US | Jan 25, 2023

‘Avatar’ director James Cameron, ‘Top Gun’ star Tom Cruise snubbed by Oscars

/ Our Today

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Director James Cameron arrives at the world premiere of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ in London. (File Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville)


Avatar: The Way of Water director James Cameron’s box office blockbuster failed to translate to industry acclaim, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ members declined to nominate him on Tuesday (January 24) for best director – one of the most notable Oscar snubs.

Cameron was joined – in omission – by another box-office standout, actor Tom Cruise, whose starring role in Top Gun: Maverick wowed audiences but was overlooked in the best actor category.

Cast member and producer Tom Cruise poses for photographs during a news conference to promote the film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. (FIle Photo: REUTERS/Heo Ran)

Both films did, however, land on the list of 10 nominees for best picture, joining audience-pleasing films such as the biopic Elvis and multiverse adventure comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once.

In a bid to remain relevant to younger audiences, the Academy expanded the number of nominees for best picture to up to 10 more than a dozen years ago and has nominated commercially successful films, breaking from a history of honouring movies and performances its members deem as exhibiting cinematic merit.

Producers Matthew Plouffe and Olivia Hamilton, director Damien Chazelle and cast members Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li and Brad Pitt pose during a photocall for the film ‘Babylon’ at the Grand Rex in Paris, France. (File Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

Another notable snub from the best picture list was Babylon, La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s ambitious ode to old Hollywood. Its A-list stars Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt were also left off the list of acting nominations.

The Oscars also have been criticised in years past for their lack of diversity among nominees, sparking a move to broaden Academy membership.

This year none of the nominees for best director are women.

Actor Viola Davis attends a news conference to promote the premiere of ‘The Woman King’. (File Photo: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes)

Viola Davis, who won acclaim for her performance in The Woman King, was bypassed in the lead actress category, which included such surprise nominees as Andrea Riseborough, who portrayed an addict in To Leslie.

Danielle Deadwyler similarly was overlooked for her breakout role as Mamie Till-Mobley, mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old who was abducted and lynched by white supremacists in 1955, in the movie Till.

Singer Taylor Swift. (File Photo: REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

One of the most successful recording artistes of the era, Taylor Swift, also was snubbed by the Academy. Her song, Carolina, from Where the Crawdads Sing, failed to make the cut for best original song. Lady Gaga and Rihanna received nods for Hold My Hand and Lift Me Up.


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