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Oscars 2023: here are all the LGBTQ+ films nominated in this year’s race

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2023 Oscar nominees from LGBT films Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett against a pink background with a pink Oscar statue behind them

The nominations for the 2023 Oscars are in, and while there is a distinct lack of queer actors up for the big prizes, LGBTQ+ storylines are taking centre stage.

Despite the Oscars having a fractured history with LGBTQ+ inclusion, last year saw new ground broken as West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose became the first queer woman of colour to win an Oscar. 

It’s a different story this year, as a grand total of zero out LGBTQ+ individuals are up in the best actor, best actress, and best director categories. Meanwhile, queer Pakistani drama Joyland isn’t included in the final best international feature film list, and neither is Morocco’s drama about a closeted Caftan store owner, The Blue Caftan.

Then there’s Keke Palmer in Nope, Janelle Monáe in Glass Onion, and Jeremy Pope in The Inspection – all without nominations. Boo!

Looking on the bright side, though, there’s a fair number of films with queer storylines at the fore that could sweep the board, and that is something to celebrate. Here are all the 2023 Oscar nominations LGBTQ people need to know about…

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Everything Everywhere All At Once

The absurdist dark comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once leads the pack this year with a remarkable 11 Oscar nominations.

It’s one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year and it’s got a queer plot at its heart, as it follows mother Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) at loggerheads over Joy’s queer relationship with partner Becky (Tallie Medel).

Stephanie Hsu is finally up for best actress in a supporting role, as is honorary gay Jamie Lee Curtis for her chaotic role as Deirdre Beaubeirdre.

Film fans are delighted to see Hsu getting her flowers for the performance, considering she was snubbed at the Golden Globes.

Michelle Yeoh is also up for best actress, while the film itself is in pole position to scoop awards including best directing, best original screenplay, and the coveted best picture.

Tár

Psychological drama Tár stars Cate Blanchett as lesbian conductor Lydia Tár – one of the world’s greatest composers. As the film progresses, her life begins to unravel as she’s hit by allegations of abusive behaviour.

While the film has divided film fans and critics, that hasn’t stopped it from bagging no less than six Oscar nominations, including the much sought-after best picture award.

Blanchett is up for best actress in a leading role, and the film itself will battle it out for prizes in categories including best cinematography, best directing and best film editing.

The Whale

The Whale only hit US screens in the latter part of 2022, but it has still made waves as one of the best films of the 12 months. The psychological drama features Brendan Fraser as “obese” queer English teacher Charlie as he tries to reconnect with his daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink).

Fraser is up for best actor, while Hong Chau is nominated for best actress in a supporting role for her role as Charlie’s nurse and friend Liz.

Night Ride

Eirik Tveiten’s Night Ride follows Ebba (Sigrid Husjord), as a fed-up tram passenger, who decides to steal a tram and pick up passengers as she rides through the night. The film is an interesting exploration of gender identity and the violence faced by trans people, as it features Ariel (Ola Hoemsnes Sandum), a trans woman who is harassed as she tries to make her way home.

Night Ride is up for best live-action short film.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Calling Glass Onion a queer film is a stretch, to say the least. But it features the mother of all mothers Janelle Monáe as Andi, and Daniel Craig is in a queer relationship, so there’s that.

Glass Onion is up for best adapted screenplay.

Close

It’s another stretch, but here we go: Belgium film Close is up for best international feature film. It’s a queer-coded, coming-of-age film exploring the complex friendship between two young boys, as they grapple with showing their feelings towards one another in a world overcome by toxic masculinity.

Top Gun: Maverick

Limbering up for stretch number three – Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” is up for best original song. Respect to ‘Mother Monster’.

The Oscars airs at midnight GMT on Monday 13 March.

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