Popular films, #MeToo allegations and the favored-to-win “The Favourite”: After a particularly controversial lead-up to the Oscars, the 91st Academy Awards nominations were announced Tuesday.
For two movies — “The Favourite,” a dark comedy about women vying for power in Queen Anne’s court in the 18th century, and “Roma,” a drama directed by Alfonso Cuarón based on his childhood in 1970s Mexico City — it was a good day: They both tied for the most nominations, 10 each, including best picture.
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.
That followed an 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 of course, the show is still host-less: Kevin Hart dropped out after he came under fire for past homophobic jokes and tweets.
“A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut starring himself and pop superstar Lady Gaga, garnered 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.
The Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC.
This post will be updated.
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 after all) 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 superb 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 glaring 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”
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”
Best animated feature film
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Best original song
“Shallow,” “A Star Is Born”
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“All The Stars,” “Black Panther”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” “Mary Poppins Returns”
“I’ll Fight,” “RBG”
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
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Cold War” (Poland)
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”
“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal
“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan
“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique
Best production design
“Mary Poppins Returns”
Best film editing
“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis
“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito
“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman
“Vice,” Hank Corwin
Best original score
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
Best visual effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
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
Best makeup and hair styling
“Mary Queen of Scots”
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
“One Small Step”
Best live action short film