Anonymous Oscars voter shares thoughts on Best Picture nominees

An anonymous Academy voter has offered their personal opinion on all ten of the Best Picture nominees at this year’s Oscars.

The voting window for members of The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, which opened on 2 March, came to a close on Tuesday (7 March) night at 5pm PST.

The nominated films vying for the biggest award at Sunday (12 March) night’s ceremony are an eclectic bunch. At this point, it could be anybody’s race, although Everything Everywhere All At Once remains the favoured winner.

However, in a new interview with IndieWire, an anonymous voting AMPAS member has shared their honest thoughts on this year’s Best Picture contenders, throwing a major curveball in this race.

Among their top three favourite movies, they named James Cameron’s blockbuster epic Avatar: The Way of Water, Steven Speilberg’s semi-autobiographical masterpiece The Fabelmans and underdog drama comedy The Triangle of Sadness.

Of the Avatar sequel, they found they were “absorbed from the beginning”, noting that was was something that “didn’t happen” with most of the other movies.

“A few plot points were cliché, but that didn’t bother me,” they acknowledged. “It’s beyond just a big spectacular science-fiction movie: putting it in that category minimises it.

They praised director Cameron for creating “a whole new world: an amazing achievement”, adding they were “surprised” he didn’t get nominated for Best Director. “It’s my pick for Best Picture.”

Second to Avatar: The Way of Water, they listed The Fabelmans. “It’s beautifully made and written and covered a lot of territory. It captured the time and the people beautifully,” they lauded.

Michelle Yeoh in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ (A24, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Studios)
Michelle Yeoh in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ (A24, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Studios)

“It had a lot of variation in what was going on. It’s not a quiet movie, it was steady. It took you into a world, you believed it, it wasn’t hitting you over the head with anything.”

Next, they found Triangle of Sadness “intriguing and inventive”.

“It held my interest. All the actors were exceptional,” they said.

As for the A24 multiverse darling, Everything Everywhere All At Once, they “thought it was a mess” and hard to follow with “all the time changes”.

All Quiet on the Western Front is beautifully made,” they said of Netflix’s remake of the 1980 original. “The crafts were great.”

They found Tom Cruise’s sequel Top Gun: Maverick’s ending to be “the same old plan” as the actor’s 1986 predecessor.

However, they understood it to be “a popular film that people can root for”.

“It’s a genre that doesn’t get recognised. I appreciate the craftsmanship.”

Speaking about Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, they admitted they “liked the first two-thirds”.

“It maintained itself beautifully,” they explained, before “it fell apart” and “got silly at the end”.

Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis “was okay”, they contended. “I wasn’t wild about it. I got tired of the Tom Hanks character and Elvis rebelling and going back to him.”

Addressing Todd Field’s thrilling drama Tár, they said: “It was a miss for me.”

Lastly, they found Sarah Polley’s Women Talking “boring”.

“It was so static, it never left the barn,” they said. “The actors were terrific, I can’t take anything away from them. It’s what they were saying, the issues they were raising. It was torture for me.”

The 2023 Oscars broadcast live on 12 March on ABC, beginning at 8pm EST/5pm PST. Find the full list of nominees here.