Are the Best Picture Oscar Nominations Really the Best?

Some images from the various nominated films.

Some images from the various nominated films.

As it is March, the Oscars are right around the corner. In January of 2023, we got a sneak peek into the movies that were nominated for Oscar awards. I want to focus on the Best Picture Nominations which are, Avatar: The Way Of Water, All Quiet On The Western Front, The Banshees of Inisheer, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Fablemans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, and Women Talking and giving input from a teenage perspective. 


When I saw the first Avatar I was blown away with the planet Pandora, the characters, and how beautifully the film was put together. The Way of Water was a completely new life filled with new characters. The movie shows how a family moves from their life on land to a new life which is water. They learn ‘the way of water’ while fighting to keep their family and home. The unique part of the second Avatar is it opens the audience to a new world and new characters to adore or hate. Avatar is one of my favorite movies and the second one blew me away. Many brought attention to the running time for the movie, 3 hours and 21 minutes, which is a long movie which may not be best for a teenage audience as the average teen has an attention span of 32-48 minutes. However, I do think this film is worth the watch and the running time is long but also appropriate for introducing a new life. 


While watching The Banshees of Inisherin, I felt every emotion. This film has incredible humor and the dialogue is quite humorous. The main character lives in a small isolated town in Ireland so everyone knows each other and there’s nowhere to go but the small places in that town. The opening scene sets a solemn and graceful feeling to the film. I believe this film is beautifully made and visually appealing. Throughout the movie you can see how each character is different, for all types of teenagers to connect to. The movie shows how people react to isolation and although that might be saddening the film still follows through with an upbeat tone at different times of the movie. 


Everything Everywhere All At Once is the type of film that you don’t know what it’s about but you must see it. This film was made in a unique and absurd way that makes you question, “what is this even about?” The beginning shows a family of three, father, daughter, and mother. They run a laundromat, portraying how stressful it is to run a business. The most prominent part of the film is in the beginning it shows there is a rift between the mother and daughter. Throughout the film it shows different lives the characters are in, some where the family hasn’t met, or a life where it’s completely bizarre. At the end of the film you learn the meaning behind the movie but the most interesting part of this film is that it is weird. Weird in a good way, I thought the movie was enjoyable and I wanted to know what was happening every second of the movie. I do think this movie is relatable to teenagers with complicated relationships with their parents so it’s also a good film to relate to. 


Top Gun: Maverick is the most feel-good movie for the Best Picture Nominations. I think this movie is entertaining and gives you the feel of summer, if you’re missing it. The movie goes about a different approach than the first one and I would say the second Top Gun is much more entertaining than the first. Towards the end of the film, I was stressed but so enthralled at the same time. The music is also enjoyable. It would be good for teens who enjoy action. 


All Quiet On The Western Front focuses on the story of a young German soldier fighting during World War I. While the film is not based on a true story, it tells a story about a soldier during World War I and his feelings. This film is a drama about war, so the movie is definitely not cheerful but it is a good watch if you want an excellent drama. This movie is easily accessible on Netflix which is convenient because it’s provided on a streaming service that most people have and if you’re interested in history and war dramas this film is something you should look into. I personally enjoy well made war movies because they show different feelings people go through at dire times but it’s also not enjoyable to see how sad they are.  This might be geared towards a more mature audience.


Elvis tells the story of Elvis Presley and focuses on his life but mostly his infamous music career. I personally enjoy movies about bands or singers because usually the music is good and it’s interesting to see different stories in the music industry. This movie was very popular in the summer of 2022 evidently because of the acting, music, and the story of Elvis Presley. Austin Butler who plays Elvis Presley is also nominated for Best Actor for Elvis so you know he played the character well. The film is entertaining if you love music, famous singers, or just a good drama.


Triangle of Sadness tells the story of two influencers who set aboard a luxury cruise. During the movie people go about the cruise until a storm hits the cruise and the people on board react unusually. This film is similar to White Lotus to those who enjoyed it, you may like this movie. Triangle of Sadness has a similar vibe to White Lotus because you know something is wrong but you can’t quite figure it out. This movie will make you feel on edge and want to know what happens next. 


The Fablemans is about a young boy who falls in love with film and the making of movies. The movie is explicitly based on Steven Spielberg, who is a famous director. Most famously known for Jaws, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, E.T.,  and modernly known for Ready Player One and West Side Story (2021). The movie centers around someone admiring film at a young age and it shows how his life revolved around film. The Fablemans is recommended to drama lovers and coming-of-age lovers, which many teens enjoy. 


Tár stars the incredible Cate Blanchett who plays a well-accomplished composer. During the movie you see something is wrong and her character starts to go through changes. This drama is meant to cause intrigue and suspense. Tár, I would say, is most similar to Whiplash or Black Swan where characters in those movies are so determined and completely involved with their talent that they lose sight of themselves or others. If you are interested in those movies, this might also interest you. 


This movie focuses on the lives of women who struggle with religion and the control men have over them. The story very explicity emphasises on how most women in this story have been raped or hurt becuase of the power men had. The story shows the emotions they go through and how as women they stick together to help each other. I think the movie is a good way to represent how women felt when they were wronged or violated during that time period.