10 Austin connections in 2023 Oscar nominations, like 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'
Some years, the Academy Award nominations are cause to celebrate our most famous Austinities. Think about Matthew McConaughey’s nod for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” and Renee Zellweger’s for “Judy” — both eventual wins — or even the best picture nomination for Richard Linklater’s "Boyhood.” Heck, last year, we had nominations for lowkey locals Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons for their work in “The Power of the Dog.”
The 2023 Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning. This year, you have to look just a little closer to find the Austin connections. But honestly, not that much closer! Here are 10 local ties, in one way or another. The 95th edition of the Oscars air March 12 on KVUE.
1. 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'
The indie sci-fi success story went from fan favorite of 2022 to awards season darling, culminating in a pack-leading 11 nominations. Among its possible Oscars: best picture, best actress for Michelle Yeoh, best supporting actor for Ke Huy Quan, best supporting actress for Jamie Lee Curtis or Stephanie Hsu and best director for Daniels (aka duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert).
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” made its world premiere during South by Southwest on March 11 at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin. Yeoh, Quan, Hsu, Curtis, Kwan and Scheinert all walked the red carpet and talked to the American-Statesman.
"In this movie, there were a lot of sides of me that I didn't know I had," Yeoh told us on the red carpet. "But it was a good challenge. I've been in the business over 30 years, and I love the fact that I'm still learning, I'm forced to learn, I'm challenged to no end. And the Daniels did that."
Curtis spoke out in defense of transgender Texans, facing discriminatory policies from Gov. Greg Abbott: “I will do everything that I can, along with millions of other people, to support and defend the rights of these trans young people."
We also asked Kwan what his starter Pokémon is, since he was wearing a Pokémon shirt. The answer: Squirtle.
Eric Webb's review:In 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,' Michelle Yeoh fights for her lives at SXSW
Baz Luhrmann’s fantastical biopic of the king of rock & roll scored a few nominations, including best picture and best actor for Austin Butler. But, uh, that doesn’t count as an Austin connection.
Its real local tie? Austin native and blues superstar Gary Clark Jr. has a brief but pivotal role in “Elvis” as Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, a Mississippi blues musician who was one of Elvis Presley’s musical inspirations.
Eric Webb's review:From Austin Butler's high to Tom Hanks' Tupelo, 'Elvis' mostly lands with grace
3. 'Top Gun: Maverick'
The big-budget blockbuster, which put Tom Cruise up in the sky again after his iconic role in the 1980s “Top Gun,” nabbed some recognition from the academy, including a best picture nomination. For our purposes, we’re excited that the movie co-starred Glen Powell, who grew up in Austin, attended Westwood High School and went to the University of Texas before feeling the need for speed as hotshot pilot Hangman.
"I am going forward to take what Tom Cruise taught us and to infuse it into every movie I do for the rest of my life," Powell told us last year.
Eric Webb's 'Top Gun: Maverick' review: High praise to the danger clone
4. 'The Banshees of Inisherin'
Writer-director Martin McDonagh’s period drama/comedy/allegory/kinda-fantasy got Oscar’s notice in categories like best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best actor (for Colin Farrell), best supporting actor (for Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan) and best supporting actress (for Kerry Condon). “The Banshees of Inisherin” made its U.S. premiere during Fantastic Fest on Sept. 24 at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar.
5. 'Triangle of Sadness'
Another Fantastic Fest success story. The dark comedy made its U.S. premiere at the Austin genre film festival on Sept. 29 at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. On Tuesday, it scored noms including best picture and directing and original screenplay for Ruben Östlund.
Celebrity visits and cinema shakeups: The year in Austin movie news
6. 'Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio'
The academy loves del Toro, whose “The Shape of Water” won him best picture and best director in 2018. This year, his interpretation of a familiar fairy tale got him nominated for best animated feature.
You might not know that del Toro lived in Austin earlier in his career, while making 2001’s “The Devil’s Backbone.” In 2015, Austin Film Society inducted him into the Texas Film Hall of Fame as an honorary Texan. (The auteur was born in Guadalajara, Mexico.)
While living here, del Toro "became an essential player in Austin's film community, working with filmmakers here to make his next creative steps,” AFS’ Holly Herrick said in 2015.
7. 'Marcel the Shell With Shoes On'
Dean Fleischer-Camp's splendid adaptation of everyone’s favorite mollusk-starring viral videos also got nominated for best animated feature. Starring the voices of Jenny Slate and Isabella Rossellini, it got its Texas premiere at SXSW last year. And not for nothing, the Statesman (hi) named it the best movie of 2022.
More from Eric Webb:These are the Statesman's 10 favorite movies of 2022
8. 'To Leslie'
Among the more viral moments of Tuesday’s nominations announcement was a best actress nod for Andrea Riseborough, for the relatively obscure drama “To Leslie.” Riseborough received a late-in-the-game publicity blitz from famous folks like Kate Winslet, Amy Adams and Gwyneth Paltrow. The movie was a little less obscure to Austin film fans — it made its world premiere at SXSW last year.
9. 'Ice Merchants' and 'My Year of Dicks'
These two were nominated for best animated short, and both screened at SXSW 2022, a Texas premiere for “Ice Merchants” and world premiere for “My Year of Dicks.”
Eric Webb's review:The lurid, leering disaster of 'The Whale'
10. And a few more at Austin Film Festival
The city’s namesake film fest screened several 2023 Oscar-nominated titles last fall, including “The Whale” (best actor for Brendan Fraser, best supporting actress for Hong Chau and best makeup/hairstyling), “Women Talking” (best picture and best adapted screenplay for Sarah Polley), “Aftersun” (best actor for Paul Mescal), “Causeway” (best supporting actor for Brian Tyree Henry), “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (best adapted screenplay for Rian Johnson) and live action short “The Red Suitcase."
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Oscar nominations have Austin connections, like SXSW and local celebs