All the Reasons Why People Are Furious About This Year's Oscar Nominations

The recently announced nods for the 2023 Academy Awards have some movie fans steamed.

This year's Oscar nominations are here, and they include both surprises that have movie fans celebrating and some snubs that have them venting their frustrations on social media. There was plenty of good news for some of the biggest movies of 2022: Everything Everywhere All at Once got the most nominations at 11, and box office hits Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also scored multiple nods.

Smaller films didn't come up empty, either. Aftersun star Paul Mescal made it into the Best Actor category, and To Leslie lead Andrea Riseborough earned a Best Actress nomination after an unexpected last-minute campaign from many of her peers.

In regards to representation, this year's crop of nominees are history-making. We have the most Asian actors nominated in a single year with four actors: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu from Everything Everywhere All at Once and Hong Chau from The Whale.

But Oscar nomination day is never without its disappointments. The live announcement wasn't even over by the time awards season followers brought the backlash to social media. Read on for seven reasons the 2023 Oscar nominations have people furious.

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1
The Whale got three nominations.

Brendan Fraser in "The Whale"
A24

While Brendan Fraser was heavily favored to receive a nomination for Best Actor for The Whale, and his co-star Chau had been predicted as a Best Supporting Actress nominee, the prospect of The Whale being nominated for anything upset some people. In addition to those two nominations, the film is also nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

The Whale has been accused of being fatphobic for the way it portrays Fraser's character, Charlie, including his binge eating and the treatment he accepts from others. It's also been called out for putting the star in a "fat suit" for the role, a practice that has become increasing controversial. Seeing as the Best Makeup and Hairstyling nomination The Whale received is largely for the prosthetics and other tools used to turn Fraser into a 600-pound-man, critics of it aren't happy.

2
There are no women nominees for Best Director.

Thuso Mbedu and Gina Prince-Bythewood at the 2022 Women in Film Honors
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

The Best Director category is usually populated almost entirely with men, but the past two years were outliers. In 2022, Jane Campion won the Oscar for The Power of the Dog, and in 2021, Chloé Zhao won for Nomadland. Zhao was only the second woman to win the award and the first woman of color.

This year, we're back to all male nominees: Todd Field for Tár, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, Ruben Östlund for Triangle of Sadness, and Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans.

Some of the women filmmakers who were in the running this year include Sarah Polley for Women Talking (she received a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination and the movie is nominated for Best Picture), Charlotte Wells for Aftersun, and Gina Prince-Bythewood, who could have become the first Black woman nominated in the category for The Woman King.

Women in Film, a group that advocates for gender quality in the industry, responded to the imbalanced category in a statement. ""Once again, Academy voters have shown that they don't value women's voices, shutting us out of the best director nominations," the statement begins, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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3
No Black women are nominated for Best Actress.

Danielle Deadwyler at the 2023 Critics' Choice Awards
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

The list of women in the running for the Best Actress Oscar came is surprising for a few reasons. To start, it had been expected that Viola Davis would be nominated for The Woman King, and that Danielle Deadwyler could also be considered for Till. Neither star was nominated, meaning that no Black women were nominated in the category for the second year in a row. A woman of color has only won in this category once: Halle Berry for Monster's Ball in 2002.

4
Blonde was recognized.

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde"
Netflix

As with The Whale and Fraser, the backlash here isn't towards star and now Best Actress nominee Ana de Armas but the movie itself.

Blonde is inspired by the life of Marilyn Monroe but takes a lot of creative liberties in telling her story. Many viewers found it offensive and sexist, with some of the most glaring issues including scenes in which a fetus speaks to Monroe, the film's depiction of abortion, and scenes of graphic sexual violence.

5
No nominations for Nope.

Keke Palmer in "Nope"
Universal Pictures

The Academy usually loves movies about Hollywood and filmmaking, but that didn't help Get Out director Jordan Peele's most recent effort, Nope. (Though, admittedly, Nope has a darker take on the industry than many Hollywood-focused nominees of the past.) Despite Peele's win for Best Original Screenplay in 2018 for his feature film debut, his ambitious 2021 sci-fi/horror movie didn't receive any nominations.

Fans were disappointed, as they thought Nope deserved to be recognized for Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, and for Keke Palmer's performance, just to name a few categories.

6
Little love for RRR.

N. T. Rama Rao Jr. in "RRR"
Pen Studios

The Indian epic RRR has gained quite a fan following since its release early 2022, and it seemed like the momentum might take it to several Oscar nominations—maybe even Best Picture. In the lead-up to the big show, it was nominated in five categories at the Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Picture, and at the Golden Globes, it was nominated for Best Original Song (which it won) and Best Non-English Language Film.

But as far as the Academy Awards, RRR is only nominated for Best Original Song for "Naatu Naatu." It's the first song to be nominated from an Indian movie, which is a milestone, but RRR believers were expecting more.

7
A complete snub for Decision to Leave.

Tang Wei in "Decision to Leave"
CJ Entertainment

In the wake of the nominations, Decision to Leave was one of the top trending topics on Twitter. The romantic thriller from South Korean director Park Chan-wook is not nominated in a single category, despite being acclaimed by fans and critics. Fans were hoping to see it up for Best Cinematography and Best Director and are particularly surprised it didn't make the cut for Best International Feature. Instead the category includes All Quiet on the Western FrontClose, EO, The Quiet Girl, and Argentina, 1985.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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