One of the best things about Oscar nomination morning is seeing all of the reactions from the nominees, and their families and friends. Ireland has had a particularly strong year – with all four main actors in The Banshees of Inisherin being nominated, The Quiet Girl getting in to International Feature, and Paul Mescal being nominated for Lead Actor in the sublime Aftersun.
Paul Mescal has had a meteoric rise to fame since starring in TV drama series Normal People in 2020. He’s only starred in two movies before Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun – Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, and Seela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer’s God’s Creatures (another A24 movie). His next release after Aftersun will be Benjamin Millepied’s Carmen.
Mescal’s sister Nell shared her own reaction, and that of her family on social media. In a series of tweets, her reactions included; “I’M SOBBING…how on earth did this happen.” She also said; “I would post the video of my reaction but those tears were UGLY” followed by; “I am so proud, it is making me sick.”
Nell Mescal also tweeted; “My mum got a haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy, and then Paul got nominated for an Oscar. Life is so crazy.” The sweetest part was a screenshot of the family face-time group chat – where you can see various blurred reactions to the news.
Mescal said in a statement; “This is truly a special moment for everyone involved in Aftersun. To be recognised by the Academy is such an insane honour and I’m so utterly grateful. I want to dedicate this nomination to my two friends Charlotte [Wells, director] and Frankie [Corio, co-star] who I love dearly! This is bananas, thank you!”
It’s unusual for actors under 40 to nominated for Best Actor. This year there were two – Mescal (who is only 26 years old) and Austin Butler (who is 31 years old). Adrien Brody is the youngest ever winner of a Best Actor Oscar – he was just 29 years old at the time.
The Oscar ceremony takes place on March 12, 2023. In the meantime, enjoy our guide to the best drama movies.