle act truly showcases the power of visual effects, while the film's brilliant climax cleverly remixes many of Cameron's previous set pieces to brilliant effect.
5 The Banshees of Inisherin
It's no wonder that Martin McDonagh's dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin is a favorite for not only acting categories but for the top prize of Best Picture itself. The cast members assembled for the film are all at the top of their game, playing some of the residents of the fictional Irish isle of Inisherin. Set during the Irish Civil War, The Banshees of Inisherin tells the tale of the end of a lifelong friendship between two men. Colin Farrell is utterly heartbreaking as the bewildered Pádraic Súilleabháin, while Brendan Gleeson delights as his former friend in one of Martin McDonagh's best movies.
4 Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everything Everywhere All At Once, the second feature film collaboration from directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, is a genre-defying joy for the ages. At once a family drama, a comedy, and a science-fiction adventure, the film lives up to every single word in its title. Everything Everywhere All At Once manages to be something incredibly original and thematically rich while also paying homage to a smorgasbord of influences. Michelle Yeoh delivers one of her finest performances ever and her co-star Ke Huy Quan returns to acting with aplomb. Above all, Everything Everywhere All At Once manages to be poignant, hilarious, and entertaining all at once.
3 The Fabelmans
In The Fabelmans, director Steven Spielberg turns the camera on himself as he explores the impact that filmmaking had on his childhood through the lens of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a child with dreams of making movies. Spielberg began working on the fictionalized The Fabelmans nearly 25 years ago, and it has been worth every minute of waiting. The cast, especially Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams, is brilliant, and Spielberg skillfully manages to tell a fictionalized account of his own story with grace and some fascinating insights. The Fabelmans is not only Spielberg's most personal film but also one of his greatest.
Related: David Lynch's Cameo In Spielberg's The Fabelmans Explained
2 All Quiet On The Western Front
2022's All Quiet on the Western Front may just be the second adaptation of the novel to win Best Picture, especially as it is armed with nine total nominations. Set in 1917, All Quiet on the Western Front follows a teenage boy as he enlists in the Imperial German Army in search of honor and glory, only to discover the horrific realities of trench warfare. Much like the book, All Quiet on the Western Front pulls no punches in its depiction of the First World War. The combination of harrowing imagery and an overwhelming soundtrack in All Quiet on the Western Front successfully highlights the absurdly terrible realities of war.
1 Top Gun: Maverick
It is incredibly difficult for any summer blockbuster, let alone a sequel, to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, no matter how well-received it is. The fact that Top Gun: Maverick has achieved this rare feat truly captures how special it is. Telling the story of Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell as he trains a group of hotshot pilots for their most dangerous mission yet, Top Gun: Maverick outdoes the 1986 original film in every conceivable way. The combination of visual effects and practical stunt work is seamless. Top Gun: Maverick's cast of characters is instantly iconic, and the story is emotional yet uplifting.
Top Gun: Maverick is not only the highlight of Tom Cruise's five-decade career as a movie star but the culmination. Despite being nearly 60 years old at the time of Top Gun: Maverick's eventual release, the film proves how dedicated the actor is to now only entertaining his audience but filmmaking as a whole. Top Gun: Maverick's nomination for Best Picture at the 2023 Oscars shows just how important movie stars are in a world where comic book characters dominate the multiplex.
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