Newsletter: Gold Standard: Oscar shortlists narrow the field

A scene from “Roma,” which made the Oscar shortlist for foreign language film.
(Carlos Somonte / Netflix)

Oscar nominations won’t be announced until Jan. 22, but we already have an idea of who might be celebrating that day.

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

I’m Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.

Oscar shortlists narrow the field in nine categories


The motion picture academy decided this year to release its category shortlists in one fell swoop. Finalists for foreign language film, documentary, original song and score and five other categories were announced earlier this week, and Times film writer Josh Rottenberg reported on the lists.

Thankfully, there were no major omissions, allowing us to store up our anger and outrage for Oscar nominations morning, just in case, say, “Burning” isn’t among the titles feted for foreign language feature.

With so much great work making these various lists, it’s almost wrong to single out one entry. But with Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” in theaters right now and Adam McKay’s “Vice” soon to follow, composer Nicholas Britell’s scores have been lodged firmly in my brain lately. Both made the academy’s short list, and you can read about his striking work in the two wildly different movies in this Times profile.

Envelope actress roundtable: Marina de Tavira, clockwise from left, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Nicole Kidman, Saoirse Ronan, Lupita Nyong’o and Melissa McCarthy.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)


Seven women, seven juicy roles: The Actress Roundtable

Times film writers Amy Kaufman and Mark Olsen led the Envelope’s annual actress roundtable, talking to Marina de Tavira, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Melissa McCarthy, Nicole Kidman, Lupita Nyong’o and Saoirse Ronan about their terrific work this year.

The far-ranging discussion touched on how becoming producers has changed their approach to acting (unleashing the Kraken!), what an Oscar nomination does to your career and the joy of playing flawed, imperfect women. You can read excerpts and watch video from the talk here.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

‘A Star Is Born’ set to run the table at the Globes?

Answer: Maybe. It depends on just how deep into Queen the 88 Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. voters are. I could see Rami Malek winning lead drama actor for “Bohemian Rhapsody” over Bradley Cooper’s sun-baked “Star Is Born” roots rocker. Cooper would still get a Globe as a producer if his movie wins best drama picture, as it probably will.

I predicted the major Globes categories for film and television, spending way too much time debating whether “The Favourite” or “Green Book” would take best comedy/musical picture. Which probably means “Mary Poppins Returns” will win. The HFPA loves its musicals.



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Twitter: @glennwhipp

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