This might just be the year that the Oscars got it right. Writes Yohana Desta on the website of Vanity Fair, “This year’s surprising bunch [of nominees] also comes with a slew of historic potential. From women breaking hideously old gender barriers, to legendary performers protecting their record-breaking streaks, there was no shortage of eye-popping nods that showed just how different this year’s Oscars will be.”
To see the complete list of Academy Award nominees, announced this morning, please click here.
Desta continues: “Let’s start with ‘Mudbound,’ the Netflix drama directed by Dee Rees. The film is the streaming platform’s first non-documentary to earn a citation from the Academy, which should get champagne bottles popping at Ted Sarandos HQ — and additionally, Rachel Morrison picked up a nod for best cinematography, becoming the first woman in Oscar history to get a nomination in that category. In addition, even though Rees was snubbed in the best director category, she was nominated alongside writer Virgil Williams for best adapted screenplay, making Rees the first black woman to pick up a nod in this category. Meanwhile, star Mary J. Blige picked up a best supporting actress nod, as well as best song nod (for the song ‘Mighty River,’ co-written by Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson); she is reportedly the first person to be nominated for best performance and best song in the same year.”
The Vanity Fair article adds: “Great strides were also made for trans artists of color. ‘Strong Island,’ Netflix’s gripping police brutality documentary, was nominated for best doc. It was directed and produced by Yance Ford, a black trans man. And over in the best foreign language category, Sebastián Lelio’s romantic drama ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ starring trans actress Daniela Vega, was nominated for best foreign language film. ‘The fact that I am trans provides the script and narrative with a higher level of truth,’ Vega previously told Vanity Fair of her role. ‘But, more importantly, it opens a door into the movie world that had never been explored before, because I am a trans actress playing a trans woman.’”
The article also observes: “Elsewhere on the nominations list were the heavyweights back to defend their titles.” Specifically cited are Meryl Streep, cinematographer Roger Deakins and composer John Williams.
Some of the snubs, notes Time magazine, include Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, Tiffany Haddish, Michael Stuhlbarg, Armie Hammer and Tom Hanks in the various acting categories, as well as Steven Spielberg and Martin McDonagh in the directing group.
This year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the 90th year that the awards have been presented, will be broadcast on ABC on March 4.