Looks like the Academy doesn't think Meryl Streep is overrated.
Streep received a lead actress nomination Tuesday for her role in "Florence Foster Jenkins." This is the 20th nomination for Streep, adding to her tally of most acting Oscar nominations for a single person. Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson follow with 12 nominations each.
Streep was first nominated in 1979 in the supporting actress category for her performance in "The Deer Hunter." Her 20 nominations include 16 for actress in a leading role and four for supporting actress.
"Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you, Denzel, for being at the helm!"
That's Viola Davis' rather humble reaction to her Oscar nomination this morning for supporting actress for her performance in "Fences."
But she deserves more than the standard congratulations. Davis is now the first African American actress to have scored three Academy Award nominations. Whoopi Goldberg previously held the record with two, having been nominated in 1986 for "The Color Purple" (actress) and finally winning for 1991's "Ghost" (supporting actress).
Dev Patel, who was nominated for an Academy Award for actor in a supporting role for his part in “Lion,” has big plans for celebrating his nomination news: a shower.
Are you freaking out?
That is the understatement of the century. It kind of hasn’t fully permeated my brain. I’m just so overwhelmingly grateful to the universe and the master of that universe, Garth Davis [director of “Lion”].
When black performers were excluded from all acting categories at the Academy Awards for a second year in a row in 2016, the shutout sparked a second year of an impassioned social media movement: #OscarsSoWhite.
You could say the campaign was a success. A week later, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pledged to phase out senior members and enlist new, diverse voters who would, if all recruiting goals were met, double minority membership by 2020. This morning, for the first time, three black actors were nominated in the same category, of best supporting actress: Viola Davis for “Fences,” Naomie Harris for “Moonlight” and Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures.” Denzel Washington also was nominated in the lead acting category for his performance in “Fences,” and Mahershala Ali in the supporting actor category for “Moonlight.”
But Hollywood’s diversity problem isn’t solved. By many measures, it’s still as bad as ever. And the studios’ biggest minority deficit by far involves the very people living and working outside their walls in virtually every direction — Latinos.
Following last year’s industry-shaking #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the 2017 slate of Oscar nominations is surely more diverse with the likes of Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington and Barry Jenkins all taking home nominations. But according to April Reign, former attorney, managing editor of BroadwayBlack.com and the hashtag’s creator, the fight for actual diversity and inclusion is not yet over.
“One year does not make up for over 80 years of underrepresentation of all genders, sexual orientations, races, abilities and First Nation status,” she said to The Times. “#OscarsSoWhite is about the inclusion of all marginalized communities, both in front of and behind the camera, throughout the entertainment industry.”
Films heralded for their diversity this year included “Fences,” “Lion,” Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight.” Notable other standouts include the nomination of the first African American cinematographer, Bradford Young for “Arrival” and the first black female editor, Joi McMillon for “Moonlight.” And many of these films have been commercial successes, rebuffing a tired industry belief that diverse films cannot be profitable.
When executives at Lionsgate first entertained the idea of making a film about star-crossed lovers who sing and dance their way across Los Angeles, they had good reasons to hesitate.
The musical genre had been littered with flops including “Across the Universe,” “Rent” and “Rock of Ages.” Even more worrisome, “La La Land” was an original story with entirely new songs, making it an especially risky proposition.
Allison Schroeder was on the playground in 1986, chasing a friend around the slide, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. As a first-grader, she was confused by the blast visible from her neighborhood, just 30 minutes south of the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla. So she looked toward her teacher, who’d begun to cry. That’s when she realized something terrible had occurred.
After school, before the shuttle’s cabin had been been recovered, she gathered a group of her friends and organized a search party. On bicycles, they rode around their neighborhood looking for the astronauts in vacant lots.
“I was so sure I could save them,” Schroeder, now 38, recalls.