With major acknowledgments and just as many (if not more) snubs in the mix, the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards are finally out there.
Artists rooting for the Oscars’ to embrace fan-favorite blockbusters got their wish on Tuesday, as Joseph Kosinski’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” both sequels, made it into a tight Best Picture race. Their competitors include Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” Todd Field’s “TÁR,” Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sadness,” Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” Edward Berger’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” and Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which leads the larger race with 11 total Oscar nominations.
The films that did not get nominated are as interesting as the ones that did. Though Polley’s Amish drama made it into consideration for the top prize, women were once again shut out of the Best Directing category. Worse, Gina Prince-Bythewood saw her box office success and critical smash entirely iced out.
“It is shocking to see crowdpleaser ‘The Woman King’ come up empty-handed, with even Oscar winner Viola Davis not making the final cut for Best Actress,” writes IndieWire’s Marcus Jones of Prince-Bythewood’s widely praised epic historical drama. “Many factors could have contributed to its snub, from bias against action films in Best Picture, to Andrea Riseborough’s last-minute grassroots campaign possibly knocking out perennial nominee Viola Davis.” Other Black films that were shut out of consideration for any Oscars include Jordan Peele’s “Nope” and Chinonye Chukwu’s “Till.”
In the Best International Feature Film race, both Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” (Korea’s entry) and Davy Chou’s “Return to Seoul” (Cambodia’s entry) went unrecognized. This puts “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany’s entry) in position to snag two major prizes should it win Best Picture.
That’s only a small fraction of what’s still shaking out from Tuesday’s nominations, of course. Listed in no particular — selected from a combination of IndieWire favorites and past predictions from before the Academy’s announcement — here are 26 great movies totally rejected by the 2023 Oscars.