RRR's Naatu Naatu dances its way to Oscar nominations, takes India's tally to 3

Jan 24, 2023

By: Srishti Magan

3 Indian films in the Oscar race

Over a decade after Slumdog Millionaire bagged multiple Oscar nominations, three Indian films–RRR, The Elephant Whisperers, and All That Breathes—have made it to the list. To date, 5 Indians have won the Academy Awards - 3 of whom won it for Slumdog Millionaire.

Credit: BCCL

95th Oscar nominations

With the current nominations, India looks poised to increase its Oscar kitty. While the Oscar nominations were released on January 24, the final ceremony will take place on March 13, 2023. Here’s a look at the nominations across major categories:

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Best Original Song

Naatu Naatu from RRR, which won the Golden Globe, also won a nomination for Best Original Song. Other nominees include Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand, Rihanna’s Lift Me Up, Diane Warren’s Applause, and Ryan Lott & Mitski’s This Is A Life.

Credit: BCCL

Best Documentary Short Film

Kartiki Gonsalves’ short documentary The Elephant Whisperers, streaming on Netflix, made the cut. It will compete for the award with Haulout, How Do You Measure A Year?, The Martha Mitchell Effect and Stranger At The Gate.

Credit: Netflix

Best Documentary Feature

Shaunak Sen’s documentary feature, All That Breathes, has already bagged two international awards at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. And now it has been nominated alongside A House Made Of Splinters, Navalny, Fire Of Love, All The Beauty And The Bloodshed, and Fire of Love.

Credit: All-That-Breathes

Best Picture

​10,000 filmmakers and artists select the 10 nominees for this coveted category. This year’s nominees include Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, Tár, Women Talking, Triangle of Sadness, Top Gun: Maverick, and The Fabelmans. ​

Credit: BCCL

Best Actor

The list included the usual favourites - this year’s Golden Globe winners Austin Butler (Elvis) and Collin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) along with the year’s Critics’ Choice Best Actor Brendan Fraser (The Whale). Other nominees included Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Bill Nighy (Living).

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Best Actress

Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) have been sweeping the awards this year, and can easily be dubbed the top contenders in the category. Other nominees include Ana De Armas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), and Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans).

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Best Directing

Though James Cameron didn’t make the cut for Avatar, the category has tough competition with contenders like Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness) and Todd Field (Tár).

Credit: BCCL

Best International Feature

Though RRR was the more popular choice, India’s official entry for the category was Pan Nalin’s Gujarati drama Chello Show (Last Film Show) - but it failed to win a nomination. The year’s nominees include Golden Globe winner Argentina, 1985 (Argentina), along with All Quiet On The Western Front (Germany), Close (Belgium), EO (Poland), and The Quiet Girl (Ireland).

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Nominations for all categories announced

Oscars released the nominations for all 24 categories, including Best Actor & Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Costume Design, Best Short Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Visual Effects, and others.

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