Hollywood gears for Oscars amid criticism that nominees aren’t diverse

World Today

The Oscars, regarded as the most prestigious annual awards ceremony in Hollywood, is just days away. Experts say some categories are predictable while others are wide open. The awards are also facing ongoing complaints about a lack of diversity among this year’s nominees. CCTV America’s May Lee reported this story from Los Angeles.


Source: Academy Awards database analyzed by CCTV America

Hollywood gears for Oscars amid criticism that nominees aren\'t diverse

Hollywood gears for Oscars amid criticism that nominees aren\'t diverse

The Oscars, regarded as the most prestigious annual awards ceremony in Hollywood, is just days away. Experts say some categories are predictable while others are wide open. The awards are also facing ongoing complaints about a lack of diversity among this year’s nominees. CCTV America’s May Lee reported this story from Los Angeles.

The Academy Awards is Hollywood’s biggest event when the best in film gather to hear those five words all night long. Of this year’s four major categories, Oscar experts say three nominees appear to have a lock.

J.K. Simmons for best supporting actor, as the sadistic music teacher in “Whiplash”.

Patricia Arquette for best supporting actress, for her role in “Boyhood”, which took 12 years to make.

And Julianne Moore for best actress for her portrayal of a woman stricken with Alzheimer’s disease in “Still Alice”.

“This is her fifth nomination and has never won. A lot of times, timing is very important when it comes to winning an Oscar, and it’s her time,” Los Angeles Times columnist Glenn Whipp said.

But the Best Actor category is wide open. It’s packed with stellar performances, many based on real people like world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking played by Eddie Redmayne.

There’s also Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing, multimillionaire and wrestling enthusiast John du Pont played by Steve Carell, and US Navy Seal and sniper Cris Kyle played by Bradley Cooper — who is the first actor ever to be nominated in this category three years in a row.

Michael Keaton garnered his first Oscar nomination at the age of 62 for his role in the fictional story “Birdman”.

There are eight nominees for Best Picture this year.

Two favorites are “Birdman” and “Boyhood” which have already won several awards each, including Golden Globes and Screen Actor’s Guild.

“Birdman is such a tour de force. Real dazzling kind of movie,” Whipp said. “It’s a very showy movie whereas “Boyhood” and Richard Linklater, again, what a feat to be able to seamlessly put together 12 years of footage into one cohesive narrative.”

“Selma” is also a nominee, but the fact that lead actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay were not nominated have sparked accusations of racism.

“There were a lot of protests saying the Academy is racist. I think it’s not the Academy is racist, the industry is racist,” Tim Gray, awards editor at Variety magazine said. “And sexist, many in the industry claim, which is why movie insiders say the Academy, made up of mostly older, white men, is trying change its image.”