Oscars 2023: The Academy still loves nominating straight actors for gay roles

After months of speculation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 95th annual Academy Awards.

This year’s list of nominees includes few surprises. The critically acclaimed and much beloved Everything Everywhere All at Once leads the pack with 11 nominations in total, and many of the A-listers and rising stars whose names have been bandied about as possible contenders scored nods. Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, Ana de Armas, Michelle Williams, and of course Everything Everywhere All at Once star Michelle Yeoh are all nominated for lead roles. Ke Huy Quan, Brendan Gleeson, Angela Basset, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hong Chau, and Stephanie Hsu are among the nominees for supporting roles.

The Best Picture category, unsurprisingly, reads like a list of the biggest, most buzzed-about films of this awards season. Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, and Top Gun: Maverick, are all up for Best Picture Oscars alongside lesser-seen and late-breaking films Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking, and All Quiet on the Western Front.

As for LGBTQ+ representation amongst the nominees, well, you really have to search for it this year. Coming off of 2022, when Fire Island and Bros were significant parts of the cultural conversation, it’s a bit of a letdown. Not that either of those films were ever considered Oscar contenders, but still. Among the nominees for the acting awards, there is not a single out performer. As for Best Picture, Tár and Everything Everywhere All at Once are, of course, about queer characters, but those admittedly excellent films were not made by out filmmakers,

And as is so frequently the case, the Academy has once again bestowed nominations on several straight actors for playing LGBTQ+ roles. Cate Blanchette is all but guaranteed to win Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Lydia Tár in Tár, and Brendan Fraser is a favorite to take home the Oscar for lead actor for his highly regarded though controversial role in the notoriously problematic The Whale.

The only really notable out nominees appear to be Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America writer Tony Kushner, who is up for best original screenplay for The Fabelmans alongside co-writer Steven Spielberg, and Belgian director Lukas Dhont, whose film Close is nominated for International Feature.

Check out the full list of Oscar nominees below.

Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Actor in a Supporting Role

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Actress in a Supporting Role

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

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

Costume Design

Babylon, Mary Zophres

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ruth Carter

Elvis, Catherine Martin

Everything Everywhere All at Once, Shirley Kurata

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Jenny Beavan

Directing

The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh

Everything Everywhere All at Once, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg

Tár, Todd Field

Triangle of Sadness, Ruben Östlund

Documentary Feature Film

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Fire of Love

A House Made of Splinters

Navalny

Documentary Short Film

The Elephant Whisperers

Haulout

How Do You Measure a Year?

The Martha Mitchell Effect

Stranger at the Gate

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

International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front, Germany

Argentina, 1985, Argentina

Close, Belgium

EO, Poland

The Quiet Girl, Ireland

Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front, Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová

The Batman, Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Camille Friend and Joel Harlow

Elvis, Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti

The Whale, Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley

Music (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

Music (Original Song)

“Applause” from Tell It like a Woman; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick; Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop

“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler

“Naatu Naatu” from RRR; Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose

“This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once; Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

Babylon

Elvis

The Fabelmans

Short Film (Animated)

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

The Flying Sailor

Ice Merchants

My Year of Dicks

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It

Short Film (Live Action)

An Irish Goodbye

Ivalu

Le Pupille

Night Ride

The Red Suitcase

Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Elvis

Top Gun: Maverick

Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

All Quiet on the Western Front, Screenplay – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Written by Rian Johnson

Living, Written by Kazuo Ishiguro

Top Gun: Maverick, Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks

Women Talking, Screenplay by Sarah Polley

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Banshees of Inisherin, Written by Martin McDonagh

Everything Everywhere All at Once, Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert

The Fabelmans, Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner

Tár, Written by Todd Field

Triangle of Sadness, Written by Ruben Östlund

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