The Oscars 2023 ceremony is just around the corner, and the excitement has reached the sky. While we wait for the big night to find out the Oscars 2023’s winners, we are taking the time to have a look at this year’s list of nominees in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category.
Even though this year’s list may not have its almost-regular guest Meryl Streep, the Oscars 2023’s nominee list still managed to delight with some seriously talented actresses whose work this past year has blown our minds!
From the history-making names to the coming-back names, the Oscars 2023 nominees’ list for Best Actress in a Leading Role category is beaming with immense talent! Coming up next, we will have a closer look at each nominee and their outstanding work!
Cate Blanchett — Tár
Cate Blanchett, the prodigious talent that keeps growing, is back, leading the race for the Best Actress award at the Oscars 2023 with her eighth nomination. With this nomination, Cate holds the record for the most nominated Australian actress for the Oscars! Two of which she has already won for her impeccable performances in the drama Queen Elizabeth (1998) and the comedy-drama Blue Jasmine (2013).
Cate’s eighth nomination is no surprise, her performance in Tár was glorious, and her acting is one of the main reasons that made the film successful. Like always, Cate’s note-perfect portrayal of the formidable maestro Lydia Tár has been receiving rave reviews and praise. In fact, some even called it the best performance of her career!
The psychological character study Tár brilliantly sheds light on the cancelling culture that appeared with the #Metoo movement and how it affected the entertainment industry. Cancelling culture means the public cancelling or calling for not supporting a public figure who has committed something that would be considered socially unacceptable. This cancelling or public shaming usually takes place on different social media platforms.
The film follows the two Academy-award-winner in the role of Lydia Tár, who is an esteemed composer-conductor and even celebrated as one of the greatest in her field as she faces sexual misconduct assaults. Like Cate’s performance, the film has been a magnet to awards and nominations. It was chosen as the best film of the year by four prestigious critics’ groups; the London Film Critics, the New York Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics, and the National Society of Film Critics Associations. It is the fourth film to be praised by all these key critics’ groups combined.
The film’s premiere was at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, and Cate went home with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. The award was only the beginning of a long list of awards to be added to Cate’s repertoire. Shortly after, she won the Best Actress in a drama award at both the 28th Critics Choice Awards and the 80th Golden Globe Awards, the Best Actress at the BAFTA 2023, and the accolades keep coming!
Along with Cate’s nomination for the Oscars 2023, the film also received five other Academy Awards nominations. Tár is directed by Todd Field, who also wrote it, and besides Cate Blanchett, the film features Noémie Merlant and Nina Hoss.
Ana de Armas— Blonde
Cuban-Spanish Ana de Armas is writing her name in cinema history with this Oscars 2023 nomination, becoming the first Cuban actress to be among the Best Actress in a Leading Role nominees for the Award at the Oscars 2023 for her role in Blonde! The fictional biopic about Marilyn Monroe’s life, Blonde, was so controversial that it was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award/ Razzies (an award for the worst film in the industry) and an Oscar award at the same time!
However, regardless of the film’s controversy, there is no denying how absorbing Ana’s acting was! Ana wholeheartedly incarnated the iconic Marilyn Monroe, making us feel the complexity of the late star’s life journey.
Prior to its Oscars 2023 nomination, Ana was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globe Awards; this was her second nomination at the Golden Globe Awards, as she was previously nominated for her role in Knives Out (2019).
For her part in Blonde, Ana has already scored the Best Actress award at the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival and got nominations for Best Actress at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards and the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
Blonde is the second adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s novel of the same name, which was released in 2000. The film is directed by Andrew Dominik, who also wrote its screenplay. The film stars Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Xavier Samuel, and Bobby Cannavale.
Andrea Riseborough—To Leslie
A fresh face at the Oscars 2023 race is Andrea Riseborough. Andrea left the audience in awe with her magnificent performance in To Leslie. She beautifully presented a raw portrayal of addiction and alcoholism and the struggle that comes along. Some critics have deemed Andrea’s portrayal of addiction to be the best ever presented.
The To Leslie star is no stranger to the spotlight; the BAFTA nominee has been the recipient of critical acclaim before, thanks to her terrific performance in works like the miniseries The Devil’s Whore (2008), the TV film The Long Walk to Finchley (2008), and the miniseries The Witness for the Prosecution (2016).
Like the Oscars 2023 nominee Andrea, the independent film has received praise from critics and audiences alike. To Leslie follows an alcoholic single mother who, after winning the lottery, wastes all the money on her addiction. The film is the directorial debut of Michael Morris, and it is written by Ryan Binaco. Additionally to Andrea Riseborough, the film features Allison Janney, Andre Royo, Marc Maron, and Owen Teague.
Michelle Williams— The Fabelmans
Marking her fourth Oscars nomination, Michele Williams is back in the Oscars 2023 nominees list, thanks to her fantastic performance in The Fabelmans. Michelle smoothly added a new signature role in her career, playing the role of Mitzi Fabelman, the mother of an aspiring filmmaker.
There is nothing new here; Michelle’s talent has always managed to put her name on the nomination list of numerous awards, many of which she won. She won the Golden Globe twice for her role in My Week with Marilyn (2011) and the miniseries Fosse/Verdon (2019), for which she also won a Primetime Emmy Award.
Set in the following years after WWII, The Fabelmans follows the story of an adolescent who dreams of becoming a filmmaker while handling his family issues along the way. Soon enough, the young man realises the power of cinema and how it can help him deal with his family troubles.
The Fabelmans is such a special project because of its origins and the mind behind it! The film was written by one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, Steven Spielberg, who also directed it. The story is loosely based on Spielberg’s life as a teenager and his early years as a filmmaker. It is like a trip to Spielberg’s home and family roots, presenting his journey of becoming the brilliant filmmaker and the significant figure of Hollywood he is now.
The semi-biographical, The Fabelmans, is headlined by Gabriel LaBelle and Michelle Williams, with Paul Dano, Judd Hirsch, and Seth Rogen. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg, who wrote and co-produced it with Tony Kushner. Besides the widespread acclaim and seven nominations at the Oscars 2023, the National Board of Review chose the film as one of the top films of 2022.
Michelle Yeoh— Everything Everywhere All at Once
Going down in history as the first Asian woman to be in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category nomination list, Michelle Yeoh’s nomination is long overdue! Last year, the 60-year-old actress soared away from her home of action and martial arts cinema into the multiverse of Everything Everywhere All at Once, earning her first nomination at the Oscars 2023 with a show-stopping performance!
Michelle’s performance was genuinely everything, everywhere, and all at once—pun intended! Showing that she has more up her sleeves than just martial arts skills, Michelle unmasked a wide range of talents in this film that audiences rarely saw before. The Crouching Tiger star has been showered with rave reviews and critical praise for her role, which some critics considered the “anchor” of the whole film!
In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Michelle effortlessly presented an account of an overtired mother trying to keep her family together while journeying the multiverse. In addition to the acting, the film has also been praised for the screenplay and the direction.
The film creatively brings to the spotlight several philosophical issues like existentialism (exploring human existence), absurdism (the absurdity of human existence), and nihilism (rejecting profound human existence elements). It also sheds light on the generation gap and Asian-American identity issues.
While the film’s central themes sound pretty complex, they were presented humorously and brilliantly in a way that overwhelmed us all. Everything Everywhere All at Once has been having the lion’s share of nominations at almost all prestigious festivals; it was nominated for six awards at the Golden Globe Awards, two of which went to Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.
It was also nominated for five awards at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards, five at the 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards, and ten at the 76th BAFTA, including Best Film. Not to mention being the most nominated film at the Oscars 2023 with eleven nominations, including Best Picture! Everything Everywhere All at Once is directed and written by “The Daniels” Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. It stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The race for the Oscars 2023 Best Actress in a Leading Role is really tough! We can’t decide which one we are rooting for; they all deserve it, and they all did a remarkable job. However, no matter who goes home with the Oscars 2023 Best Actress in a Leading Role award, we are lucky that we got to see some new Oscars gems by these talented actresses!