Snubs and surprises on this year’s Oscar nomination list

World Today

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 24, 2016 Rick Roberts works on touching up a base amid statues of the Oscar awaiting finishing up at a Hollywood back lot in Hollywood, California ahead this weekend’s 88th Academy Awards. – Hollywood’s biggest night — the Oscars — is set to take place in Febuary 2019 without a host for the first time in 30 years, after comedian Kevin Hart pulled out of the gig and no suitable replacement was found. Though organizers have yet to confirm the plans, entertainment insiders say the show’s producers are forging ahead with preparations for the 91st Academy Awards on February 24 with no emcee. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP)

The Oscars opening bell has now officially sounded. The Academy laying out its big list of who’s up for Hollywood’s ultimate honors this year.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports.

Spoiler alert: There’s no clear front-runner for the big one: Best Picture. No huge surprises.

In fact, almost a carbon copy of the Golden Globes: which are often seen as a good indicator of what’s to come on Oscar night.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” won the night there a few weeks ago. The movie that has swept the world with its familiar story and songs. A very real possible winner at the Oscars too. 

But it’s up against “Roma”. This is the jewel in Netflix’s crown right now. It won the Critics’ Choice award for Best Picture just over a week ago. 

“Black Panther” too – the gift that keeps on giving for Marvel. Taking more than one billion dollars worldwide. This film has been described as a defining moment for black America. 

And at an Academy that has been called out for perceptions of racism in recent years, could that be enough to help score it a win?

No surprise too that “A Star Is Born” is in. This movie, sweeping the box office at the end of last year, with a soundtrack powered by the voices of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. 

HUGE surprise – Cooper didn’t get a Best Director nod. Big non-surprise – Gaga’s up for Best Actress. That was widely expected. Any other year, you might call her the favorite.

But this year… she’s got to get past Glenn Close. “The Wife” saw her take Best Actress at the Golden Globes. And it was a tie with Gaga for that same honor at the Critics’ Choice Awards.

Also in the frame, Olivia Colman for “The Favourite”. 

And what’s been described as a stellar performance by Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” 

At least Bradley Cooper will be hoping to score Best Actor for “A Star Is Born”. He will go head to head with his castmate, Rami Malek, who took a Golden Globe.

As did “Vice’s” Christian Bale… who also got the Critics’ Choice award. No clear winner here. A wide open race. 

And despite the love, no sign of “A Star is Born” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” for Best Director.  But Alfonso Cuaron hoping he’ll take that for “Roma”.

A sign for the streaming service that its annual attempts to push its way into the established awards scene as a serious contender are now bearing fruit. 

“Roma”, via Mexico, is also among the Best Foreign Language movies –  with other nods going to Lebanon, Germany, Poland and Japan.

But no China, once again. “Hidden Man” was its hope. Despite efforts, this one was out of sight when it came to nominations.

Also hidden – any announcement of a host. Weeks after Kevin Hart publicly pulled out in a row over claims the Academy wanted him to apologize for Tweets he once posted, still no name in the frame. 

One theory: This may be a year when the Oscars has NO main presenter. Don’t be surprised if that’s the case. This is Hollywood, after all. Anything can happen. And it frequently does.

The winners will be revealed Feb. 24 when the whos-who of this place take to that red carpet for all the world to see.