Why was ‘Elvis’ snubbed by Oscars?

The Academy Awards aka the Oscars  are the most prestigious award ceremony for the film industry. Each year, the ceremony recognises the best films, actors, and filmmakers of the year. 

In 2022, a highly anticipated film about the life of Elvis Presley hit theatres worldwide. Titled simply “Elvis“, the movie was a stunning tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, exploring his life and legacy with incredible performances, stunning music, and top-notch cinematography.

Elvis movie collage


The film told a powerful story of transformation and activism, showing how Elvis used his fame to challenge the racism and prejudice that plagued America in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, despite its many strengths, the movie failed to receive a single Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony in 2023, leaving many fans and critics scratching their heads. In this opinion article, I will explore some possible reasons why Elvis did not receive the recognition it deserved despite the buzz and expectations surrounding it.

First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge that the competition at the 2023 Academy Awards was exceptionally tough.

Many outstanding films were released in 2022, and the competition for the awards was incredibly fierce. Elvis was up against some of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, including All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once (WINNER of Best Picture), The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking.

The Academy members had a difficult task of choosing the best amongst the best, and shockingly and disappointingly it is possible that Elvis simply did not meet the criteria that the Academy was looking for.

One of the key factors that may have worked against Elvis is the fact that the film was directed by Baz Luhrmann. While Luhrmann has a reputation for visually stunning films, his previous works have not always been well-received by the Academy. For instance, Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! was nominated for eight Oscars in 2002 but only won two. It is possible that the Academy members were not fully convinced by Luhrmann’s style, and this could have worked against Elvis.

Another possible reason why Elvis did not receive any Oscars is that it was not as critically acclaimed as some of the other films that were nominated. Despite the hype surrounding the film, it received mixed reviews from critics. While some critics praised the film for its performances and direction, others criticised it for its shallow characterisation and lack of depth. In contrast, films like Everything Everywhere All at Once and All Quiet on the Western Front received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and were considered to be the frontrunners for the major awards. It is possible that the Academy members were swayed by the critical consensus and chose to recognise the films that were universally acclaimed.

The performance of the lead actor, Austin Butler, may have also been a factor. While Butler’s performance was widely praised, it may not have been strong enough to compete with some of the other actors who were nominated. In particular, Brendan Fraser’s performance in The Whale (WINNER!) was widely considered to be a standout, and he was seen as a frontrunner for the Best Actor award. Similarly, Colin Farrell’s performance in The Banshees of Inisherin was also highly praised, and he was considered to be a strong contender for the award. It is possible that Butler simply did not stand out enough amongst the other nominees.

Another reason that Elvis may have been overlooked by the Academy is due to the Academy’s notoriously conservative tastes. Historically, the Academy has favoured more traditional, dramatic films, often overlooking more experimental or unconventional works. Elvis, while a powerful and innovative movie, could have been seen as too unconventional or risky for the Academy’s taste. The film tackled issues of race and discrimination in a way that some members of the Academy may have found uncomfortable or controversial, and this could have impacted its reception by the voting body.

Although Elvis missed the Oscar, it could not stop the enthusiasm of fans. Whether you like the actors themselves or the story of the movie, you can express your appreciation and love by making Custom Keychains. You can add the elements you want to the keychain’s design so that the keychain exactly matches your expectations.

Finally, it’s important to note that the Oscars, like all awards ceremonies, are subjective and influenced by a range of factors. While Elvis may have been a deserving candidate for multiple awards, the politics behind the scenes, the lobby groups, the opinions and preferences of the voting body are always subject to change and can be difficult to predict. It’s possible that a combination of factors, including those outlined above, contributed to the film’s lack of success at the awards ceremony, but ultimately, the decision is up to the voting body.

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