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Oscar-Nominated Films with Ties to New Jersey

by Lisa Batitto
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While the 2023 Oscar nominees are seen as a celebration of Hollywood, there are a number of films with strong ties to New Jersey. This year’s nominees bring a unique perspective to filmmaking from the Jersey Shore to the streets of suburbia. Read on for our list of Oscar nominees with ties to New Jersey.

oscar ties new jersey

Top Gun: Maverick

This blockbuster sequel to the 1986 classic received six Academy Award nominations, putting two New Jerseyans in contention for an Oscar.

Tom Cruise, who graduated from Glen Ridge High School, where he played Varsity football, received a nod as co-producer of this Best Picture nominee. It’s his fourth Oscar nomination and his first since his Best Supporting Actor nod for 1999’s Magnolia.

Read More: 12 Movies + TV Shows Filmed in Essex County

Cruise shares the Best Picture honor with Christopher McQuarrie of Princeton Junction, who also received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He won the gold for Best Original Screenplay for 1995’s The Usual Suspects.

The Fablemans

Steven Spielberg was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for this film based on his childhood. He was raised in Haddonfield, and the movie illustrates how his love for film was ignited while living there.

The Whale

This critically acclaimed film is based on a play by Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor Samuel D. Hunter. He said the idea for The Whale stemmed from his experience teaching expository writing to first-year students. It was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Actor in a Leading Role.


Babylon was nominated for three Oscars. It was written and directed by Princeton’s Damien Chazelle.

The Batman

The Batman was executive-produced by Ocean Township’s Michael Uslan. It was nominated in three categories.

See More: 13 TV Shows That Have Referenced Hoboken

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

This film was produced by Westfield’s Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios. It received five nods. Michael B. Jordan, who also appears in the movie (spoiler alert) is also from Newark, NJ, and just got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


This drama was produced by Sony Pictures Classics, which was co-founded by Tom Bernard of Middletown, who serves as the studio’s co-president. It was nominated for two Oscars.

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