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Oscars 2023: The Contenders

Oscars 2023: The Contenders – Shane Adlum does a roundup of this year likely winners

The Banshees of Inisherin
Writer and director Martin McDonagh reunites with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for this dark comedy about the fragility of male friendship, loneliness and life in Ireland in 1923. Pádraic (Farrell) is forced to take a long, hard look at his life after Colm (Gleeson) suddenly decides to end their friendship. But Pádraic’s refusal to accept this leads to serious consequences for both men. It was a proud day for Ireland when the Oscar nominations were announced earlier in the year as The Banshees of Inisherin was nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, two nominations for Best Supporting Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. While it may not be favourite to win, I wouldn’t rule it out taking a golden statue or two back home to Ireland.

Everything Everywhere All at Once
The fate of everything in existence is in the hands of Evelyn. A struggling business owner, mother and wife who must access other versions of herself in the multiverse to save us all. It really is impossible to summarise this film in just a few lines. This is one of the most original and crazy films in recent years and is genuinely heart-warming, hilarious and heart breaking in equal measure. This may have been the surprise hit of the year but to anyone who has seen Everything Everywhere All at Once, the 11 Oscar nominations will not have come as a shock. A strong favourite in nearly every category, it looks likely to be the big winner on the night.

The Whale
Brendan Fraser puts in the performance of a lifetime as a morbidly obese recluse looking to make amends with his estranged teenage daughter. A truly powerful performance from Fraser has earned him his first Oscar nomination. Hong Chau also earns her first Oscar nomination for her performance, while the film is also nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

The biopic of the legendary king of rock and roll. Despite the film being released to mixed reviews, Elvis has racked up a total of 8 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Editing. Austin Butler’s performance as Elvis sees him as heavy favourite for the Best Actor award, despite him lacking the real screen presence of the king. There is also some Irish interest for Elvis as Jonathan Redmond gets a nomination for his part in editing the film.

Lydia Tár is the first female director of a major German orchestra and one of the best composers in the world. From the outside everything in her life looks perfect but as secrets start coming to light, that perfect façade starts to crack. Cate Blanchett had to relearn how to play the piano, learn German and how to conduct an orchestra to play the title role. That’s the kind dedication to a part that will make her a serious contender for the Best Actress award. The film also received 5 other nominations including Best Picture and Best Director.

The Fabelmans
Young Sammy Fabelman has big dreams of becoming a filmmaker. The story is loosely based on director Steven Spielberg’s life growing up in post-World War 2 Arizona. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Drama and Best Director, this will certainly be a contender for some of the big awards on the night. The Fabelmans has been nominated for 7 Oscars in total.

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