The Oscar nominations will today reveal which stars and movies have a shot at Hollywood’s ultimate prize, as the industry nervously awaits the number of women and minorities selected. The pre-dawn Academy Award announcement caps months of ceaseless campaigning by A-listers and studios, with only the chosen few progressing to next month’s show-stopper.
Favorites for best picture include Quentin Tarantino’s 1960s Tinseltown homage “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” and Sam Mendes’s World War I odyssey “1917.” Both won major honors at the recent Golden Globes.
Martin Scorsese’s crime epic “The Irishman” and South Korean class satire “Parasite” are also expected to feature. Up to 10 films can be nominated for the top prize. Much of the focus so far this award season has been on the lack of women and ethnic minority filmmakers honored.
Neither the Golden Globes nor the influential Directors Guild Awards included any female-helmed films in their top categories, with Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed “Little Women” adaptation notably absent. Controversy over those omissions, in an industry criticized for its lack of diversity, was fueled at last week’s Bafta nominations, which were also condemned for overlooking ethnic minorities.
One Academy voter who asked not to be named said he was “anticipating that it’s likely going to be very controversial” because “a lot of male directors” will be nominated. “Unfortunately there are just five nominees” for best director in an “incredibly strong year,” he told AFP, pointing to the revered track records of Scorsese, Tarantino and Mendes.
The Academy “want to choose the best but they also want to be sensitive to women and minorities,” said Chris Beachum, of award tracking website Gold Derby. Non-white stars such as Lupita Nyong’o, Cynthia Erivo and Awkwafina could feature alongside best actress frontrunners Renee Zellweger and Charlize Theron, he predicted, while Eddie Murphy is in the running for best actor.
“Greta (Gerwig) certainly has a shot at becoming the first woman to get in for (best) director twice,” Beachum added, referring to her nomination for 2017’s “Lady Bird.” The Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on February 9.