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The Oscar Nominees 2023 Brought Surprising Leading Actor/Actress Categories

Oscars figure

The Oscars, for a brief moment, were going pretty well! When the nominations came out this morning, we saw Stephanie Hsu get the recognition she deserved and we had a lot of giggles for My Year of Dicks. But as the Best Actor and Best Actress nominations came around, many were shocked by the change up of what we’d been seeing. Not that every award nominations are the same but there are some of the usual nominees we expect to see.

We tend to know what is going to happen for the most part, and maybe the winners are what is shocking. Sometimes there is a switch up or movies that don’t get the same recognition. This year, Babylon‘s lack of nominations is probably the second biggest switch up, second to the lack of nominations for The Woman King. And while the rest of the nominees were pretty amazing and spot on for this year, there was suddenly a shift.

The 2023 Oscar nominations came out and the Best Actor and Best Actress categories threw a wrench into whatever ideas we had. So let’s talk a bit about what is going on with them because while I am happy for the Best Actor category, the Best Actress category is … well, frustrating.

Best Actor nominations said no to Tom Cruise

Throughout most of the award season, Tom Cruise found himself in the Best Actor categories for Top Gun: Maverick. On the one hand, that was pretty amazing given how the award circuit rewards “blockbuster” movies. On the other, it felt like people just screaming about a frankly okay performance. I think that Top Gun: Maverick deserves a Best Picture nomination and I was happy it got one, but I was also happy that Tom Cruise was left out.

Instead, both Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy were nominated! The two had been sort of trading off in other award ceremonies with either Mescal taking the nomination for his work in After Sun or Nighy for Living. And so to see them both beat out Cruise was a nice change of pace!

So where is Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler?

Throughout this year, Viola Davis was consistently nominated alongside Danielle Deadwyler for their respective roles in The Woman King and Till. Suddenly, the nominees came out and Ana de Armas was thrown into the running for Blonde, a movie that many have just said is bad, and Andrea Riseborough for To Leslie. The Riseborough nomination is particularly frustrating because a sudden push from celebrities got the buzz going within the last few weeks, and suddenly two Black women were left out of the running to nominate a movie no one had even heard of.

It’s one of those moments where if that was all that was needed to happen, I would have called up my celebrity friends to push for Lashana Lynch to be nominated for her role as Ms. Honey in Matilda the Musical. All of the sudden, Riseborough’s push landed her a nomination which did, in fact, take a spot that had been going to Davis and Deadwyler in other award circuits.


So can anyone explain what in the world happened?

(featured image: Emma McIntyre/WireImage)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.