March 3, 2024

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Actors of color across all categories, LGBTQ stars shine

Actors of color across all categories, LGBTQ stars shine

The Oscar nominations may not have delivered everything people wanted, but the diversity in the acting categories had many high points worth celebrating.

Lily Gladstone made history as the first Native American nominated for Best Actress, for her towering role as Molly Burkhart in the crime thriller Killers of the Flower Moon.

Colman Domingo became the first Afro-Latino to be nominated for Best Actor for his powerful performance in the civil rights drama “Rustin.” He's joined by fellow black nominee Jeffrey Wright in “American Fiction.” This is only the second time in Oscar history that more than one black actor, not Will Smith or Denzel Washington, has been nominated for the main award. The first was the 2004 lineup with Don Cheadle (“Hotel Rwanda”) and eventual winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”).

Co-star Wright Sterling K. was nominated. Brown won for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Clifford “Cliff” Ellison, a recently divorced gay man. This is the first time a black lead actor has been nominated alongside a supporting actor from the same film (it has previously happened to a supporting actor and actress, or an actress and a supporting actress).

Domingo and Best Supporting Actress nominee Jodie Foster (“Niad”) also made Oscars history: It's the first time openly LGBTQ actors have been nominated for playing LGBTQ characters.

Two Black women were nominated for Supporting Actress: Danielle Brooks for “The Color Purple” (as the film's only female nominee) and Devin Joy Randolph for “The Holdovers.” They are joined by America Ferrera in “Barbie,” the ninth Latina actress ever nominated in the category, and the first since 2021 winner Ariana DeBose.

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Director and screenwriter Celine Song made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “Past Lives.”

Women also had strong showings across multiple categories. In Original Screenplay, no woman has been nominated since Emerald Fennell won Promising Young Woman of 2020. This year features three female writers recognized for Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Tritt), May December (Sami Burch), and “Past Lives” (Celine Song). The adapted screenplay has one woman nominated, Greta Gerwig of “Barbie” (along with Noah Baumbach).

In Original Score, Laura Karpman received her first career Academy Award nomination for composing the score for “American Fiction,” which was nominated for Best Picture, one of five women honored in the category in the last 25 years.

It's not just about the individual acting, as well as a refreshing mix of genre and non-English titles. Reflecting the 93 countries represented in this year's ballots, this was the first year in which more than one primarily non-English language film was nominated for Best Picture: Anatomy of a Fall, Past Lives and Area of ​​Interest.

Four comedies — “American Fiction,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers” and “Poor Things” — were nominated for Best Picture, tied for the most in the genre in a single year since 2013 (“American “Hustle”, and “Her”). “Nebraska” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”). All four films were nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).