Os­car nods for ‘The Favourite,’ ‘Black Pan­ther, Net­flix’s ‘Roma’

♦ Marvel’s en­try is the first nom­i­na­tion for a su­per­hero movie for best pic­ture.

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Jake Coyle AP Film Writer

NEW YORK — Os­car vot­ers last week show­ered Al­fonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos’ “The Favourite” with a lead­ing 10 nom­i­na­tions for the 91st Academy Awards, while two dom­i­nant but con­tentious Hol­ly­wood forces — Net­flix and Marvel — each scored their first best pic­ture nom­i­na­tion.

Though many ex­pected “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper’s re­vival of one of Hol­ly­wood’s most re­made show busi­ness myths, to top the nom­i­na­tions, Cooper was sur­pris­ingly over­looked as di­rec­tor and the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­tures Arts and Sci­ences in­stead put its fullest sup­port be­hind a pair of indies by in­ter­na­tional di­rec­tors.

With the black-and-white, Span­ish­language “Roma,” Net­flix scored its first best pic­ture nom­i­na­tion, a prize the stream­ing gi­ant has dearly sought.

Marvel, too, joined the club with Ryan Coogler’s “Black Pan­ther,” the first su­per­hero movie ever nom­i­nated for best pic­ture.

Cuaron tied the record for most dec­o­rated Os­car nom­i­nee ever for one film with four in­di­vid­ual nods for “Roma,” his deeply per­sonal ex­huma­tion of his Mex­ico City child­hood. Cuaron was nom­i­nated for di­rec­tion, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, orig­i­nal screen­play and best pic­ture.

Only Or­son Welles (“Ci­ti­zen Kane”) and War­ren Beatty (who did it twice with “Reds” and “Heaven Can Wait”) have matched the four-nod feat.

Cuaron, pre­vi­ously a six-time nom­i­nee and win­ner for di­rect­ing “Grav­ity,” said by phone from Lon­don that the nom­i­na­tions for such a per­sonal film were more mean­ing­ful to him, as was the at­ten­tion for a film about a hum­ble in­dige­nous do­mes­tic worker (Yal­itza Apari­cio, who was nom­i­nated for best ac­tress). He praised Net­flix for its com­mit­ment to his film.

“Cinema needs the op­por­tu­nity to be di­verse,” Cuaron said. “What main­stream cinema and the the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ence has lacked in gen­eral is di­ver­sity. And I’m talk­ing about di­ver­sity in terms of sto­ries and char­ac­ters and ways of do­ing films.”

Just as re­warded was Lan­thi­mos’ pe­riod romp, which re­sounded most in the act­ing cat­e­gories thanks to its trio of ac­tresses: Olivia Col­man in the best ac­tress cat­e­gory, and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone in sup­port­ing.

Along with “Roma,” “Black Pan­ther” and “The Favourite,” the eight nom­i­nees for best pic­ture were: Peter Far­relly’s in­ter­ra­cial road trip tale “Green Book,” Spike Lee’s white su­prem­a­cist evis­cer­a­tion “BlacKkKlans­man,” the Fred­die Mer­cury biopic “Bo­hemian Rhap­sody,” Adam McKay’s highly crit­i­cal Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” and “A Star Is Born,” which still landed eight nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing best ac­tress for Lady Gaga and best sup­port­ing ac­tor for Sam El­liott.

“Black Pan­ther,” the year’s big­gest do­mes­tic box-of­fice hit and a bona fide cul­tural event, fi­nally cracked the cat­e­gory long kryp­tonite to su­per­heroes. De­spite the over­whelm­ing pop­u­lar­ity of comic book movies, they had pre­vi­ously been shunned from Hol­ly­wood’s top honor to the con­ster­na­tion of some in­dus­try in­sid­ers. After “The Dark Knight” was snubbed in 2009, the academy ex­panded the best pic­ture cat­e­gory from five to up to 10 nom­i­nees.

The lush, big-bud­get craft of “Black Pan­ther” was re­warded with seven to­tal nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing Han­nah Beach­ler and Jay Hart’s pro­duc­tion de­sign, Lud­wig Go­rans­son’s score, Ruth Carter’s cos­tume de­sign and Ken­drick La­mar and SZA’s song “All the Stars.” Beach­ler be­came the first African-Amer­i­can nom­i­nated for pro­duc­tion de­sign.

“To break down a wall like that, to be your an­ces­tors’ wildest dreams, to show other young women of color and boys and girls that you can do what­ever you want no mat­ter what strug­gles you have in your life — all of that. That’s what it means to me,” said Beach­ler, talk­ing by phone from the Cincin­nati set of Todd Haynes’ lat­est.

There has like­wise been re­sis­tance among some academy mem­bers to award­ing Net­flix films since the com­pany typ­i­cally by­passes movie theaters.

Steven Spiel­berg has said Net­flix films are more like TV movies and de­serve an Emmy, not an Os­car. Net­flix al­tered its pol­icy for “Roma” and the Coen broth­ers’ “The Bal­lad of Buster Scruggs” (which earned three un­ex­pected nods), pre­mier­ing them first in theaters be­fore de­but­ing them on Net­flix.

In turn, it was re­warded with a 15 nom­i­na­tions over­all, sec­ond only to Dis­ney’s 17.

/ Matt Kennedy-Dis­ney via AP

“Black Pan­ther” has been nom­i­nated for best pic­ture. The 91st Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 24.

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