Linden’s Cut: The 2023 Oscar Nominations

Linden Lansberry, Commentary Writer

The Oscar nominations are officially in, and for the most part they are pretty satisfying. I have not seen every nominated film on this list and I will not go over each of the 24 categories but I will focus on ten of them: Score, Editing, Sound, Cinematography, Screenplay (both categories), Actress, Actor, Director, and Picture.

Best Original Score

  • “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Volker Bertelmann
  • “Babylon” – Justin Hurwitz
  • “The Banshees of Inisherin” – Carter Burwell
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Son Lux
  • “The Fabelmans” – John Williams

Who I want to win: “Babylon”

Why it should win: The score perfectly represented 1920s Hollywood, especially in the opening scene where you just have to see it to believe it.


Best Film Editing

  • “The Banshees of Inisherin” – Mikkel E. G. Nielsen
  • “Elvis” – Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Paul Rogers
  • “Tár” – Monika Willi
  • “Top Gun: Maverick” – Eddie Hamilton

Who I want to win: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Why I want it to win: The editing in “Top Gun: Maverick “was some of the best I have seen in a film. When the actors are in the jets, the authenticity is displayed impeccably. The actors also went through grueling training to achieve this. 

Best Sound

  • “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, and Stefan Korte
  • “Avatar: The Way of Water” – Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, and Michael Hedges
  • “The Batman” – Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray, and Andy Nelson
  • “Elvis” – David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, and Michael Keller
  • “Top Gun: Maverick” – Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, and Mark Taylor

Who I want to win: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Why I want it to win: All of the flying sequences are real and each time you hear a jet going off, you feel like you are hearing it in person.

Best Cinematography

  • “All Quiet on the Western Front” – James Friend
  • “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” – Darius Khondji
  • “Elvis” – Mandy Walker
  • “Empire of Light” – Roger Deakins
  • “Tár” – Florian Hoffmeister

Who I want to win: “Elvis”

What should have been nominated instead: “Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Batman,” “The Northman,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Blonde.” The only films I have seen from the nominated list are “Elvis” and “Tár” and while they had good cinematography, the 5 films that I listed above had breathtaking visuals, gorgeous scenery, and beautiful shots that are easily worth a nomination. They had better cinematography than “Elvis” and “Tár” combined.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell; based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque
  • “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” – Rian Johnson; based on characters created by Johnson and the film Knives Out
  • “Living” – Kazuo Ishiguro; based on the original motion picture screenplay Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni
  • “Top Gun: Maverick” – Screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks; based on the film “Top Gun” written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.
  • “Women Talking” – Sarah Polley; based on the novel by Miriam Toews

What I want to win: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Why I want it to win: It should win because it was a film full of heart pounding action sequences but also heartfelt dramatic moments that work really well in the screenplay while adapting from an 80s movie to a new generation.

Best Original Screenplay

  • “The Banshees of Inisherin” – Martin McDonagh
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
  • “The Fabelmans” – Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner
  • “Tár” – Todd Field
  • “Triangle of Sadness” – Ruben Östlund

What I want to win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Why I want it to win: This should win because the script had so many imaginative moments and you can easily picture yourself in Evelyn’s (Michelle Yeoh) shoes.

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett – “Tár” as Lydia Tár
  • Ana de Armas – “Blonde” as Norma Jeane Mortensen/Marilyn Monroe
  • Andrea Riseborough – “To Leslie” as Leslie Rowlands
  • Michelle Williams – “The Fabelmans” as Mitzi Schildkraut-Fabelman
  • Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” as Evelyn Quan Wang

Who I want to win: Either Ana de Armas or Michelle Yeoh

Why either one should win: Ana de Armas gave probably the best performance of her career as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde,” portraying the heartbreak and trauma she is going through. It also took her 9 months to embody Marilyn’s accent. Michelle Yeoh was fantastic in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” portraying multiple versions of her character.

Best Actor

  • Austin Butler – “Elvis” as Elvis Presley
  • Colin Farrell – “The Banshees of Inisherin” as Pádraic Súilleabháin
  • Brendan Fraser – “The Whale” as Charlie
  • Paul Mescal – “Aftersun” as Calum Paterson
  • Bill Nighy – “Living” as Mr. Rodney Williams

Who I want to win: Austin Butler

Why I want him to win: Austin Butler did not portray Elvis. He was Elvis.

Best Director

  • 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”

Who I want to win: The Daniels for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Why I want them to win: Their direction was visually unique and it was unlike anything I have seen before.

Best Picture

  • “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Malte Grunert, producer
  • “Avatar: The Way of Water” – James Cameron and Jon Landau, producers
  • “The Banshees of Inisherin” – Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, and Martin McDonagh, producers
  • “Elvis” – Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick, and Schuyler Weiss, producers
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, and Jonathan Wang, producers
  • “The Fabelmans” – Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, and Tony Kushner, producers
  • “Tár” – Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan, and Scott Lambert, producers
  • “Top Gun: Maverick” – Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, and Jerry Bruckheimer, producers
  • “Triangle of Sadness” – Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, producers
  • “Women Talking” – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Frances McDormand, producers

What I want to win: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Why it should win: It was my number 1 best film of the year and it was one of the best sequels I have seen in a long time. The writing, acting, action sequences, characters, editing, cinematography, were the essential ingredients to an incredible sequel to a good film.

I’m happy with the nominations despite some snubs. Cinematography was easily the biggest snub of all the nominations, even the ones that were not covered here. Overall the nominations are strong and worthy. I am excited to see who wins and wish all the nominees the best of luck.

Commentary writer Linden Lansberry can be reached at [email protected]

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