Just recently, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its set of nominations for the upcoming 95th Academy Awards this March. And even though there are several films and personalities snubbed, there are still some surprises that left a lot of people pleased, such as Angela Bassett getting the Best Supporting Actress nod for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. We take a look below at which films or artists will join this Marvel film as the most surprising nominations this year.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the 4 most surprising Oscar nominations
There’s no doubt that Elvis, a Baz Luhrmann film revolving around one of the greatest musicians ever, would do good. What’s surprising is that it’d be great from the get-go with an impressive performance by Austin Butler leading its chances in the upcoming Academy Awards. The end result is a powerful film that earned raves from critics and viewers alike.
The surprising detail about Luhrmann’s Elvis is that it has the most Oscar nominations for a music biopic since 1984’s Amadeus, a film about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s rivalry with Antonio Salieri which garnered 11 nominations back then. Elvis, on the other hand, received eight from the Academy, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Butler. Add the fact that the latter just won a Golden Globe for his performance and Elvis is shaping up to be a pleasant surprise in the lead-up to the Oscars.
4. Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)
Ask anyone a few weeks ago if they’ve heard of To Leslie and Andrea Riseborough, the lead actress of the said film, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll give you a shrug. That has all changed with the Academy releasing its set of nominations for this year. To the surprise of many Riseborough received an Oscar nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role, which led many to ask how a small film like To Leslie received a major nomination.
Apart from the captivating story of the film itself, the answer here is Andrea Riseborough. Her impressive performance here helped convince several A-list actors in Hollywood to vouch for the actress. This movement included Amy Adams and Kate Winslet respectively moderating a virtual screening of To Leslie with the latter voicing out her opinion that Riseborough should be winning everything.
“Andrea Riseborough, I think this is the greatest female performance on screen I have ever seen in my life.” Hyperbole? Yes! But Riseborough has been revered by her colleagues and critics for years, and this late-breaking push tapped into that love just as Oscar voting began,” Winslet added.
With that kind of support from an established actress and an Academy Award winner herself, it only makes sense for Riseborough to earn that nomination. This makes her one of the surprises during the Oscar season for 2023 and an interesting story to look out for when the 95th Academy Awards come out.
3. Ana de Armas (Blonde)
Blonde, a film based on Marilyn Monroe’s life and shown on Netfilx last year, isn’t the artistic tour de force many would like it to be. For starters, its complicated story about the icon’s life became a divisive, sexist, and exploitative depiction. Critics and viewers alike didn’t really warm up to Blonde when it was shown by the streaming service a few months ago. But among all the negatives this film experienced, Ana de Armas’ portrayal of Monroe wasn’t one of them.
The Knives Out actress managed to shed her personality in Blonde and became Monroe in a performance that convinced people of how she struggled throughout her entire life. And even with a film that didn’t really live up to expectations, De Armas acted with an abundance of empathy and command of the character, which was enough to convince the AMPAS that she deserves a nod for the Best Actress award. That, in itself, is a surprise many didn’t expect to happen.
2. Everything Everywhere All At Once
If you told anyone back then that a film dealing with a Multiverse-level threat and has a middle-aged Chinese couple as the protagonists would go on to lead the Oscar nominations this year with 11, no one would pay you any attention. But as it stands, that kind of story can only be pulled off if it’s done with a concept Everything Everywhere All At Once brought to life last year. Led by a cast of Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis, the film itself is a trippy journey to countless alternate realities with a plot that won’t be hard to understand.
In the end, this little film that could has ended up with 11 nods from the Academy, including Best Picture, Best Director, Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Quan, and Best Actress for Yeoh, among others. If its campaign is successful, Everything Everywhere All At Once will surely be a wonderful surprise to this year’s Oscar season.
1. Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
No one can deny how great Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has been for Marvel Studios and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Throughout its cinematic run, the MCU film earned around $831 million worldwide and favorable reviews from fans and critics alike. Of course, a big reason why it did great is how the cast brought the story to life. In this regard, Angela Bassett rightfully deserves her nod from the Academy.
Bassett’s performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as a grieving mother who lost her son and king while keeping the whole nation together is a performance that rises above everything Marvel has ever offered. Her powerful presence in the film not only gave MCU fans something to cheer on, but it also handed the studio its first nomination for a major acting award. If Bassett wins this one, the whole fandom will definitely riot with joy as Marvel has reached another pinnacle of success.
With the Academy Awards coming in over a month, the campaign for these different films will surely go into overdrive Expect these projects to surprise everyone more when the awaited night comes rolling around on March 12, 2023.