‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’ Top 2019 Oscar Nominations

The 2019 Oscars may still not have a host lined up, but the show must go on, as Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross announced the nominations early on the morning of Jan. 22 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Two female-driven films, the wicked period comedy “The Favourite” and the stirring Mexican drama “Roma,” tied for the most nominations, with ten apiece. Trailing behind with eight nominations each is “A Star Is Born” and “Vice,” while “Black Panther” picked up seven nominations, “BlacKkKlansman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” garnered six apiece, and “Green Book” received five. All eight films will battle for Best Picture at the 91st Annual Academy Awards, which will take place Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and air live on ABC.

The nominations for “Roma” is a pleasant surprise to many, as well as proof that the Academy has warmed up to Netflix (another feature from the streaming service, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” also earned multiple nominations). But even more importantly, lead actress Yalitza Aparicio, who has been overlooked by most other award shows, becomes the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for Best Actress, and just the second Mexican actress to be recognized in that category (Salma Hayek was previously nominated in 2002 for “Frida”). Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón also makes history as the first person to be nominated for Best Director and Best Cinematography in the same year, for the same film.

Speaking of Best Director, this category has generated much buzz, as groundbreaking filmmaker Spike Lee, the man behind “BlacKkKlansman,” has earned his first-ever nomination as a director. Up against Cuarón and Lee are Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”), Adam McKay (“Vice”) and Pawel Pawlikowski (“Cold War”).

While Pawlikowski’s inclusion in the directing category comes as a surprise, many were disappointed to see Bradley Cooper snubbed for “A Star Is Born.” Cooper, however, will still compete for Best Actor alongside Christian Bale (“Vice”), Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”), Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), and Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book). His co-star Lady Gaga will vie for Best Actress along with Aparicio, Glenn Close (“The Wife”), Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”), and Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”).

As is the case every year, there is almost as much talk about who wasn’t nominated as there is about who is. Films featuring female protagonists are front and center this year, but the Academy shut women completely out of many categories, including Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. And while “Crazy Rich Asians” was a critically-acclaimed hit, the film was completely snubbed, and Asians were shut out all together in the acting categories.

The 91st Annual Academy Awards will take place Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA and air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.