The 2019 Oscar nominations are full of surprises and some downright stupefying snubs.
"A Star Is Born" and "Black Panther" have both picked up a handful of prestigious nominations, including for best picture, but both Bradley Cooper and Ryan Coogler were passed over for directing nominations.
The presumed documentary front-runner "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" also came up empty handed Tuesday, as did the long-shot indie "Eighth Grade" and "Mary Poppins Returns" star Emily Blunt.
Instead Oscar voters 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 tear-inducing revival of one of Hollywood's most oft-remade show-business myths, to top the nominations, Cooper was surprisingly overlooked as director and the academy instead put its fullest support behind a pair of indies by international directors.
With the black-and-white, Spanish-language "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.
Just as rewarded was Lanthimos' period romp "The Favourite", 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" and "The Favourite," the eight nominees for best picture were: Peter Farrelly's interracial road trip tale "Green Book," Ryan Coogler's superhero sensation "Black Panther," 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 honour 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, Terence Blanchard's score, Ruth Carter's costume design and Kendrick Lamar and SZA's "All the Stars." Beachler became the first African-American nominated for production design.
There has likewise been resistance among some academy members to awarding Netflix films since the company typically bypasses movie theatres. 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 theatres before debuting them on Netflix. In turn, it was rewarded with 13 nominations overall, second only to Fox Searchlight's 15.
Thirty years after landing a writing nod for 1989's "Do the Right Thing", Spike Lee was nominated for his first directing Oscar for his "BlacKkKlansman." The other directing nominees were Lanthimos, Cuaron, Pawel Pawlikowski ("Cold War") and McKay ("Vice") — a field that, a year after continued focus on gender inequality in Hollywood, included no female directors. Some had campaigned for Debra Granik ("Leave No Trace") or Chloe Zhao ("The Rider") to become the sixth woman ever nominated for best director.
The nominations, announced by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross from the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, California, included plenty of surprises. In a banner year for documentaries, the Fred Rogers documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor" was snubbed despite more than $22 million in ticket sales (a huge sum for a doc). Instead the nominees were "Free Solo," ''Hale County This Morning, This Evening," ''Minding the Gap," ''Of Fathers and Sons" and the Ruth Bader Ginsberg portrait "RBG."
The acting categories played out largely as expected with a few notable differences. Along with Lady Gaga and Colman, the best actress nominees are Yalitza Aparicio ("Roma"), Glenn Close ("The Wife") and Melissa McCarthy ("Can You Ever Forgive Me?").
In best actor, the expected front runner Christian Bale was nominated for his transformation into Cheney in "Vice" (his fourth Oscar nod), along with Cooper, Willem Dafoe ("At Eternity's Gate"), Rami Malek ("Bohemian Rhapsody") and Viggo Mortensen ("Green Book"). Notably left out were Ethan Hawke ("First Reformed") and John David Washington ("BlacKkKlansman").
The nominees for best supporting actress were Amy Adams ("Vice"), Marina De Tavira ("Roma"), Regina King ("If Beale Street Could Talk"), along with Stone and Weisz. Tavira was something a surprise, likely unseating Claire Foy of "First Man."
But perhaps the biggest acting snub came in best supporting actor, where Timothee Chalamet, who broke through last year with "Call Me By Your Name," was left out for his drug addict turn in "Beautiful Boy." Nominated were previous winner Mahershala Ali ("Green Book"), Adam Driver ("BlacKkKlansman"), Richard E. Grant ("Can You Ever Forgive Me?") and Sam Rockwell ("Vice"), who won the trophy last year.
Some Oscar regulars were honoured again. Joel and Ethan Coen notched their seventh screenwriting nomination. Close, never a winner, landed her seventh acting nod. But the nominees were crowded with first-timers, including new performers (Aparicio) and veteran ones (Grant, Colman, Driver, King). Paul Schrader, the 72-year-old "Taxi Driver" scribe, was nominated for his first Oscar for the script to his religious thriller "First Reformed."
The lead-up to today's nominations was rocky for both the film academy and some of the contending movies. Shortly after being announced as host, comedian Kevin Hart was forced to withdraw over years-old homophobic tweets that the comedian eventually apologised for. That has left the Oscars, one month before the February 24 ceremony, without an emcee, and likely to stay that way.
Some film contenders, like "Green Book" and the Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," have suffered waves upon waves of backlash, even as their awards tallies have mounted. Before landing five nominations, "Green Book" — which has been criticised for relying on racial tropes — won the top award from the Producers Guild, an honour that has been a reliable Oscar barometer. In the 10 years since the Oscars expanded its best-picture ballot, the PGA winner has gone on to win best picture eight times.
The season's steadiest contender — Cooper's "A Star Is Born" — looked potentially unbeatable until it got beat. Despite an enviable string of awards and more than $400 million in worldwide box office, Cooper's lauded remake was almost totally ignored at the Golden Globes. Still, "A Star Is Born" was the sole film to land top nominations from virtually every guild group.
Potentially benefiting this year's broadcast will be a number of popular nominees. "Black Panther," ''Bohemian Rhapsody" and "A Star Is Born" have all done enormous box office. Just how many people have seen "Roma," though, remains a mystery. Netflix doesn't release box office receipts or streaming viewership.
It's also an usually international crop of nominees. It's only the second time directors from two foreign language films were nominated for best director (Cuaron and Poland's Pawlikowski). "Roma" is aiming to be the first foreign language film to ever win best picture. Some of that could be attributed to changing academy, which has greatly expanded its ranks in recent years to diversify its membership, including more overseas members.
Up for best foreign language film are "Roma," ''Cold War" (Poland), "Capernaum" (Lebanon), "Never Look Away" (Germany) and the Palme d'Or winner, "Shoplifters" (Japan).
The full list of nominees
A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Adam McKay, Vice
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity's Gate
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best supporting actor:
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice
Best supporting actress:
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
"When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - music and lyrics by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch
"All The Stars" from Black Panther - music by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and lyrics by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe
"I'll Fight" from RBG - music and lyrics by Diane Warren
"The Place Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns - music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
"Shallow" from A Star Is Born - music and lyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman
Foreign language film:
Germany's Never Look Away
Poland's Cold War
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
Documentary short subject:
A Night at The Garden
Period. End of Sentence.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly
Roma, Alfonso Cuaron
Vice, Adam McKay
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman
The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
Vice, Hank Corwin
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born
Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Makeup and hairstyling:
Mary Queen of Scots
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.
Mary Poppins Returns
Lukasz Zal, Cold War
Robbie Ryan, The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel, Never Look Away
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Matthew Libatique, A Star Is Born
Best animated film:
'Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Animated short film:
One Small Step
Live Action short film: