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Globe film critic Odie Henderson reacts to Oscar noms and tallies up his bets

His prayers were answered in at least one category — a mixed blessing

The stage is set for the 95th Academy Awards nominations announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Jan. 24, 2023.VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

If Jesus reads the Boston Globe, I am in big, big trouble.

More on that later. Let’s look at the 95th annual Academy Award nominations. As usual, there were some big snubs and a few even bigger surprises. There were also shoo-ins: Cate Blanchett scored a best actress nomination for “TÁR,” “Top Gun” zoomed into the best picture category, and “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” earned its slot among the best documentary features.

The surprises

The biggest surprise is that I did well in my Globe predictions, and I beat my friend Danny in our predictions contest! In 30 years of our competition, the score is something like Danny: 26, Odie: 4. I’m still gonna brag!


I got four out of five in supporting actor, lead actor, international feature, directing, and animated feature. I got a perfect score in original screenplay and supporting actress. I had eight of 10 best picture nominees, and I should have had nine considering that I hinted “Triangle of Sadness” might get a best picture nod.

Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ke Huy Quan in a scene from "Everything Everywhere All at Once."Allyson Riggs/A24 Films via AP

I kick myself for underestimating “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which wound up with nine nominations. That impressive number — second only to the 11 nods for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and tying with “The Banshees of Inisherin” — was NOT a surprise. I should have known better.

From left: Edin Hasanovic, Aaron Hilmer, Albrecht Schuch, and Felix Kammerera in a scene from "All Quiet on the Western Front."Reiner Bajo/Netflix via AP

However, the nominations for “Triangle of Sadness” were surprising, and not just in the best picture category. The general consensus was, with “All Quiet” receiving 14 BAFTA nominations (the BAFTAs are a good predictor of how the international branch of the Academy thinks), its director Edward Berger would earn the fifth director slot over “Top Gun: Maverick”'s Joseph Kosinski.

Instead, “Triangle” director Ruben Östlund made the cut. There were far better satires to honor, like “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” for instance.


Charlbi Dean Kriek, left, and Harris Dickinson in a scene from "Triangle of Sadness."Neon via AP

In supporting actor, “The Fabelmans” scored a nomination for Judd Hirsch over Paul Dano. Dano’s spot was taken by Brian Tyree Henry for “Causeway,” an unexpected and well-deserved replacement.

Brian Tyree Henry in "Causeway."Wilson Webb/Apple TV+

But the Academy voters saved their biggest jaw-dropper for lead actress.

I got three out of five in that category. My miss on Ana de Armas, as Marilyn Monroe, had more to do with my hatred of her repugnant movie, “Blonde,” than her actual chances. I should have predicted her, as the Academy loves celebrity mimicry (see best actor nominee Austin Butler, who played the King in “Elvis”).

But anyone who predicted Andrea Riseborough for “To Leslie,” a film about an alcoholic single mother who wins the lottery, was practicing black magic. Until a few weeks ago, nobody was talking about this movie.

The snubs

Women directors, for starters, such as Charlotte Wells (”Aftersun”), Sarah Polley (”Women Talking”), and Gina Prince-Bythewood (”The Woman King”) failed to receive nominations despite their critically acclaimed films. At least Polley got an adapted screenplay nod for best picture nominee “Women Talking,” while best actor nominee Paul Mescal received the sole nomination for “Aftersun.”

Viola Davis, the one expected pick from Prince-Bythewood’s epic, got snubbed, as did Danielle Deadwyler, whose performance in “Till” is better than any of this category’s choices.

Danielle Deadwyler, left, and Jalyn Hall in a scene from "Till."Orion Pictures via AP

“Descendant” was left off the best documentary feature list, as was “Decision to Leave” for best international film. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift fans are probably burning Hollywood down; she failed to make the best song category for “Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing,” possibly replaced by 14-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren’s “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman.” Adding insult to Swift’s injury, Warren also just won an honorary Oscar!


Final thoughts

I’m happy for Tyree Henry and “Everywhere Everything All at Once”'s Stephanie Hsu, and to see “Women Talking” get a best picture nod. But I’m happiest that “The Whale” failed in its bid for best adapted screenplay. Which brings me back to Jesus. In my Oscar column last week, I prayed for this snub, promising the Lord that “I’ll start going back to church” if my prayer were answered. Finally, a heavenly bribe works, but for this?! Oh well. See y’all in the pews on Sunday.

Odie Henderson is the Boston Globe's film critic.