Oscar nominations 2023 talking points: The 7 biggest snubs and surprises

The nominations for the 2023 Oscars are here – and they arrived with the usual snubs and surprises.

Leading this year’s nominations pack is Everything Everywhere All at Once, which has 11 nods, and Netflix’s German-language film All Quiet on the Western Front, which follows close behind with 10.

The Banshees of Inisherin and Elvis received eight nominations, while Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans and Top Gun: Maverick received seven each.

Featured among the nominees are some unexpected (and wholly welcome) names, but there have also been snubs aplenty.

Below, we run through the most striking surprises and notable ommissions from the 2023 noms list.

Find the full list of Oscar 2023 nominations here – and follow along with live updates here,

Surprise: Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy are officially Oscar nominees

Days before the nominations were announced, many felt the Best Actor category was mostly decided, save for the fifth and final slot. In this place, many predicted the nod would go to either Paul Mescal for Aftersun, Bill Nighy for Living or Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick. That both Mescal and Nighy’s names were mentioned was a delight – both actors received their first noms (as did Irish Banshees of Inisherin stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, the former in the Best Supporting Actor category). Cruise will instead have to settle for Maverick’s seven nominations.

Snub: No Danielle Deadwyler

A big snub in the Best Actress category is Danielle Deadwyler, who had been tipped by many for glory following her moving turn in Till, which tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley's relentless pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett. Nudging her out the category were two surprise inclusions – Ana de Armas, in the wildly divisive Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde, and Andrea Riseborough, for the little-seen drama To Leslie.

Surprise: Andrea Riseborough made it

Speaking of Riseborough: the Made in Dagenham star’s inclusion in the nominations list would have come as a complete shock for many Oscar pundits just weeks ago. Over recent days, however, a number of high-profile celebrities – including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Aniston – began voicing their support for Riseborough’s campaign on social media. The full-court press seems to have worked. Could it even go on to carry her all the way? As we saw with Coda last year, the Oscars is hardly averse to a late surge.

Andrea Riseborough has been nominated for ‘To Leslie’ (Getty)
Andrea Riseborough has been nominated for ‘To Leslie’ (Getty)

Surprise: Dolly de Leon out, Stephanie Hsu in

One of the biggest reactions from the crowd assembled at the nominations announcement was reserved for Stephanie Hsu, who received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The odds of a nod for Hsu had been low considering a poor showing in the same category at other awards ceremonies throughout the season, where she was largely omitted in favour of fellow co-star Jamie Lee Curtis. However, not so at the Oscars – both actors received a nomination meaning that Triangle of Sadness’ Dolly de Leon, who received a Supporting Actress nom at the Golden Globes and Baftas, was sadly left out.

Surprise:Women Talking is (thankfully) included

The campaign of Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, a brilliant adaptation of Miriam Toews’s novel of the same name, seemed to have stalled in recent week, with many believing it would be snubbed outright. Its placement as the 10th and final Best Picture nomination no doubt saw many breathe a sigh of relief – without it, no film directed by a woman would have been nominated for the top prize. Still, this won’t, and shouldn’t, take the spotlight away from the all-male directing nominees – especially when Polley and The Woman King’s Gina Prince-Bythewood would have made two very deserving recipients of that award.

Sarah Polley’s ‘Women Talking’ (© 2022 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.)
Sarah Polley’s ‘Women Talking’ (© 2022 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

Snub: Babylon was snubbed

Babylon, Damien Chazelle’s lengthy, ambitious ode to the excesses of silent-era Hollywood, was all but shut out from the major nominations this year. Nods in the Best Original Score, Production Design and Costume Design categories will likely prove of little comfort to Margot Robbie, who had been tipped to compete for Best Actress for her frenetic turn as a coked-up movie star. The film itself, meanwhile, seemingly proved too polarising among general audiences, and it lost out on a Best Picture nomination.

Surprise: Brian Tyree Henry recognition

For all the criticism thrown the way of the Oscars, it’s fair to say they do like highlighting a performance that, until the nominees are announced, was not really considered to be in the race. One such actor this year is Atlanta star Brian Tyree Henry, who was recognised for his role in the Jennifer Lawrence drama Causeway. It might serve as a small consolation considering a nom in the same category would have been warranted for his small, but effective appearance in Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk in 2018.