The 2023 Oscars saw “Everything Everywhere All At Once” clinch many of the night’s most coveted prizes, from best picture to best actress. It was an extraordinary night for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s beloved multiverse-hopping masterpiece, which garnered much-deserved wins for Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan. Still, for every winner there must be a loser, and the historic success of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” meant that many other films, from “Avatar: The Way of Water” to “Tár,” were shut out entirely.
Many of the show’s winners were widely celebrated in spite of worthy contenders. The track “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” took home best original song, leaving out Lady Gaga and Rihanna after moving performances by each star during the show — though Lady Gaga’s excited reaction to the Tollywood song’s triumph says it all. Meanwhile, some attendees, like first-time nominee Paul Mescal, were just happy to be there — and others, such as Hugh Grant, appeared miserable for reasons that likely have nothing to do with the evening’s winners or losers. Still, some losses stung more than others.
Ahead, check out some of the biggest snubs of the 95th Academy Awards.
Snubs: Angela Bassett
Bassett was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She plays Queen Ramonda, the mother of T’Challa, who was portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman in the first “Black Panther.” Bassett’s performance is a tour de force display of grief and power, and it led to a great deal of speculation about a possible win. Her nomination alone was historic, marking the first time an actor in a Marvel movie had been up for an Oscar. Still, the prize ultimately went to Jamie Lee Curtis for her role as a prickly IRS agent in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
Shortly after receiving her nomination, Bassett reflected on her “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” character in a statement to POPSUGAR. “What has drawn me to each of the women I’ve portrayed throughout my career is their strength, compassion, resilience, and power,” she said. “‘Wakanda Forever”s Queen Ramonda is a character that touched my spirit because she is a mother and a leader who must care for her grieving nation as much as she cares for her family in mourning. Ramonda is a love letter that reflects and acknowledges what we women do everyday. . . . I’m thankful to the Academy for including me amongst a wonderful group of actresses.”
The nod marked Bassett’s second Oscar nomination. She was also tapped for best actress in 1994 for her performance as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” That year, she lost to Holly Hunter for “The Piano.”
Snubs: “The Banshees of Inisherin”
“The Banshees of Inisherin” was nominated for a total of nine Oscars, and it left with zero. The bleak comedy set on the shores of the real Irish island Inis Mór had resulted in nominations for Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan, Brendan Gleeson, Hong Chau, and Kerry Condon, though none of them took home the golden statuette.
In general, despite a number of nominations, the Irish did not fare well at the Oscars. There were, however, a number of Irish jokes courtesy of host Jimmy Kimmel — who quipped about the increased likelihood of a fight breaking out onstage thanks to the show’s heavy Irish presence in one of the evening’s many references to Will Smith’s infamous Oscars’ slap. Also, at one point, Kimmel also brought out a donkey that he claimed was Jenny, a scene-stealing performer in “Banshees of Inisherin.” It turns out that the donkey was just a stand-in, though, so fortunately the real Jenny didn’t cross the Atlantic for nothing.
Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” was nominated for eight awards, and also left empty-handed. Austin Butler, who played the titular superstar, was a favourite for best actor thanks to his impressively accurate performance and his much-discussed immersive dive into the character. In 2022, Butler told POPSUGAR that becoming Elvis Presley was a “slow process” that took over a year and a half of meticulous practice. “It’s like trying to learn an entire orchestra piece, where you’re trying to learn every note and every instrument,” he said. “You can only learn one thing at a time, so I would obsess about what his eyes were doing at a certain moment, what his hands were doing, or the way that his voice changed because it wasn’t just one voice.”
His work paid off, as it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether it’s Butler or Presley in certain parts of the movie. The process also seems to have had a lasting impact on Butler himself, as his ongoing use of his “Elvis” accent has been the subject of internet fodder. His performance also earned him the love of the Presley family, including Elvis’s ex-wife Priscilla and his daughter, Lisa Marie, who died in January. “Austin Butler channelled and embodied my father’s heart & soul beautifully,” Lisa Marie tweeted in May 2022. “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully.”
Still, Brendan Fraser wound up taking home best actor for his performance in “The Whale.” “Elvis” was also a favourite for costume design, cinematography, and several other categories, but lost in all of them.
Snubs: Nearly Everything Other Than “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
A number of other favourites, such as Cate Blanchett‘s “Tár,” were also shut out completely. “Babylon” also took home nothing, except perhaps the added insult to injury resulting from Kimmel’s joke about the movie losing over $100 million. Additionally, the Oscars’s in memoriam tribute managed to leave out quite a few notable names, including Charlbi Dean, who starred in best picture nominee “Triangle of Sadness.” Even “Everything Everywhere All At Once” fans weren’t entirely happy with the evening, with some saying Stephanie Hsu should have won over Curtis.
Ultimately, while some snubs hurt, it’s difficult to be anything but proud of the “Everything Everywhere All At Once” team — especially after Quan’s tearful speech and Yeoh’s mum’s adorable reaction to her daughter’s win.