Ranking the Oscar Nominees for the “Best Picture”

Photo Source: Universal Pictures

Ian Anderson, Writer

The Oscar winners have been announced, and I figured now would be a good time to review and rank all the best-picture nominees. Of course, my opinion isn’t final, and I believe everyone should see these films to formulate their own opinion and thoughts about each film. These rankings are all my personal opinion and not what the actual results were at the 95th Academy Awards.


1. The Fabelmans

Photo Source: Universal Pictures

The Fabelmans is a semi-autobiography based on Steven Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen. Spielberg’s latest film is my favorite from 2022 because of its relatability. The film captures the coming-of-age aspect and was very relatable for me because I wanted to become a filmmaker when I was younger and see some of myself in Sammy. 


2. Top Gun: Maverick

Photo Source: Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise returns to his beloved “Maverick” character that he played 36 years prior. Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it. The cinematography is breathtaking and the action sequences are stunning and brought back the summer blockbusters.


3. All Quiet on the Western Front

Photo Source: Netflix

All Quiet on the Western Front follows a young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I. The remake of the 1930 film under the same name expands upon the original with spectacular cinematography, beautiful color gradient, and surreal action. All Quiet On The Western Front is the best war film we have received since 1917 (2019).


4. The Banshees of Inisherin

Photo source: Searchlight Pictures

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them. Maybe I didn’t fully understand the whole meaning of this film, while I believe the cinematography and acting are brilliant, I couldn’t find myself too immersed in the actual story.


5. Elvis

Photo Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Austin Butler delivers one of the best performances of the year and was nominated for best actor, other than that this film is pretty average.


6. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Photo source: A24

An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes, connecting with the lives she could have led. The eventual Oscar winner places 6th for me because of how over-the-top the story is and how stereotypical the beginning is. However, I’m happy for Ke Huy Quan for finally getting an Oscar!


7. Avatar: The Way of Water

Photo Source: 20th Century Studios

Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the extrasolar moon Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their home. Saying this was the best-looking movie of the year would be an understatement. Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t go home empty-handed like a lot of the best picture nominees, winning Best Visual Effects.


8. Women Talking

Photo Source: United Artists Releasing

A group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a string of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men. This movie is a very deep and impactful film that deserves the praise it gets, but I really found myself distracted by the color grading in this film. All the acting performances are fine, but the film is shot in essentially one location with a very sad and dark gradient that makes the entire movie look dull.


9. Tár

Photo Source: Focus Features

Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, who is widely considered one of the greatest living composers/conductors, on top of being the first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. I knew this movie was going to be a drag when the movie opened up with a 15-minute interview. Cate Blanchett is very solid and deserved her best actress nomination.


10. Triangle of Sadness

Photo Source: Neon

A cruise for the super-rich sinks, thus leaving survivors, including a fashion model celebrity couple, trapped on an island. This was the only nominee that was painful to watch, with all the recent films about rich people being snobs, Triangle of sadness does it very plainly. Triangle of Sadness is a worse version of The Menu (2022) which tackles practically the same issue (and does it without all the vomit).


The Oscars went pretty much as predicted (Other than Jamie Lee Curtis winning) and left everyone feeling somewhat happy. Overall, I believe 2022 was a very good year for film and has paved the way for companies to begin trusting directors again post-pandemic. Theaters are still not in a good place and desperately need people to go see movies. That isn’t just on the people. Hollywood needs to get creative again and make people go to the theaters.