In years past a major complaint lobbied against The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was that they were out of touch and never nominated actual mainstream movies for their top prize. Combatting that was a key reason the Best Picture category expanded to a sliding amount of nominees, now locked at ten nominees. After the rule change, more popular films finally started getting in on the conversation like District 9, Inglorious Basterds, Toy Story 3, American Sniper, Mad Max: Fury Road, Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, and Joker. This year saw the two biggest movies of the year earn nods with both Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water nominated for Best Picture.
As fans may recall, one major reason that The Academy expanded the field for Best Picture was after The Dark Knight failed to land a nomination, causing more of an uproar than had been seen up to that point. Not only did comic book fans think this was a major snub, but Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg thinks it was too. Speaking with Deadline, The Fabelmans director noted that he was excited by the crop of blockbusters that managed to get Best Picture nominees, beliving that The Dark Knight should have started it all.
"I'm really encouraged by that," Spielberg said of the Top Gun and Avatar sequels getting nods. "It came late for the film that should have been nominated a number of years ago, Christopher Nolan's, The Dark Knight. That movie would have definitely garnered a Best Picture Nomination today, so having these two blockbusters solidly presented on the top 10 list is something we should all be celebrating."
In the wake of The Dark Knight's Best Picture snub, comic book movies continued to find success at the Oscars, though only Black Panther and Joker would gain those coveted Best Picture nods. Ever year has seen Marvel and DC movies gain Best Visual Effects nominations, never winning. Rare wins came in the form of Suicide Squad taking home Best Makeup and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with Best Animated Feature. 2017's Logan would earn a Best Adapted Screenplay nod, but not a win. Even the latest Batman movie, The Batman, only managed three nominations including Best Sound, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Visual Effects.
The complete list of Best Picture nominees this year include:
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- Avatar: The Way of Water
- The Banshees of Inisherin
- Everything Everywhere All at Once
- The Fabelmans
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Triangle of Sadness
- Women Talking