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Even without Margot Robbie, today's Oscar nominations serve as a reminder of a great year of movies

How often do you have multiple biopics in an Oscars race that you would actually watch again?

Margot Robbie in Barbie (2023)
Image credit: Warner Bros.

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It's Academy Award nomination day! A day full of news, arguing, anger, and joy, as people who love movies get to quibble about who they think should have made the list (Julianne Moore and Charles Melton) and who they don't (Ryan Gosling). One thing that the Oscar nominations do, that is a bit of a byproduct of the process, however, is give us a snapshot of the year of movies as a whole.

A year full of lightweight movies becomes very apparent when you're looking at a group of nominees that wouldn't make it on the list in any normal year. But nominees in a year like 2023 serve as a reminder that, even with all the stresses around Hollywood at the time, this was kind of an incredible year for movies - maybe the best year in a long while.

It's particularly exciting to see two (perhaps three, if you count Poor Things) comedies on the list for Best Picture, the rise of some fresh names for Best Actress (Sandra Hüller and Lily Gladstone), and even some surprising (but exciting) choices in Actors with Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction and Mark Ruffalo for Poor Things.

While I would have loved to see Julianne Moore on that Supporting Actress list, it's hard to look at the other nominees and say that it's a weak category. And really, when you take a look at that list for Best Picture, which includes American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and The Zone of Interest - it's hard to imagine any movie lover who wouldn't fall in love with at least two or three of those pictures.

So, while it's fun to quibble and fair to feel like our favorites have been overlooked for their great work, it's also a good day to appreciate that there was actually a lot of great work in Hollywood last year - and it's time to celebrate that.

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