The 2023 Oscars Did RRR Dirty, And Yes, We’re Mad About It

This year’s nominations were mostly as expected and predicted for the past few months. From “The Banshees of Inisherin,” to Brendan Fraser, to “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” and “The Fabelmans.” Granted, there are some surprises, for as safe a bet as “Everything Everywhere All at Once” became in the past few weeks, it is still astounding that such a weird little movie would get such awards recognition.

Though not a huge surprise, it is still pleasant to see this year’s nominations go not only to critical darling dramas and indie films, but even to giant blockbusters that delighted both audiences and critics, like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Elvis.” Even “Avatar: The Way of Water” managed to squeeze in a nomination despite coming out in theaters just a month ago.

But if we’re awarding giant blockbusters because of how they capture the cinema-going experience, for how they provide escapism, fantastic visuals, and larger-than-life stories, for welcoming us back into movie theaters in the biggest possible way, then explain how in hell “RRR” was overlooked. S.S. Rajamouli’s latest film does everything “Top Gun: Maverick” does, but bigger and without the whole cult thing. Bombastic action? Check. Stunning camera work and VFX? Check. Impossible stunts? Oh, you know it. Over-the-top characters, an epic romance, a killer soundtrack, and tons of great shots about the male body? Quadruple check.

This being the year we give a weird little movie about the multiverse, sausage fingers, and Raccacoonie nominations is great, but why does the Academy seemingly have a quota in weird or big movies? Why is “RRR” being relegated to having a single nomination (granted, for its most culturally relevant aspect, but still) rather than actually evaluating the film on the same level as American or English movies?

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