×

Academy Skirts Another #OscarsSoWhite Disaster With a Diverse Lineup, But Who Will Win?

The Academy has recognized Daniel Kaluuya, Denzel Washington, Mary J. Blige and Octavia Spencer with Oscar nominations in the acting categories and Guillermo del Toro and Jordan Peele in the original screenplay and director slots. Now the big question is how much could the #OscarsSoWhite scenario still potentially create controversy when the final awards are handed out if few winners of color are selected for the major categories.

Two years ago, #OscarsSoWhite drew attention to the all-white nominees in the major acting categories, the second year in a row that it had happened. Since then, the progress for representation and inclusion has moved in fits and starts. Last year saw a record number of nominees from diverse backgrounds, including acting nominees Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Viola Davis, Washington, Spencer, Ruth Negga and Dev Patel.

With Tuesday’s nominations, Kaluuya and Washington were nominated for best actor in “Get Out” and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” respectively, while Spencer was recognized for “The Shape of Water” and Mary J. Blige for “Mudbound” in the supporting actress category, though “Mudbound” director Dee Rees left off the best director nominees list. Blige was also recognized for best song for “Mighty River” from “Mudbound.”

“I think all the diversity is not a step forward but a step in to a present and that its great that different perspectives are being rewarded,” Kaluuya told Variety after the nominations were announced.

Peele was nominated for both director and original screenplay for the groundbreaking horror pic “Get Out,” which scored three nominations total. Kumail Nanjiani was nominated in the original screenplay category for “The Big Sick,” which he co-wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon.

“Get Out” star Kaluuya also earned a Golden Globes nomination for best actor in a musical or comedy. In the best actor category, Gary Oldman has emerged as a favorite for his turn as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” and he took the SAG award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role on Sunday.

Washington scored his eighth nomination, and like Kaluuya, also landed Golden Globe and SAG nominations for best actor. Washington has won two Academy Awards – one in 2002 for best actor in “Training Day” and best supporting actor in 1990 for “Glory.”

Meanwhile, women of color were shut out of nominations in the leading actress category. Salma Hayek, who earned praise for her subtle, yet powerful performance in last summer’s “Beatriz at Dinner” has escaped notice this awards season entirely. Hayek was a 2003 nominee for leading actress in the biopic, “Frida.”

Hayek’s absence also highlights the historical lack of Latino nominees in the Academy’s history, which some activists in Hollywood plan to protest this year, calling for more meaningful roles for Latino actors.

Two women of color scored nominations for supporting actress: Blige for “Mudbound,” and Spencer for “The Shape of Water.” Hong Chao for “Downsizing” was considered a contender but didn’t score a nomination. The frontrunner in the category is Allison Janney, nominated for “I, Tonya,” for which she won the Golden Globe and SAG awards for supporting actress.

Mexican director del Toro is emerging as a lead contender for director with his “The Shape of Water” earning dozens of nominations and notching the Golden Globe for directing.

Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” is also the frontrunner to win best animated feature this year. The picture about the Mexican cultural celebration of the Day of the Dead featured an all-Latino voice cast, as well as a co-director of Mexican-American heritage, Adrian Molina.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    'The Report' Trailer: Adam Driver Investigates Post-9/11 Interrogation Tactics

    Adam Driver is in pursuit of the truth in Amazon Studio’s first look at “The Report,” a tense political drama about the CIA’s use of torture. The film focuses on Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Driver), who begins to investigate the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, a group created in the aftermath of 9/11. As he [...]

  • Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Personal History

    Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Personal History of David Copperfield'

    Fox Searchlight has acquired North American rights to “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” Armando Iannucci’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. The deal comes in advance of the film’s Toronto International Film Festival bow on Sept. 5, as well as its BFI London Film Festival premiere on Oct. 2. The studio [...]

  • on day 3 of the London

    Barbara Broccoli, Richard Curtis, Passion Pictures Team on Paralympics Documentary

    Oscar-winning British production company Passion Pictures is teaming up with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and filmmaker Richard Curtis on a new feature documentary about the Paralympic Games. The project, currently titled “Harder Than You Think,” brings together Passion’s John Battsek with producer Greg Nugent of HTYT Films, with Broccoli and Curtis both serving as [...]

  • Tribeca Film Insitute's PitchNY Program Now

    Tribeca Film Institute's PitchNY Program Kicks Off (EXCLUSIVE)

    College students and recent alumni in New York can apply to the 4th annual PitchNY program, an effort to help young, diverse directors, producers and writers fine-tune their pitching skills, as well as to connect them with entertainment industry professionals who will serve as mentors. On Thursday, Tribeca Film Institute, The New York State Governor’s [...]

  • La-camarista

    ‘The Chambermaid’ Cleans Up in the U.S.

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Call it the “Roma” effect but Mexican newcomer Lila Aviles’ engaging portrait of a hotel servant, “The Chambermaid” (“La Camarista”) has found outstanding reception in the U.S. and in multiple territories, giving hope to other arthouse films from Latin America and elsewhere that seek distribution in “fortress America.” “‘Roma’ was a beautiful, brawny and [...]

  • Beograd 20.03.2012 Milutin Petrovic, reditelj, scenarista,

    Lost Script by ABC Studios Editor Turned Into Movie and Series 'Bad Blood'

    An ambitious new Serbian feature film and 10-part television series set in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century has emerged from a long lost script by a former editor at ABC Studios in New York City. Belgrade-based This and That Productions is producing “Bad Blood,” based on the works of renowned Serbian writer Borisav [...]

  • Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power, Responsibility of Cinema to ‘Provoke’

    Gael García Bernal said acting for the likes of Oscar winners Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón helped groom him for the director’s chair and praised cinema as “the only medium” that allows artists to “explore the gray areas” in unparalleled ways. “The world is so full of certainties now, and cinema is the one that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content