10 Best Movie Oscar Nominees

Poster for Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” with lead actor Austin Butler in center holding guitar. (Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)


Released June 24, 2022,  Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann, holds up a magnifying glass to the early influences of Elvis Presley as an upcoming artist. The emphasis on his childhood upbringing, specifically his immersion in Black gospel, provides the audience with a look into the origins of Elvis’ music. However, this movie seemed to neglect the prominent opinion that Elvis exploited Black music to further his career. Although Elvis’ music, and the musicians he surrounded himself with such as Big Mama Thorton, B.B. King, and Little Richard are generally upbeat and high energy, the movie has a somber tone as it breaks down the manipulative relationship between Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager. Elvis successfully attracts a younger audience through lead actor Austin Butler, and popular artists such as Denzel Curry and Doja Cat featured on the soundtrack. A great biography film that finds creative ways to dive into a musical legend, I rate this movie four out of five feathers.

Two hands interlock, to show unity among women in the film Women Talking. (Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)


Women Talking:

Women Talking, released Dec. 23, 2022 and directed by Sarah Polly is a somber film based upon a novel by Miriam Toews focused on religion and assault. The plot of the film is convoluted and intricate. Women and men live in a religious colony, where the women are consistantly abused and raped. The women of the colony face two choices; stay and fight, or abandon their colony. Main character Ona Friesen (Roony Mara) feels conflicted to leave her loved ones behind, unlike Scarface Janz (Francis McDormand), who wants to stay in the colony so she can eventually go to heaven. Although the plot of this movie is slow, it is emotional, touching and upsetting all at the same time. While the writing deserves a lot of recognition, the storyline is blurry, and takes extra research to fully understand the meaning of the movie. With this, I would give this movie a three out of five feathers.

Jake Sully, his wife Ney’tiri and their son Lo’ak, with his friend Tsireya all pose for the cover picture of Avatar: The Way Of Water. (Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)


Avatar: The Way of Water:

Avatar: The Way of Water released on Dec. 16, 2022, is the second movie in the Avatar franchise.The detailed plot keeps audiences on edge through the entire three hour movie. The second movie is similar to the first, but rather than being set in the Pandora jungle, the film takes place in an underwater world. The CGI added an intense beauty through detailed forests, animals and vibrant underwater creatures. Main characters Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Ney’tiri (Zoë Saldaña) flee their home in search of safety from the invading humans. Even though this movie is incredibly long, the plot keeps weaving in more detail and the story is beautiful. I would rate this movie a five out of five feathers.  

Tom Cruise returns for the highly anticipated “Top Gun: Maverick”. (Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)


Top Gun: Maverick:

Top Gun: Maverick, released May 27, 2022, and directed by Tony Scott, is the second movie in the Top Gun series. Both movies star Tom Cruise as Navy fighter pilot Pete Mitchell, known by his call sign, Maverick. In the film, Top Gun is the elite training school for naval aviators. Ordered to train the best top gun graduates for a life-threatening mission, Maverick steps into the world of Top Gun once again. Top Gun: Maverick keeps viewers on the edge of their seat with action packed scenes, additionally featuring emotional ties to the first movie. Overall the film is truly impressive, with impeccable CGI and an exciting amount of real stunts. I would rate this movie a five out of five feathers.

Triangle of Sadness perfectly captures the reality of social hierarchy in our world. (Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)


Triangle of Sadness:

Triangle of Sadness, released Sept. 13, 2022, perfectly captures the reality of social hierarchy and the unhealthy relationship between power and beauty. The film highlights influencers and attractive couple, Yaya (Charlbi Dean) and Carl (Harris Dickinson) when they receive an invite on a luxury cruise. The crew and guests aboard the ship showcase privilege stemming from race, money, and good looks. After a vicious storm hits the cruise, the lower class becomes power hungry and aims to take down the unhealthy social hierarchy. The Triangle of Sadness is a twisted, chaotic, and magnificently filmed movie, with some scenes almost too realistic, earning itself four and a half out of five feathers.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, loosely based on his childhood, the Fabelmans is nominated for Best Picture for Oscars 2023. (Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)


The Fabelmans:

The Fabelmans, loosely based on director Steven Speilberg‘s childhood, follows Sam Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) from age seven to 18, as he grows up with his dysfunctional family. The film, released Nov. 11, 2022, follows the loveable and softhearted character through young adulthood while he discovers his love for filmmaking. After adopting his fathers camera and directing short films with his fellow boy scouts, he ventures into the world of directing. The post-World War II era setting is perfectly captured in costumes, and features the detailed process of 1960s filmmaking. The dramatic yet easily understandable plot not only highlights the hardworking beauty of filmmaking, but features lessons of loyalty, friendship, and passion. This film receives four and a half out of five feathers.


Everything Everywhere All at Once, while abstract, is a heavy contender for Best Picture at the 2023 Academy Awards. (Promotional Material Courtesy of A24)Everything Everywhere All at Once:

Everything Everywhere All at Once:

Everything Everywhere All at Once, released April 8, 2022, is the most succinct and provocative model of the multiverse to date. Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once follows protagonist Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh) as she grapples with her estranged relationship with her daughter, while simultaneously battling multidimensional villain Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu), who seeks to bring chaos to the infinite multiverse. While Yeoh’s performance alone could carry the movie, the addition of supporting characters Deirdre Beaubeirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan) adds levity and absurdism to the embattled plotline. Everything Everywhere All at Once earns four and a half out of five feathers.

With a talented cast and stunning scenery, The Banshees of Inishirin crafts a profound story of the loss of friendship. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)


The Banshees of Inishirin:

While The Banshees of Inishirin lacks the abstract flair of Everything Everywhere All at Once, Banshees is by no means less captivating. Released on Nov. 4, 2022 by director Martin McDonagh, Banshees of Inishirin tells the story of Padriac Suilleabhain (Colin Farrell), who desperately tries to get back in the good graces of his former best friend Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson). With Oscar worthy performances from both Gleeson and Firth, coupled with the beauty of the Irish countryside, The Banshees of Inishirin crafts a profound story of the complexities of friendship. The Banshees of Inishirin earns four out of five feathers.

While incredibly violent, All Quiet on the Western Front is a masterful depiction of the realities of war. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Netflix)


All Quiet on the Western Front:

Possibly the most violent and tragic Best Picture nominee this year, All Quiet on the Western Front, released Oct. 14, 2022, is a paramount example of the appeal of war and the horror of its consequences. Directed by Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of German soldier Paul Baumer (Felix Kammerer) as he navigates life as a German World War I soldier in the trenches of rural France. Despite the immersiveness of the movie’s special effects, what distinguishes All Quiet on the Western Front from its previous film adaptations is its terror-inducing score. All Quiet on the Western Front earns four and a half out of five feathers.

The film Tár’s lead Lydia Tár stands in the center of the poster conducting her orchestra. (Photo Courtesy of IMDb)



The fiction film Tár, released October 7, 2022, directed by Todd Field, showcases the complexities of life and love through the lens of music. The documentary-style film exposes the story of composer Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett). This film utilizes the disruptiveness of sound, such as loud knocking and eerie screaming, as well as its quietness through water dripping and soft music. This direct usage of the score represents the open wounds in Tár’s life and the effects it has on her career and personal affairs. This movie is an intriguing watch and receives four out of five feathers.