For the past few years, considerable efforts have been made to diversify the Academy Awards, but today’s nominations feature only one prominent person of color in a major category, Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant.
Even with notable performances by Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor (Tangerine), this was the second consecutive year where no persons of color have nominations in any of the 20 slots in the acting categories.
Films like Sicario, Tangerine, Ex Machina, Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation and Creed either have recognition in smaller categories like technical achievements, have only one nomination or were completely shut out of the race.
However, there is still hope in the form of Colombia and Mexican Director-Producer Inarritu. Colombia received a Foreign Language Film nomination for Embrace of the Serpent. The Revenant garnered the most Oscar nods, 12, practically guaranteeing a win for Inarritu, or his cast and crew.
For onscreen performances, The Revenant will compete for Best Actor (Leonardo Dicaprio) and Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy).
When it comes to technical achievement, The Revenant will have to contend for Costume Design, Makeup and Hair Styling, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Film Editing, Production Design, and Visual Effects.
Emmanuel Lubezki, Inarritu’s go-to cameraman, also from Mexico, will have to duke it out with John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road), Roger Deakins (Sicario), and two others for best cinematographer.
Last week Inarritu won Best Director and Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, which signals that he is most likely to have another two-peat at the Oscars in the Best Picture and Director categories.
The 88th Academy Awards will be live on Sunday, Feb 28th at 8:30 p.m. EST. The host will be actor and comedian, Chris Rock.