Thursday, April 18, 2024

Queer highlights of the Oscar nominations

What were the queer highlights, the snubs and the surprises of the 2023 Oscar nominations?

The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards were announced this morning, with Everything Everywhere All At OnceAll Quiet On The Western Front and The Banshees of Inisherin grabbing the lion’s share of nods. 

Announced by Riz Ahmed and M3gan star Allison Williams, the nominations were a mixed bag for LGBTQIA+ folks, with some projects and performances receiving less love than expected.

Everything Everywhere All at Once, a film that many feel is the year’s best, but which others find altogether too much, led the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards, picking up 11 noms. It was followed by All Quiet on the Western Front, a World War I epic, and The Banshees of Inisherin, a black comedy-drama set in Ireland. Those three films will compete against each other for best picture, along with high-grossing mainstream-y films Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick, and Elvis. Other contenders include the complex, queer-themed Tár, a drama about a lesbian conductor with a penchant for seducing her female minions, and Women Talking, featuring gay actor Ben Whishaw.

Triangle of Sadness writer-director Ruben Östlund will compete for the director statue against Steven Spielberg, Todd Field (Tár), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), and directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once). No women were nominated for best director this year. The last two best director winners, Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), have not guaranteed a precedent for more women nominees, with Women Talking’s Sarah Polley, The Woman King’s Gina Prince-Bythewood, She Said‘s Maria Schrader and Aftersun’s Charlotte Wells being shut out of the race.

Tony Kushner (Angels in America), the co-writer of The Fabelmans (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay), and Lukas Dhont, who co-wrote and directed Close, which was nominated for Best International Feature, received recognition from AMPAS.

Queer representation was present in this year’s nominations with Brendan Fraser, whose career was sidelined by personal struggles including a sexual assault, but who has managed a startling comeback as a morbidly obese gay man in The Whale, for which he earned a nomination for best actor.

Another gay character was on display in the riotous Everything Everywhere All at Once with Stephanie Hsu who stars alongside best actress nominee Michelle Yeoh as Joy, Evelyn’s lesbian daughter. Queer favorite Cate Blanchett was also nominated for best actress for her performance in Tár.

Director Laura Poitras is in the running for her second Oscar win for All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, her stunning feature documentary on queer photographer Nan Goldin. And kudos to brilliant, trailblazing costume designer Jenny Beavan (Cruella, Mad Max: Fury Road) for her work on Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris.

The nominations were announced at a time when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and its stake in prestige films is struggling to maintain relevance in a sea of streaming competition, box office volatility, and social media criticism.

The Jimmy Kimmel hosted 2023 Oscars will be presented on ABC on March 12 at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET.


The Inspection – Jeremy Pope’s stunning performance in this drama about a young gay man who joins the military to hopefully win the approval of his homophobic mother was unfortunately overlooked.

Holding Moses – The queer-women-created short documentary about a butch queer mom coming to terms with her severely disabled son made the shortlist but disappointingly just missed the final nominations list.

Olivia Coleman – Our favorite, largely because of her stunning turn as a bisexual aristocrat in The Favourite, gained no love for her performance in Empire of Light.

Margot Robbie – The Aussie glamazon, Cara Delevingne bestie and star of queer-ish Babylon failed to grab the attention of AMPAS voters this year.

Taylor Swift – Tay-tay’s “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing missed out despite getting noms from the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

The Woman King – Widely appreciated for its powerful story and powerhouse performance by Oscar winner Viola Davis, this epic got no love despite well-earned SAG & BAFTA noms.

Women Directors were overlooked this year, leading Variety to run an article titled #OscarsSoMale. The Sarah Polley helmed Women Talking received a Best Picture nom but Polley was shut out of the Best Director nominations. Aftersun director Charlotte Wells, The Woman King‘s Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Till’s Chinonye Chukwu were also ignored, along with the brilliant German filmmaker Maria Schrader (She Said) who landed on our gaydar back in 1999 with her lesbian classic, Aimee & Jaguar.


Gay ally Andrea Riseborough, whose performance as an alcoholic woman in the low-key indie To Leslie, received a best actress nomination.

Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once is like an exploding box of tricks but one of the most joyful and powerful surprises is the delightful actress who told Out magazine: “This movie is so first of its kind that it somehow transcends identity politics, and yet it is so significant that it’s a Chinese family and it’s so significant that Joy is gay. When I read the script, a queer love story felt so obvious, an Asian family is so obvious, because that’s also my life.” 

Hsu is thought to be the first (out) queer actor to be nominated for playing a queer character since Ian McKellen was nominated for Gods and Monsters in 1998.

Jamie Lee Curtis – Delightfully almost unrecognizable in Everything Everywhere All at Once, the Halloween star and staunch LGBTQ rights ally (her daughter Ruby came out as transgender in 2020) unexpectedly earned this nod with her sheer stamina (and her love fest with fellow thesp Cate Blanchett).

Brian Tyree Henry –  The Black actor and past Tony Award nominee played openly gay in Marvel’s Eternals, and received a best supporting nod for his Causeway role.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery featuring a gay Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), received a nom for best adapted screenplay for this fun flick.

See the Oscar nominations below:

Best Picture

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Malte Grunert, Producer

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

“Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, Producers

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, Producers

“The Fabelmans,” Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers

“Tár,” Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, Producers

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers

“Triangle of Sadness,” Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers

“Women Talking,” Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, Producers

Best Director

Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”)

Todd Field (“Tár”)

Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”)

Best Lead Actor

Austin Butler (“Elvis”)

Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)

Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)

Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)

Bill Nighy (“Living”)

Best Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)

Ana de Armas (“Blonde”)

Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”)

Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”)

Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Best Supporting Actor

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”)

Best Supporting Actress

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”)

Best Adapted Screenplay

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Screenplay by 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

Best 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

Best 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

Best Documentary Feature Film

“All That Breathes,” Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov

“Fire of Love,” Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman

“A House Made of Splinters,” Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström

“Navalny,” Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris

Best Documentary Short Film

“The Elephant Whisperers,” Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga

“Haulout,” Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev

“How Do You Measure a Year?” Jay Rosenblatt

“The Martha Mitchell Effect,” Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison

“Stranger at the Gate,” Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones

Best 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

Best International Feature Film

“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany)

“Argentina, 1985” (Argentina)

“Close” (Belgium)

“EO” (Poland)

“The Quiet Girl” (Ireland)

Best 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 Production Design

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole

“Babylon,” Production Design: Florencia Martin; Set Decoration: Anthony Carlino

“Elvis,” Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn

“The Fabelmans,” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

Best Visual Effects

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett

“The Batman,” Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher

Best Animated Feature Film

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley

“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” Joel Crawford and Mark Swift

“The Sea Beast,” Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger

“Turning Red,” Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins

Best Animated Short Film

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud

“The Flying Sailor,” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

“Ice Merchants,” João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano

“My Year of Dicks,” Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon

“An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It,” Lachlan Pendragon

Best 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

Best Live Action Short

“An Irish Goodbye,” Tom Berkeley and Ross White

“Ivalu,” Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan

“Le Pupille,” Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón

“Night Ride,” Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen

“The Red Suitcase,” Cyrus Neshvad

Best 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

Best 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

Best Sound

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel and Stefan Korte

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers and Michael Hedges

“The Batman,” Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray and Andy Nelson

“Elvis,” David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson and Michael Keller

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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