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RRR has an Oscar nomination for Naatu Naatu but a Best Picture nom was tough to begin with

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulJan 24, 2023 | 20:49

RRR has an Oscar nomination for Naatu Naatu but a Best Picture nom was tough to begin with

According to our analysis of this year’s awards race, though RRR getting in for Best Picture would have made history, the chances for that happening were really quite slim to begin with. Here's why.

Given its recent wins at the Globes and Critics Choice Awards, as well as Hollywood’s steady preoccupation with the film,  RRR’s chances at securing at least one Oscar nomination had been considerably strengthened. However, that never translated to it making it in for Best Picture.

First things first

A film cannot win an Oscar for a category unless it submits itself for consideration under that category. For instance, if RRR had not submitted itself for Best Cinematography, it could not have been nominated, let alone win the Oscar for Best Cinematography. 

The US distributor for the film, Variance Films, revealed that RRR had been submitted for a total of 15 different categories at the Oscars.

Since the Academy had already announced the longlists of a few categories, we knew for sure that RRR was not going to be nominated for any of the following categories:

  • Best Original Score
  • Best Sound
  • Best Hair & Makeup
  • Best Visual Effects

Given the state of the awards race with its strengthened competition in the acting branch, we knew RRR would not really stand a chance of being nominated under any of the following acting categories it submitted for:

  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Actor

This left the following technical categories:

  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Cinematography

And the following “above-the-line” categories:

  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Director
  • Best Picture

Following the Oscar nomination announcement, RRR made it in for none of the above, save for the expected Best Original Song.

Here's the deal

A film’s performance under the other categories - especially the 'above-the-line categories like Director and Screenplay - alone determines whether or not it stands any chance of receiving the coveted Best Picture nomination.

Given RRR's poor performance in the rest of the categories, a Best Picture nomination was far from possible.

Though inevitably it may not meet (all) the expectations of those back in India and petitions to boycott the Oscars for snubbing RRR from Best Picure seem expected, the likelihood of RRR winning an Oscar for the single category it has been nominated are stronger than ever before.

Besides, the fact that not one, but three Indian productions made it to an international platform as influential as the Academy Awards is a remarkable feat in itself.

A quick rewind: India has 3 nominations at Oscars 2023 - Naatu Naatu from RRR for Best Original Song, All That Breathes for Best Documentary Feature and The Elephant Whisperers for Best Documentary Short.

Fingers crossed and hoping for the best now.

The 95th Academy Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles at 8 pm PT (red carpet at 7 pm) on March 12. That's 5.30 am red carpet and 6.30 am awards on March 13 if you're watching the 95th Academy Awards in India.

Last updated: January 24, 2023 | 20:49
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