“Roma,” a drama from director Alfonso Cuarón based on his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, and “The Favourite,” a dark comedy about women vying for power in Queen Anne’s court in the 18th century, dominated the 91st Academy Awards nominations Tuesday morning with 10 each, including best picture.
Close behind was “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut starring Cooper and pop singer Lady Gaga, with eight nominations. The film, the third remake of the 1937 classic about the pitfalls of fame, landed nods for actor (Cooper), actress (Gaga), and original song, for the hit “Shallow,” though Cooper was snubbed in the director’s race.
“Vice,” the Dick Cheney biopic starring an unrecognizable Christian Bale as George W. Bush’s vice president, also received eight nominations. Bale looks to continue his award season sweep with a nod for best actor; Amy Adams, who plays his wife, Lynne Cheney, was nominated for best actress.
Meanwhile, “Black Panther” made history, as the groundbreaking box office smash – which had seven nominations overall – became the first superhero movie to be nominated for best picture. The film, which grossed $1.3 billion worldwide, further shattered the myth that predominantly black casts are a financial risk for international audiences.
Rounding out the best picture category are “BlacKkKlansman,” Spike Lee’s drama about the true story of a 1970s black police officer in Colorado Springs who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan to learn information about the hate group’s activities; “Green Book,” the polarizing film about black jazz pianist Don Shirley and his white driver, Tony Vallelonga, as they travel together in the Jim Crow South; and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Queen biopic that critics disliked but which raked in nearly $800 million worldwide at the box office.
This has been a particularly controversial lead-up to the Oscars, starting with the outcry over the announcement of a new “popular film” category, which the film academy quickly shelved once it received backlash and was dubbed the “‘Black Panther’ award.”
Last week, the Screen Actors Guild accused the academy of pressuring celebrities not to present at any other award shows. And the show is still host-less: Kevin Hart dropped out after he came under fire for past homophobic jokes and tweets.
The Academy Awards air Feb. 24 on ABC.
Oscar nominations by movie:
“The Favourite” - 10
“Roma” - 10
“A Star Is Born” - 8
“Vice” - 8
“Black Panther” - 7
“BlacKkKlansman” - 6
“Bohemian Rhapsody” - 5
“Green Book” - 5
“First Man” - 4
“Mary Poppins Returns” - 4
The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards:
“A Star Is Born”
Immediate reaction: The academy has struggled with rewarding popular films, going so far as to create (and quickly drop) a new popular film category in September. The nominations of blockbusters such as “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star is Born” prove such a category might not be necessary.
Also notable: “Green Book” managed to earn a nod, despite several weeks of controversy, including allegations of sexual harassment against director Peter Farrelly and the surfacing of racist tweets by co-screenwriter Nick Vallelonga, the real-life son of Tony Vallelonga, who Viggo Mortensen portrays in the movie.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” also courted its fair share of controversy, including sexual assault claims against director Bryan Singer. Though he is the credited director of the film, Dexter Fletcher actually finished making it.
Best actress in a leading role
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Immediate reaction: Following her surprising (it was a surprise to her) Golden Globe win, Glenn Close has been generating plenty of Oscars buzz. Another surprise: She’s never won an Oscar before, despite her six previous nominations. This could be her year, but she’ll have to beat out a packed slate, including Olivia Colman, who has long been considered the front-runner in this category; first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio in “Roma”; and Melissa McCarthy, whose dramatic turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” brings her a second Oscar nomination (she was nominated in 2012 for “Bridesmaids”).
Best actor in a leading role
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Immediate reaction: There are no real surprises here, since all of these actors have gotten their share of love this awards season. But some might be disappointed that the academy overlooked John David Washington’s performance in Spike Lee’s “BlackKklansman,” especially considering Driver’s best supporting actor nod. And fans of the critically acclaimed (but perpetually overlooked) “First Reformed” will note a snub for Ethan Hawke.
Given how the other categories (not to mention, award shows) have stacked up, we’re inclined to think this is a race between Cooper, Bale and Malek.
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski “Cold War”
Immediate reaction: Poor Bradley Cooper. It became fairly clear during the run-up to “A Star is Born” that the first-time director was beaming with pride over his debut, leading many to think he would secure a best director nod instead of best actor. No such luck – but, really, who can complain about a best actor nod?
Almost as surprising – though much more welcome – than the snubbing of Cooper is the inclusion of Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War,” a film that shares many similarities with “A Star Is Born.” The Polish filmmaker’s movie, set in both Poland and France, follows a young singer who falls in love with a musical director during the late 1940s through the 1960s.
That said, this category remains Alfonso Cuarón’s to lose. His autobiographical movie, “Roma,” not only wowed critics, but has become symbolic of a changing industry – it was released simultaneously on Netflix and in select theaters, which is highly unusual.
Also notable: Despite being one of America’s most acclaimed directors for more than three decades, this marks Spike Lee’s first nomination for directing.
Actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Immediate reaction: Regina King has swept awards season so far for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” in which she plays the mother of a pregnant young woman whose fiancé is falsely accused of rape. While she’s the likely favorite, this category played out pretty much as expected, though many expected Claire Foy to get a nod for her role as Neil Armstrong’s wife, Janet, in “First Man.”
Actor in a supporting role
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”
Immediate reaction: This category went just about as expected, though it’s nice to see Sam Elliott’s performance from “A Star is Born” recognized after being snubbed by the Golden Globes. The leading contender is likely Mahershala Ali. Not only is his performance one of the few noncontroversial aspects of “Green Book,” but the actor is hotter than he’s ever been, with a lead role in HBO’s “True Detective” after winning this very award in 2016 for “Moonlight.” Keep an eye on Sam Rockwell, though. His portrayal of former President George W. Bush might not be as transformative as Christian Bale’s take on former Vice President Dick Cheney, but the academy appreciates when an actor plays a historical figure.
Best animated feature film
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Immediate reaction: “Incredibles 2” and “Raph Breaks the Internet” are popular films that have met critical acclaim and also have powerhouse studios behind them. Either could take the trophy. But we expect to see a lot of Oscar viewers cheering for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which earned a pleasantly surprising win at the Golden Globes earlier this month and has continued to rack up awards this season. Miles Morales is indeed the one to watch here. Also noteworthy: Peter Ramsey, who directed the superhero feature, is the first African-American director nominated in this category.
Best original song
“All The Stars,” “Black Panther”
“I’ll Fight,” “RBG”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” “Mary Poppins Returns”
“Shallow,” “A Star Is Born”
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
Immediate reaction: This is Lady Gaga’s race to lose. “Shallow,” that memeable marquee song from “A Star Is Born,” already won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for this category. But the academy gave no love for “Girl in the Movies” from Netflix’s “Dumplin’,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award; instead, they recognized another country tune, “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
Best original screenplay
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly
“Vice,” Adam McKay
Best adapted screenplay
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins
“BlacKkKlansman,” Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott
“A Star Is Born,” Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Immediate reaction: Though many think of novels as the usual source for adapted screenplays, this year brought a few interesting twists. “A Star is Born” is, of course, based on three previous films by the same name, the first appearing in 1937. Meanwhile, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” – the Coen brothers’ Netflix film comprised of six Western vignettes – is based on a series of short stories the duo wrote during the past few decades. “If Beale Street Could Talk,” meanwhile, was a more traditional adaptation – it’s based on the 1974 novel of the same name by James Baldwin.
Best foreign language film
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
Immediate reaction: No big surprises here. Mexico’s “Roma,” which is tied for the most-nominated film this year with “The Favourite,” has a decent chance at sweeping several categories. Another frontrunner: Poland’s “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s follow-up to “Ida.” (That movie won in this category and in best cinematography in 2015). “Burning” from South Korea did not receive a nomination, though. If it had, it would have been the country’s first since the 1960s.
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
“Minding the Gap”
“Of Fathers and Sons”
Immediate reaction: The most immediate snub for this category was obvious to many on Tuesday morning: Uh, where is “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” The feel-good, tear-inducing doc about Fred Rogers and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” became a minor phenomenon this summer when it earned $22 million, an extremely high number for a documentary. The other big documentary of the summer, “RBG,” landed a nomination as expected.
“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal
“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan
“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique
Immediate reaction: Rachel Morrison, whom some predicted would be nominated here for “Black Panther,” wasn’t included – which means her 2017 nomination for “Mudbound” is still the only time in Oscars history that a woman has been nominated for best cinematography. And interestingly, Cuarón picked up a nod here despite the fact that his longtime collaborator and cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, skipped this project. (Cuarón explained there were scheduling issues.)
Best visual effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
Immediate reaction: This is one of the categories in which blockbusters are often rewarded, and this year is no different. “Avengers: Infinity War” was the highest grossing movie of 2018, and it leads the pack here – along with Steven Spielberg’s flashy, CGI-packed “Ready Player One.” That said, the exclusion of Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” is surprising, especially considering its nods for best picture and production design.
Best production design
“Black Panther,” Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart
“The Favourite,” Production Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton
“First Man,” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
“Roma,” Production Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Bárbara Enríquez
Immediate reaction: This category often praises the most transformative aspect of movies: the ability to create an entirely new world. With that in mind, “Black Panther” is a strong contender, as the movie is mostly set in the entirely fictional (and entirely realized) African country of Wakanda. “Roma,” meanwhile, re-creates a neighborhood in Mexico City that has changed drastically after an earthquake tore through it in 1985.
Best costume design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Mary Zophres
“Black Panther,” Ruth Carter
“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne
Immediate reaction: Period films naturally find success in this category, so “The Favourite” and “Mary Queen of Scots” were expected here. “Black Panther,” though, might be a sneaky contender in this category for inventing an entire mythology – down to the tribal garb of the Wakandans.
Best makeup and hair styling
“Border,” Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
“Mary Queen of Scots,” Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
“Vice,” Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney
Immediate reaction: “Mary Queen of Scots” made headlines the moment its trailer dropped for the all-encompassing makeup Margot Robbie wore to become Queen Elizabeth I. But the astonishing transformation of Christian Bale into a walking replica of Dick Cheney is going to be extremely tough to beat.
Best film editing
“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman
“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis
“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito
“Vice,” Hank Corwin
Best original score
“Black Panther,” Ludwig Goransson
“BlacKkKlansman,” Terence Blanchard
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Nicholas Britell
“Isle of Dogs,” Alexandre Desplat
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman
Best sound editing
“A Quiet Place”
Best sound mixing
“A Star Is Born”
Best documentary short subject
“A Night at the Garden”
“Period. End of Sentence.”
Best animated short film
“Animal Behaviour,” Alison Snowden and David Fine
“Bao,” Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb
“Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco
“One Small Step,” Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
“Weekends,” Trevor Jimenez
Best live action short film
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley and Marie-Hélène Panisset
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman