The film industry is getting set for its biggest annual event, the Academy Awards. The top names in acting, directing, screenwriting, editing, and plenty of other categories will be honored on February 24, 2019. That much is known. However, there are a handful of surprising tidbits surrounding the nominees this year. Whether it be the history of some of the actors working together, someone who is searching for their first win after a bunch of nominations, or history being made by a streaming service, there’s a lot to uncover about this year’s Oscars.
5. Netflix Makes History
The discussion surrounding the Academy Awards and Netflix goes back quite a bit. Acclaimed director Steven Speilberg has been vocal in his feelings about how movies made for streaming platforms shouldn’t be considered for the Oscars. He feels they’re more in line with the Emmys and made for TV movies. Regardless of his feelings, a Netflix movie has indeed been nominated for an Oscar this year for the first time ever. That honor goes to Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. And it isn’t just nominated for one of the smaller awards. It’s up for Best Picture and even took home the award at the British Academy Film Awards. It is a heavy favorite going in this time around.
4. Close Calls
This year’s Best Actress category is populated by Olivia Colman, Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Yalitza Aparicio, and Glenn Close. All are strong contenders, but Close is probably the one hoping for the win more than any other. That’s because she holds the record for the most nominations without a single victory among actresses. In the past, she has received Best Supporting Actress nominations for The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, and The Natural. In the Best Actress category, she was also up for Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, and Albert Nobbs. There’s a good chance that streak ends here, as she is arguably the favorite.
3. A Nominee’s Debut
We’ve already covered how Netflix’s Roma is making history. However, its star is doing something just as impressive. Yalitza Aparicio is nominated for Best Actress for her role as Cleodegaria “Cleo” Gutierrez. That in itself is noteworthy, but it becomes special when you learn that this was the first time Aparicio has ever acted. The 25-year old becomes one of the few actresses to earn an Oscar nomination in her debut film. She joins the likes of Hailee Steinfeld, Gabourey Sidibe, and Quvenzhane Wallis. There’s no word on what’s next for Aparicio, but she’s almost certain to be in high demand.
2. A Winning Combination
Amy Adams and Christian Bale have worked together on three films throughout their illustrious careers. There was 2010’s The Fighter, followed by 2013’s American Hustle. Both were directed by David O. Russell. This past year, they also starred together in Vice, directed by Adam McKay. This is notable because Adams and Bale were both nominated for Oscars in each of those movies. Bale took home Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter and was nominated for Best Actor for American Hustle. Adams was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. This is the sixth nomination for Adams. If she loses and Glenn Close wins this year, Adams will take over as the woman with the most nominations without a victory. Still, maybe a fourth collaboration with Bale will bring more success.
There’s a strong chance that all the winners in the acting categories could be people who played lesbian, gay, or bisexual characters. At the BAFTAs, that’s precisely what happened. Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz both won as lovers in The Favourite, Rami Malek picked up a victory as bisexual Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and Mahershala Ali was Best Supporting Actor for a character who has gay encounters in Green Book. This would be the first time this ever happens and it shows how this community is being better represented in media these days.