Paul Mescal is the surprise golden boy of this year’s Oscar nominations

Paul Mescal’s ascent to Oscar glory should be studied. Emulating the career paths of, say, Leonardo DiCaprio and, more recently, Timothée Chalamet, the 26-year-old Irish actor

skirted inevitable superhero parts in the wake of his star-making turn in Normal People and signed on to an emotional indie from a first-time director. That movie, Charlotte

Wells’s haunting father-daughter drama Aftersun, has now earned him a Best Actor nod – a reward for the laser-focused thoughtfulness that has gone into his trajectory so

far. Mescal probably won’t win the Oscar next month – Elvis’s Austin Butler and The Banshees of Inisherin’s Colin Farrell seem more likely – but he is the internet’s golden

boy right now, his nod one of the most pleasant takeaways from a surprisingly strong list of Oscar nominations announced today. As was expected, the shaggy sci-fi epic

Everything Everywhere All at Once received the lion’s share of nominations, racking up a total of 11 overall. But there were also real shocks: who would have thought Netflix would

have so much success with their quietly simmering yet largely under-the-radar First World War movie All Quiet on the Western Front? How did Angela Bassett become Marvel’s first

ever Oscar nominee – for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – long after everyone gave up begging the Academy to recognise the MCU? How did the grim Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde draw

such risible reviews upon release, yet still get star Ana de Armas a Best Actress nod?