This year’s Oscars ‘class photo’ is out – and as always, there are some striking details.
Film fanatics have hailed the triumphant return of the Oscars annual snap after a pandemic-related hiatus.
Here are some of the things we unearthed from an annual tradition that has been described as “lovingly awkward.”
1. Brendan Fraser is having a great time
Everyone loves a good comeback story, but even the best screenwriter couldn’t have written a better arc for Brendan Fraser.
After all but disappearing from the big screen in the mid-’80s, Fraser is the front-runner for this year’s Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Charlie in The Whale.
Director Darren Aronofsky is said to have spent almost a decade searching for the right actor to play the reclusive English teacher struggling with severe obesity and desperate to reconnect with his estranged daughter.
Critics praised Fraser’s emotional tour de force alongside co-stars Sadie Sink and Hong Chau, who also has a Best Supporting Actress nomination.
2. The Daniels look confused
In a parallel dimension, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the directing duo behind the multiverse film Everything Everywhere All at Once, are likely smiling in the yearbook photo. But in this version they look confused.
Maybe that’s because her wacky martial arts opus has become this year’s most unlikely front-runner.
The film has won 11 nominations, including a historic Best Actress nomination for Michelle Yeoh. She is the first Asian actress to be nominated in this category.
3. All smiles from the Emerald Isles
A beaming Brendan Gleeson – who co-stars alongside Colin Farrell in the tragic comedy The Banshees of Inisherin – sums up why Irish eyes are smiling at the Oscars this year.
Almost a quarter of this year’s acting nominees are Irish, according to the LA Times, and The Quiet Girl is also Ireland’s first nomination for an international feature film.
4. A great year for newcomers and beginners
In the past, awards shows have been criticized for seemingly nominating the same actors every year – Meryl Streep, for example, has been nominated 21 times.
But not this year. According to the LA Times, 16 of the 20 nominated actors are potential first-time winners.
That includes Austin Butler, who is nominated for his spot-on portrayal of Elvis Presley. Just days after Butler took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor, Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie died suddenly. Butler said her death has made this awards season “bittersweet” and that he hopes to win for both Presley and her family.
5. Costume designers are on point
Costume designers are some of the film world’s unsung heroes, but who would be Elvis without his dazzling jumpsuit or Queen Ramonda without her glorious crown?
This year’s nominated designers helped create characters who traveled the multiverse, fought for Wakanda and reveled in the decadence of early Hollywood.
Costume Designer Shirley Kurata is nominated for Everything Everywhere All at Once. She is pictured alongside Ruth Carter, who is nominated for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
6. Am I spying on Mr. Bean?
It’s not every day you see Mr. Bean on the red carpet. Director Shaunak Sen decided to keep things casual for his class photo.
His film All That Breathes is nominated for Best Documentary. The story follows two brothers in New Delhi trying to save black kites, majestic birds dying due to the overcrowded city’s toxic skies.
7. Avatar is (finally) back
At times it feels like 84 years have passed since Avatar premiered (that’s a Titanic/James Cameron joke). But the wait seems to have been worth it.
Avatar: The Way of Water is nominated for Best Picture, which is perhaps why Julian Howarth (center, dark shirt, gray blazer), who is also nominated for his sound design for the film, looks so pleased.
And while it’s rare for a summer blockbuster to be nominated for Best Picture, two of the year’s highest-grossing films are up for top honors: Avatar: The Way of the Water and Top Gun: Maverick.
8. Tom flies to new heights
Speaking of Maverick, there’s Tom Cruise with his signature dazzling grin.
Apparently today’s event was delayed a bit because everyone seemed to want their photo with the megastar. First-time contestant Ke Huy Quan reportedly jumped for joy to take a selfie with Cruise.
Top Gun: Maverick received six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It’s Cruise’s first nominated film in 23 years.
Tom is also standing alongside producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Top Gun: Maverick is his first nomination.
9. Angela Bassett looking as flawless as ever
Tom Cruise and Angela Bassett also had a mini-Mission Impossible reunion. Bassett starred alongside Cruise in the sixth installment of the franchise: Mission Impossible: Fallout. Bassett is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
She is the first actress to be nominated for a Marvel film.
Bassett was last nominated for Best Actress in the 1994 Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It.
10. It’s time for Jamie Lee Curtis to shine
Although she has been an actress since the late ’70s, this year marks the first time Jamie Lee Curtis has been nominated for an Oscar. She admitted to Parade that she was “totally shocked” to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Deirdre Beaubeirdre in Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I am 64 years old. I’ve been an actor since I was 19,” she told AP Entertainment. “I made horror films and sold yogurt. I never thought I’d hear my name at the Oscars.”
The 95th Annual Academy Awards will be held on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, Los Angeles.