It’s not often that sequels really go up for serious Oscar consideration… and it’s never been the case that two are up for Best Picture at the same time. Both Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way Of Water have managed to get Oscar nominations, but they face some stiff competition.
Other films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year include Everything Everywhere All at Once, Elvis, Tár, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, All Quiet on the Western Front, Triangle of Sadness, and Women Talking. Of course, regardless of how this all goes for Joseph Kosinski or James Cameron, we can at least all agree that it’s been a great year for movies.
Both films are up for a variety of other nominations. For Avatar: The Way Of Water, we have nominations for Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Production Design. On the other hand, Top Gun: Maverick is sitting pretty with a few more nominations and in some weightier categories. It’s in the running for Best Original Song, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
Both films made a ton of money at the box office, received rave reviews from critics, and were well-liked by the general public. Unfortunately, when you’re up against such great films, that’s not always a guaranteed win. Luckily, both of these films also arguably have a pretty huge cultural impact, and that can really give them a leg up. Top Gun: Maverick also has nominations in some pretty key categories like Best Film Editing. Even if it doesn’t win Best Picture (which is very unlikely), it could still take home some Oscars in other categories.
Regardless of how this goes, everyone involved with both movies should be excited to know that they were part of breaking an Oscars record. People frequently push back against the sequel-wave that Hollywood has been riding, but these nominations show that sometimes, sequels really are good.