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The 95th Academy Awards will kick off on March 12, 2023 at 8pm ET/5pm PT, and Hollywood’s most glittering stars and awards hopefuls will take their walk down the red carpet to find out who’s taking home the night’s biggest prize.

But the Oscars aren’t just about Hollywood — the films that the awards show celebrates tell us a lot about what’s occupying our attention as a culture, whether it’s questions about justice in an unjust world, the close ties between the American military and big-budget spectacle, or the evolving way we watch and think about movies together. So — from reviews of the best movies of 2022 to explorations of what the Oscars are really about — here’s our guide to understanding this year’s awards, the films that are nominated, the conversations surrounding them, and why it all matters.