‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’ lead Oscar nominees as ‘Black Panther’ makes history

After months of speculation as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gradually whittled down its list of contenders for this year’s Academy Awards, the official list of Oscar nominees has finally been announced.

The films and filmmakers receiving nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were revealed Tuesday, January 22, in a livestream video presentation (see above) hosted by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, continuing with the tradition of recent years’ nomination announcements. The winners will be announced at the ceremony held Sunday, February 24, in Hollywood and televised live on ABC.

Leading the pack of Oscar nominees were Roma and The Favourite, receiving 10 nominations each, including nominations in the coveted “Best Picture” category. The warm welcome received by Roma is particularly noteworthy, given that the film was released simultaneously on Netflix and in a relatively small number of theaters for a limited run. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Roma is based on his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, and also received a nomination in the “Best Foreign-Language Film” category.

Also generating a lot of buzz in the “Best Picture” category is Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, the first superhero movie to earn a nomination for the coveted top honor in the ceremony. The Academy had initially considered adding a “Popular Film” category to its list of honors in a move intended to acknowledge the success of Black Panther and similar, commercially successful genre films typically ignored by the Academy Awards, but that suggestion was widely criticized and eventually dropped from the ceremony.

Although Black Panther isn’t expected to win the “Best Picture” Oscar, its inclusion among the nominees — as well as that of Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born, which both performed extremely well at the box office — is symptomatic of the Academy’s changing attitude toward films that appeal to wider audiences.

After nomination leaders Roma and The Favourite, early Oscar darling A Star Is Born was next up with eight nominations, although director Bradley Cooper was conspicuously absent from the list of “Best Director” nominees.

Other notable nominations include the first nomination for Spike Lee in the “Best Director” category, with his film BlacKkKlansman also earning a “Best Picture” nomination. Despite being one of Hollywood’s most celebrated filmmakers for several decades now, Lee had never been nominated for a directing Oscar before this year.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned a well-deserved nomination in the “Best Animated Feature” category, but the groundbreaking Sony feature will need to beat Disney juggernauts The Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet in order to replicate its Golden Globe Award win on the Academy Awards stage.

In past years, the “Best Visual Effects” category has typically been the spot where superhero genre films are rewarded for their success, but “Best Picture” nominee Black Panther isn’t among the films that received nominations. Avengers: Infinity War is the only Marvel movie to receive a nomination in the visual effects category, so Black Panther will likely need to take home awards in one of the other six categories it’s nominated in to avoid being blanked at this year’s ceremony.

The full list of 2019 Oscar nominees is provided on the Academy Awards website.

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