Oscar voters showered Alfonso Cuarón's black-and-white drama "Roma" and Yorgos Lanthimos' royalty farce "The Favourite" with 10 nominations apiece Tuesday morning, putting the celebrated films at the front of a wide-open race for the top prize.
But the academy also honored popular favorites including Ryan Coogler's smash-hit superhero juggernaut "Black Panther" and Bradley Cooper's swooning musical remake "A Star Is Born" — nods that could draw a greater number of viewers to the telecast and help reverse a yearslong rating slump.
A total of eight movies will compete in the best picture race: "Black Panther," the docudrama "BlacKkKlansman," the Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The Favourite," the road trip comedy "Green Book," "Roma," "A Star Is Born," and the Dick Cheney takedown "Vice."
Byers Market Newsletter
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
The streaming giant Netflix, which distributed "Roma," scored its first best picture nomination — an achievement that could help cement its muscle in an industry that remains anxious about the future of moviegoing. "Roma," a dreamlike portrait of a domestic worker (best actress nominee Yalitza Aparicio) in 1970s Mexico, was given a brief theatrical run before arriving worldwide on Netflix.
"Black Panther" became the first superhero movie to land a spot in the best picture race, a decade after a high-profile snub of "The Dark Knight" spurred the Academy to expand the number of possible contenders. "Panther," a critical darling and the third-highest-grossing movie in U.S. box-office history, racked up seven nods total, mainly in technical categories such as production design and costume design.
Spike Lee, the prolific director behind "BlacKkKlansman," earned his first best director nod after previously being snubbed for era-defining projects like "Do the Right Thing" and "Malcolm X." (Lee received an honorary Oscar in 2015, however.) Academy voters also picked Cuarón, Lanthimos, Adam McKay ("Vice") and Paweł Pawlikowski (“Cold War”) for the best director contest.
"A Star Is Born" made out with eight nods — slightly fewer than expected. Cooper, who also stars in the movie as a flailing country crooner, got a best actor nod but was locked out of the best director race. Lady Gaga, his co-star, is up for best actress — a trophy that could very well go to seven-time Oscar nominee (and recent Globe winner) Glenn Close for "The Wife."
The nominees in all 24 categories were announced by Tracee Ellis Ross ("black-ish") and Kumail Nanjiani ("The Big Sick") from Los Angeles. The Academy Awards will air on ABC on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.
The show is currently without a host after comedian Kevin Hart left the gig amid a firestorm over homophobic tweets he wrote nearly a decade ago.