The Oscar nominations mirrored a larger reality Tuesday: The old rules are gone, nothing is certain and not everyone will be happy about it.
What’s more, when the Oscar ceremony takes place, there won’t even be a host to joke about it.
A Spanish-language film from Netflix, “Roma,” is now one of the most-nominated movies of this year, tied for 10 nods with “The Favourite,” an envelope-pushing period piece starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, all nominees. The strong showings from “Roma” and “The Favourite” seem to throw an already unpredictable Oscar race into further confusion. Front-runner status has shifted from “A Star Is Born,” featuring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga as music-industry lovebirds, to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” an oft-ridiculed biopic of Freddie Mercury that nevertheless pulled an upset to win best dramatic film at the Golden Globes, to “Green Book,” a polarizing film set in the civil rights era that recently won the Producers Guild of America’s top award — a highly accurate bellwether of the best picture Oscar.
The simmering controversy over “Green Book,” and its potential to win best picture, presents a challenge for the Oscars. Last year saw a number of strong films that were black-led in terms of both cast and creative crew. (Two of those, the massively popular superhero film “Black Panther” and Spike Lee’s true-life crime drama “BlacKkKlansman,” are now best picture nominees. This also is Lee's first nomination for directing.) The actors in “Green Book” have been widely praised — Mahershala Ali won a Golden Globe for supporting actor and is now an Oscar nominee in that category — but many critics have accused the film of simplifying America’s racism problem and trafficking in old stereotypes. A best picture win this year for “Green Book” — a film about black identity directed and co-written by Peter Farrelly, who is white — might not be a great look for the Oscars.
For the average moviegoer, Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” probably looks like a classic case of Oscar snobbery: a critically acclaimed black-and-white drama with no big-name stars and a somewhat downbeat story. For industry insiders, however, “Roma” presents a conundrum: It’s the first best-picture nomination for Netflix, the streaming entertainment company that many see as eating away at the traditional model of theatrical moviegoing. Nevertheless, Oscar voters clearly loved it. They nodded not only to Cuarón as director, cinematographer and original screenwriter but to the film’s non-professional star, Yalitza Aparicio, as best actress, and the little-known Marina de Tavira, as supporting actress. The film is also nominated in the foreign-language category.
Among the surprise snubs this year was “Crazy Rich Asians,” a major hit that did for Asians what “Black Panther” did for African-Americans — it received not a single nomination. Barry Jenkins’ literary adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” didn’t make the cut for best picture, even with just eight nominees in a category that has room for 10 titles. And although Bradley Cooper will compete in the best actor race, his slot as director of “A Star Is Born” seemed to go to Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek director of “The Favourite.”
Here's the list of 2019 Academy Award nominees in the major categories
Best picture: "Black Panther," ''BlacKkKlansman," ''Bohemian Rhapsody," ''The Favourite," ''Green Book," ''Roma," ''A Star Is Born," ''Vice."
Best director: Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma"; Spike Lee, "BlacKkKlansman"; Pawel Pawlikowski, "Cold War"; Yorgos Lanthimos, "The Favourite"; Adam McKay, "Vice."
Best actor: Christian Bale, "Vice"; Bradley Cooper, "A Star Is Born"; Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody"; Viggo Mortensen, "Green Book"; Willem Dafoe "At Eternity's Gate."
Best actress: 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."
Foreign language film: Germany's "Never Look Away"; Japan's "Shoplifters"; Lebanon's "Capernaum"; Mexico's "Roma"; Poland's "Cold War."
Best animated film: "Incredibles 2," ''Isle of Dogs," ''Mirai," ''Ralph Breaks the Internet," ''Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."
Best cinematography: Łukasz Żal, "Cold War"; Robbie Ryan, "The Favourite"; Caleb Deschanel, "Never Look Away"; Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma"; Matthew Libatique, "A Star Is Born."
Best costume design: Mary Zophres "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"; Ruth Carter, "Black Panther"; Sandy Powell, "The Favourite"; Sandy Powell, "Mary Poppins Returns"; Alexandra Byrne, "Mary Queen of Scots."
Best documentary (feature): Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill, "Free Solo"; RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim, "Hale County This Morning, This Evening"; Bing Liu and Diane Quon, "Minding the Gap"; Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme and Tobias N. Siebert, "Of Fathers and Sons"; Betsy West and Julie Cohen, "RBG."
Best documentary (short subject): Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn, "Black Sheep"; Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, "End Game"; Skye Fitzgerald and Bryn Mooser, "Lifeboat"; Marshall Curry, "A Night at the Garden"; Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton, "Period. End of Sentence."
Best film editing: Barry Alexander Brown, "BlacKkKlansman"; John Ottman, "Bohemian Rhapsody"; Yorgos Mavropsaridis, "The Favourite"; Patrick J. Don Vito, "Green Book"; Hank Corwin, "Vice."
Best makeup and haistyling: Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer, "Border"; Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks, "Mary Queen of Scots"; Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney, "Vice."
Best music (original score): Ludwig Goransson, "Black Panther"; Terence Blanchard, "BlacKkKlansman"; Nicholas Britell, "If Beale Street Could Talk"; Alexandre Desplat, "Isle of Dogs"; Marc Shaiman, "Mary Poppins Returns."
Best music (original song): Music by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Anthony Tiffith; lyric by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe, "All The Stars" from "Black Panther"; music and lyric by Diane Warren, "I'll Fight" from "RBG"; music by Marc Shaiman; lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from "Mary Poppins Returns"; music and lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt, "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born"; music and lyric by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings."
Best production design: Hannah Beachler (production design), Jay Hart (set decoration) for "Black Panther"; Fiona Crombie (production design), Alice Felton (set decoration), "The Favourite"; Nathan Crowley (production design), Kathy Lucas (set decoration), "First Man"; John Myhre (production design), Gordon Sim (set decoration), "Mary Poppins Returns"; Eugenio Caballero (production design), Bárbara Enríquez (set decoration), "Roma."
Best short film (animated): Alison Snowden and David Fine, "Animal Behaviour"; Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb, "Bao"; Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco, "Late Afternoon"; Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, "One Small Step"; Trevor Jimenez, "Weekends."
Best short film (live action): Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon, "Detainment"; Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon, "Fauve"; Marianne Farley and Marie-Hélène Panisset, "Marguerite"; Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado, "Mother"; Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman, "Skin."
Best sound editing: Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker, "Black Panther"; Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali, "Bohemian Rhapsody"; Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan, "First Man"; Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, "A Quiet Place"; Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay, "Roma."
Best sound mixing: Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin, "Black Panther"; Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali, "Bohemian Rhapsody"; Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis, "First Man"; Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, "A Quiet Place"; Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay, "Roma."
Best visual effects: Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick, "Avengers: Infinity War"; Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould, "Christopher Robin"; Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm, "First Man"; Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk, "Ready Player One"; Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy, "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
Best writing (adapted screenplay): Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"; Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee, "BlacKkKlansman"; Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"; Barry Jenkins (written for the screen based on James Baldwin's 1974 novel), "If Beale Street Could Talk"; Eric Roth, and Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters, "A Star Is Born."
Best writing (original screenplay): Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, "The Favourite"; Paul Schrader, "First Reformed"; Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, "Green Book"; Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma"; Adam McKay, "Vice."