This year’s Oscars “class photo” has been released – and as usual, there are several eye-catching details.
Movie fanatics hailed the triumphant return of the yearbook snapshot from the Oscars after a pandemic-induced hiatus.
Here are some of the things we spotted in an annual tradition that’s been described as “endearing and awkward.”
1. Brendan Fraser having a “whale” of a time
Everyone loves a good comeback story, but even the best screenwriter couldn’t have written a better story for Brendan Fraser.
After virtually disappearing from the big screen in the mid-2000s, Fraser is the frontrunner for this year’s Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Charlie in The Whale.
Director Darren Aronofsky reportedly spent nearly a decade searching for the right actor to portray the reclusive English teacher who struggles with severe obesity and is desperate to reconnect with his estranged daughter.
Critics hailed Fraser’s emotional tour de force alongside her co-stars Sadie Sink and Hong Chau, who is also nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
2. The Daniels look puzzled
In a parallel dimension, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the directing duo behind multiverse film Everything Everywhere All at Once, are likely smiling in the yearbook photo. But in this version, they look puzzled.
Maybe it’s because their goofy martial arts opus has become this year’s unlikely favorite.
The film earned 11 nominations, including Best Historical Actress for Michelle Yeoh. She is the first Asian identification actress to be nominated in the category.
3. All smiles from the Emerald Isles
A beaming Brendan Gleeson – the co-star alongside Colin Farrell in tragicomedy The Banshees of Inisherin – sums up why Irish eyes are smiling at the Oscars this year.
Almost a quarter of the actors nominated this year are Irish, according to the LA Times, and The Quiet Girl is also the first Irish nomination for an international feature film.
4. A great year for newcomers and beginners
In the past, award 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. Sixteen of the 20 nominated actors are potential first-time winners, according to the LA Times.
This includes Austin Butler, who is nominated for his pitch-perfect portrayal of Elvis Presley. Just days after Butler won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie died suddenly. Butler said his passing has made this awards season “bittersweet” and he hopes to win for both Presley and his family.
5. The costume designers are there
Costume designers are among the unsung heroes of the movie world, 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 next to 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 in his class photo.
His film All That Breathes was nominated for Best Documentary Feature. The story follows two brothers in New Delhi who attempt to save black kites, majestic birds that are dying due to the toxic skies of the overcrowded city.
7. Avatar is (finally) back
Sometimes it feels like 84 years have passed since Avatar was created (it’s a Titanic/James Cameron joke). But all that waiting seems to have paid off.
Avatar: The Way of the Water is nominated for Best Picture, which perhaps explains why its Julian Howarth (center, dark shirt, gray blazer), who is also nominated for his sound design on the film, looks so delighted.
And while it’s rare for a summer blockbuster to be nominated for Best Picture, two of the year’s highest-grossing movies are up for the top honor: Avatar: The Way of the Water and Top Gun: maverick.
8. Tom sails to new heights
Speaking of Maverick, there’s Tom Cruise with his dazzling smile.
Apparently today’s event was slightly delayed as everyone seemed to want their picture taken with the mega star. First-time nominee Ke Huy Quan reportedly jumped for a selfie with Cruise.
Top Gun: Maverick earned 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 next to producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Top Gun: Maverick is his first nomination.
9. Angela Bassett always looks flawless
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 Tina Turner’s 1994 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It.
10. It’s time for Jamie Lee Curtis to shine
Although she’s been acting since the late ’70s, this year marks the first time that Jamie Lee Curtis has been nominated for an Oscar. She admitted to Parade that she felt “totally shocked” to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Deirdre Beaubeirdre in Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I’m 64. I’ve been an actress since I was 19,” she told AP Entertainment. “I’ve made horror movies and sold yogurt. I never thought I’d hear my name at the Oscars.”
The 95th Academy Awards takes place on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, Los Angeles.