Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)
The Academy Awards do not have a host, a plan to create a “popular film” category was quickly abandoned and the chances are Australia will not have a nominee in the glamour acting categories.
This year’s Oscars ceremony is shaping up as one of the most tantalising in decades with no clear favourites in the lead actor, actress and supporting actor races and although Roma is the frontrunner for best picture it is vulnerable.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will reveal its nominees via webcast at the unfortunate hour of 12.20am Wednesday AEDT and plenty of Aussies are in contention.
Andrew Goldsmith, Bradley Slabe and Lucy Hayes will be nervously huddled around a computer with friends, family and crew members at Hayes’ home in Melbourne to watch the nomination ceremony.
The trio is a strong chance for a short animated film nomination for their cute stop motion movie Lost & Found starring a knitted toy dinosaur and fox.
“We’re pretty nervous,” Hayes told AAP as she drove down St Kilda Rd on Tuesday with Goldsmith and Slabe to get party supplies.
The Academy announced last month Lost & Found was one of 10 films that made the short-list for the five nomination slots in the category, so their chances are good.
“We’ll have a table for happy drinks and a table for sad drinks,” Slabe, describing their plan to celebrate or commiserate into the daylight hours of Wednesday, said.
Australia’s other great nomination hopes are Fiona Crombie (production design) and Tony McNamara (original screenplay) for their work on The Favourite, an English drama-comedy set in the early 18th Century around Queen Anne.
Perth pop star Troye Sivan is also a solid chance after making the shortlist in the original song category for Revelation from Boy Erased, pitting him against Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (Shallow from A Star is Born) and Kendrick Lamar and SZA (All the Stars from Black Panther).
Nicole Kidman was an early favourite to score two nominations this year – best actress for Destroyer and supporting actress for Boy Erased – but her campaign has wilted.
Toni Collette’s role in the disturbing horror film Hereditary did earn her some kudos from critics and calls for an Oscar best actress nod, but it will be a shock if she is nominated.
Glenn Close (The Wife) has nudged ahead of Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) for best actress, but they could also lose to Olivia Colman (The Favourite).
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Yalitza Apariciao (Roma) are expected to get the final two slots ahead of Kidman and Collette.
Kidman and Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots) are also expected to be left out in the cold for supporting actress.
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) is the runaway favourite to win supporting actress.
Christian Bale is the lead actor favourite for Vice, although Rami Malek’s Golden Globes win for Bohemian Rhapsody and Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born) and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) are all legitimate Oscar chances.
Roma’s Alfonso Cuaron is the hot favourite for directing and his film has won numerous critics best picture gongs, but Bohemian Rhapsody took the Golden Globe and Green Book, A Star Is Born and The Favourite are also chances.
Expect Academy voters to give Marvel’s Black Panther a best picture nomination after the decision to announce and then quickly abandon a separate popular film category to honour blockbusters that rarely get Oscar love.
Pint-sized comedian Kevin Hart was booked to host the February 24 Academy Awards but quit after controversial social media comments from years ago were unearthed.
The Academy is tipped to name multiple hosts to rotate throughout the show, a move that has not been done since Paul Hogan, Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn shared the duties in 1987.