Los Angeles: Netflix movie “Roma” and British historical romp “The Favourite” from Fox Searchlight led nominations for the Oscars on Tuesday with 10 nods apiece in a history-making best picture lineup.
They will compete for the top prize of best picture with musical romance “A Star is Born,” superhero movie “Black Panther,” 1960s segregation-era comedy “Green Book,” Spike Lee’s racial injustice movie “BlacKkKlansman,” political satire “Vice” and rock musical “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The Oscars, the highest honors in the movie industry, will be handed out in Hollywood on February 24.
The best picture nomination for Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron’s semiautobiographical tale “Roma” was the first for streaming service Netflix Inc. Shot entirely in Spanish and an indigenous Mexican language, it will also compete in the foreign language field. “Roma” was recognized in every key category, including director, lead actress Yalitza Aparicio as a domestic worker, supporting actress Marina de Tavira, screenplay, and multiple technical fields.
“The Favourite,” a bawdy comedy set in the court of 18th-century British monarch Queen Anne, had a better than expected day, garnering nods for its British star, Olivia Colman, and supporting actresses Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos was also nominated.
Box office hits
Many of the films nominated this year for the top prize - best picture - proved big box-office hits, including Walt Disney Co superhero movie “Black Panther,” which won seven nods on Tuesday and became the first superhero movie ever to win a best picture nomination. That’s a strong contrast to previous years where members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have tended to prize art house or independent fare.
“A Star is Born,” starring best actress contender Lady Gaga in her debut in a major movie, earned eight nods, including for Gaga’s hit song “Shallow.” But while Bradley Cooper will compete in the best actor category for the movie, he was snubbed in the director’s race. Other snubs included the all-Asian cast romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians,” which got nothing, and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was nominated for five awards, including Rami Malek for his role as late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, and has also proved popular at the box office.
Veteran actress Glenn Close, who has yet to win an Oscar, will compete for the seventh time, this year for her lead role in “The Wife.” In the lead actor field, Malek and Cooper will take on Christian Bale, who plays former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice,” Willem Dafoe for playing artist Vincent van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate,” and Viggo Mortensen for “Green Book.” “Green Book” about the friendship between a black pianist and his white driver, also won a nod for supporting actor Mahershala Ali.
New ratings low
The February 24 ceremony is still without a host after the withdrawal of comedian Kevin Hart due to past homophobic comments he made on Twitter. The academy has not said how the show would proceed without a host for only the second time in its 91-year history.
The Oscars last year hit a new ratings low, declining 20 per cent, prompting the academy to revamp this year’s telecast. It is planning to present some awards off-air and keep the broadcast to three hours.