Watch scenes from the 10 nominated films up for the top prize at the 95th annual Academy Awards, as well as interviews with the stars and filmmakers, at the links below.
The Oscars will be presented on March 12.
When it was published in 1929, "All Quiet on the Western Front," by German World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque, was an immediate sensation. The story, which follows idealistic young German soldiers who descend into the hell of trench warfare in the First World War, is considered one of the most powerful anti-war stories ever written, and previously inspired an Oscar-winning 1930 film and an Emmy-winning 1979 CBS TV-movie.
This latest version is harrowing, but also melancholic, as Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) evolves from an idealistic teenager who enlists to fight for the Kaiser, into a disillusioned cog in a war machine.
Writer-director Martin Berger (who is nominated for best adapted screenplay) told "Sunday Morning" that the film's brutal war scenes are there for a reason: "We didn't want to make a violent movie for violence's sake. We wanted to make a movie that grabs you by the lapels, drags you through the mud, and gives you the feeling, a very subjective feeling. In my opinion, it has to be violent and brutal to the edge, because everything else would be propaganda."
That violence is horrifyingly evident in this scene of an Allied tank attack on a German-held trench. "We really tried to put you into the shoes of these kids underneath the tank to really feel that panic and the vibrating ground," Berger said.
The film is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best picture, international feature, cinematography, production design, visual effects, sound, makeup and hairstyling, and original score. It won best film at the BAFTAs (Britain's version of the Oscars), and best foreign language film at the Golden Globes.
"All Quiet on the Western Front": Remaking the anti-war classic ("Sunday Morning")
"All Quiet on the Western Front" is now playing in theaters and streaming on Netflix
The Academy has rarely looked to sequels as best picture candidates, but for James Cameron's long-in-the-works follow-up to his 2009 best picture nominee "Avatar," this return to Pandora has earned four Oscar nominations, including best picture, visual effects, production design and sound.
Set sixteen years after the events of the first film, the indigenous Na'vi are engaged in a war against invading humans who seek to plunder their world. The story takes Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who'd left his human body behind to live as a genetically-modified Na'vi avatar among the natives, into the underwater realm of his adopted planet.
In this scene, Lo'ak, a young Na'vi, befriends a whale-like sea creature, a Tulkun. It's an example of how performance capture (involving actor Britain Dalton) is perfectly crafted into computer-generated air and water environments to create a touching moment of characters bonding.
And there are more "Avatars" coming. Cameron shot Part 3 and some of Part 4 simultaneously with Part 2, and anticipates a fifth film as well, each set in different environments of Pandora.
Was the world crying out for a follow-up to a sci-fi film from 13 years ago? Apparently! In just more than two months, "Avatar: The Way of Water," which runs more than three hours, has earned more than $2.2 billion at the box office worldwide.
Behind the scenes of "Avatar: The Way of Water" visual effects (Weta FX)
Why the CG water in "The Way of Water" looks so good (Before & Afters)
"Avatar: The Way of Water" is now playing in theaters, including Imax 3D engagements.
The schism that erupts between Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), two old friends living on a windswept island off the Irish coast, comes out of left field when Colm decides, bluntly, that he just doesn't like Pádraic anymore, and doesn't want him in his life. What's a lifelong friend to do? Pádraic rejects Colm's rejection and tries with all his heart to worm his way back into Colm's good graces, but that only encourages greater, and more gruesome, repudiation.
Hilarious and heartbreaking, "The Banshees of Inisherin" is a reunion for Farrell and Gleeson, who previously teamed up for writer-director Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges." Unlike "Bruges," this is not a buddy film; the actors' easy familiarity is employed for the purpose of demonstrating resistance to change, and a desire for solitude, pushing back rather than bonding – and in Pádraic's case, a deep sense of loss that his life is irrevocably changed for the worse.
When asked by "Sunday Morning" if the actors had to distance themselves during production in order to foster that sense of separation from each other, Farrell replied, "I was a bit nervous about that. Just because I love the man, and I was nervous about, 'Jeez, are we gonna have to give each other space?' And then when we saw each other for the first time in a couple of years to start this, we just said, 'Do you need a bit of … Are we going to do a little …' And we looked at each other, 'Well, achh, naah, I don't need it.'"
In this scene, Colm announces to Pádraic, "I just don't like ya' no more."
The film is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including for Golden Globe-winner Farrell and Gleeson, as well as Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan (who both won BAFTA Awards for their supporting performances). McDonagh is up for directing and original screenplay, as well as for producing, as is Coen Brothers' mainstay Carter Burwell for his haunting score.
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson on "The Banshees of Inisherin," friendship ("Sunday Morning")
Kerry Condon on "The Banshees of Inisherin" ("CBS Mornings")
"The Banshees of Inisherin" is playing in theaters, available on demand and home video, and streaming on HBO Max
Not many biopics are told from the perspective of a villain – "Amadeus" comes to mind – but for director Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge!"), the narrator for his story of the rise of rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley is Col. Tom Parker, the circus promoter who sees in Presley not just a meal ticket, but a banquet ticket.
Taking over as his manager, Parker helps raise the mama's boy from Mississippi to the heights of stardom but then suffers his own fall as the rock and blues singer tries to accommodate shifting popular tastes, setting up an estrangement with his chief promoter. Presley, meanwhile, falters and descends into his Vegas-era lounge singer act.
Tom Hanks, as a corpulent Parker, oozes dreams of avarice, but even his full-throated rapacity can't overshadow the charisma and physicality of Oscar-nominee and Golden Globe-winner Austin Butler, whose performance (in which he sings most of the King's biggest hits that are featured here) is electric.
In this scene, Presley performs "If I Can Dream" for his 1968 comeback Christmas TV special, pushing back on pressure from his manager and producers who want one style of music – and the King another.
Butler talked with "Sunday Morning" about the emotions behind his performance: "The people that we view as superhuman, they aren't void of fear, and they aren't void of those things that we may feel in ourselves, and think that we shouldn't feel that. And that was a beautiful gift that this whole process gave me, was realizing that it's okay to feel those things. It's what you do with it, you know, and it's how you proceed further."
"Elvis" is nominated for eight Oscars, including for cinematography, costumes, editing, production design, sound, and makeup and hairstyling.
Austin Butler and Baz Lurhmann on filming "Elvis" ("Sunday Morning")
"Elvis" is playing in theaters, available on demand and home video, and is streaming on HBO Max.
Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is an action-comedy of the multiverse, in which an Asian immigrant laundromat owner in trouble with the IRS finds herself connecting to other parallel universes' versions of herself – action movie star, hibachi chef, and one sporting hot dog fingers – in order to call upon unrealized resources both within and outside of herself, to restore reality, save her family, and complete her taxes.
At least that's what we think it's about; it's also about bagels and googly eyes. The directing duo of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively, The Daniels) have created an indie epic that honors the plight of immigrant families seeking to assimilate, and of parents and children struggling to connect, while also parodying action movies, with elaborate fight scenes and wondrously-detailed CGI that belies the film's $14 million budget.
Selecting a scene from a film that takes place in so many alternate universes is challenging, but one of the most affecting scenes, if not the most, is the simplest: a setting in which a mother and daughter's alternate universe manifestations are as rocks, with dialogue in subtitles. Brilliant.
The film's cast (who didn't always portray rocks) won the Screen Actors Guild Award, as did stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis, whose IRS agent Deirdre Beaubeirdre is perhaps the greatest comic triumph of her career.
Ke Huy Quan: "A full life is a life full of ups and downs" ("Sunday Morning")
Jamie Lee Curtis on screams, laughter and kindness ("Sunday Morning")
Michelle Yeoh on "Everything Everywhere All at Once" ("Sunday Morning")
"Everything Everywhere All at Once" is now in theaters, available on demand and home video, and streaming on Showtime.
Steven Spielberg's oeuvre is filled with stories of childlike wonder, or a child's gleeful sense of horror, that grew darker as he aged, with films such as "Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan" and "Lincoln." But the director, who just turned 76, has finally told his origin story in "The Fabelmans." Inspired by his own family history, the film depicts a young boy's entrancement with making movies, which shapes him as an individual at the same time that his family is falling apart – riven by divorce predicated on his mother's affair with her father's best friend.
"I've got better perspective now about what happened a long time ago," he told "Sunday Morning." "So, that's why this is something that had to wait for me to, I guess, grow up in order to look back."
In this scene, family friend Bennie (Seth Rogan) entreats upon young Sammy (Gabriel LaBelle) to pursue his filmmaking interests, even though Sammy has his own reasons to reject Bennie's gift of a camera.
Making the film, which won the Golden Globe for best drama, was cathartic for Spielberg, he told "Sunday Morning." "It's like making a movie, you know, and realizing with this movie, what have I just done? Has this been $40 million of therapy? Whoever spends $40 million in therapy?"
The movie is up for seven Academy Awards, including Spielberg's ninth for best director (he's won three times). John Williams broke his own record, with his 53rd nomination for his score – the most of anyone alive.
Steven Spielberg on making "The Fabelmans": "It was cathartic for me" ("Sunday Morning")
Judd Hirsch on "this thing called acting" ("Sunday Morning")
Gallery: The films of Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg on his optimism
"The Fabelmans" is now in theaters and available on demand and home video.
Cate Blanchett won the best actress BAFTA and Golden Globe for her riveting and at times grueling performance as Lydia Tár, a celebrated Berlin orchestra conductor whose professional success (cresting with her rehearsals for a cycle of Mahler recordings) and marriage is jeopardized by her actions, which open up a wave of attacks on social media, fueling charges of cancel culture. Written and directed by Todd Field ("Little Children"), the film is provocative and at times brutally caustic in its examination of a woman seeking to remake herself, whose personal demons drive her to self-destruct.
In this scene late in the film, Tár discovers that her position leading a Mahler symphony has been usurped, her conductor's score "stolen" from her, and so she makes a piteously desperate bid to reclaim her place on the podium.
Blanchett learned to play the piano and studied conducting (including stick technique) for the role. She told "Sunday Morning" that when she led the orchestra (in German, no less), "You get this amazing electric charge. And in that space, I can understand how some people can think that they're the king or queen of the world. And it's really important that you allow that space to be kind of filled again with humility, and I think that's what you witness in the character."
"Tár" is now in theaters and available on demand and home video, and streaming on Peacock.
The long-awaited sequel to the 1986 action hit had wrapped and was ready to fly into theaters in June 2020, but was grounded due to the coronavirus lockdown that shuttered moviehouses and sent studio release schedules into a tailspin. But as Hollywood jettisoned a number of films straight to streaming, producer and star Tom Cruise held out, delaying the release until he was assured audiences would be comfortable returning to crowded multiplexes (and to ensure earning back the studio's $170 million investment).
The gamble paid off. "Top Gun: Maverick" opened in May 2022, earning $126 million its first weekend, and has since taken in nearly $1.5 billion at the global box office, leading all films released in 2022. It's not for nothing that Steven Spielberg proclaimed Tom Cruise "saved Hollywood's ass."
In this scene, Maverick (Cruise) leads a team of Navy pilots on a secret mission to bomb an "unauthorized uranium enrichment plant" being constructed underground in an "unfriendly" country. Green screens were not employed here – the actors flew in Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets with specially-outfitted cameras to catch every G-force of the planes' maneuvers.
"Top Gun: Maverick" is nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture, adapted screenplay, sound and visual effects.
Glen Powell on "Top Gun: Maverick," working with Tom Cruise and pilot training ("CBS Mornings")
"Top Gun: Maverick" filmmakers join forces with military to capture reality of naval officers ("CBS Mornings")
Secrets of "Top Gun: Maverick" photography (American Cinematographer)
"Top Gun: Maverick" is available on demand and home video, and to stream on Paramount+.
This pitch-black satire by Ruben Östlund ("Force Majeure") is the Swedish director's first English-language film and won the Palme D'Or at Cannes last year. A true "voyage of the damned," it joins a cruise of uber-wealthy passengers (as well as a freeloading social media influencer and her snapshot-taking lover), and their desperate-to-please crew members, tossed about by stormy seas and armed pirates. The result? A lot of rich people are subjected to increasingly dodgy stomachs, and a band of castaways on a deserted island is forced to rewrite the social hierarchies in ways that are liberating and humiliating.
In this scene, as the seas are rough and getting rougher, the captain of the luxury yacht for the ultrarich (Woody Harrelson) has to deal with the complaints and requests of his demanding passengers, no matter how bizarre:
"Triangle of Sadness" is nominated for three Academy Awards, including two for Östlund (for direction and original screenplay).
Woody Harrelson on work and weed ("Sunday Morning")
Review: "Triangle of Sadness" (cbsnews.com)
"Triangle of Sadness" is now playing in theaters, and available on demand and home video.
Based on the novel by Miriam Toews, "Women Talking" centers on the women of a cloistered religious community who have been sexually abused. The women – second-class citizens in a community that has shunned modernity – have been kept illiterate, and are subjugated by the paternalistic group's religious dogma. Meeting away from the men, they decide to vote on whether to leave for good – a spark of political consciousness in their quest for a higher moral order.
"What these women are talking about is literally breaking down one world and building a next," Polley told "Sunday Morning."
The ensemble cast includes two-time Emmy-winner Claire Foy ("The Crown"), Rooney Mara ("Carol"), Jessie Buckley ("The Lost Daughter"), Tony-winner Judith Ivey, and three-time best actress Oscar-winner Frances McDormand ("Nomadland").
In this scene, Oona (Mara) describes her aspirations for the community:
"Women Talking" writer-director Sarah Polley ("Sunday Morning")
Claire Foy says therapist was on set of "Women Talking": "The material is very triggering" ("CBS Mornings")
"Women Talking" is now playing in theaters.