The year the Oscars went mainstream

The academy has expanded its membership significantly in response to the #OscarsSoWhite revolt and as a result the incumbent nominees are more diverse.

While there are only two non-white actors in the Leading Actor and Leading Actress categories, Cuban is Ana de Armas (Blond) and Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh (Everything everywhere) five are nominated in the minor categories.

Four reigning nominees are of Asian descent: Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu (all from Everything everywhere) and Hong Chau (The whale).

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once tops Oscar nominations.

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once tops Oscar nominations.Credit:A24

Among the 20 nominees for acting are 16 first-timers, and Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) is the first nominated actor from a Marvel film.

But it’s not all good news on the diversity front. After two years as best director – Chloe Zhao (nomadic country), then Jane Campion (The power of the dog) – all nominees in this category this year are male, and all except Daniel Kwan (Everything everywhere) are white.

The Aussies to watch

The Baz Luhrmann direction elvis has received eight nominations including best film, best actor, editor and cinematographer. Catherine Martin, a producer on the film, was also nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

Cate Blanchett is in Best Actress thanks to her performance. tar; and Brisbane’s Lachlan Pendragon is nominated for Best Animated Short An ostrich told me the world is wrong and I think I believe it.

The real Elvis Presley and Austin Butler in a recreation of the 1968 Christmas television special for Baz Luhrmann's film.

The real Elvis Presley and Austin Butler in a recreation of the 1968 Christmas television special for Baz Luhrmann’s film.

But let’s talk about the nudges

Despite elvis being very much the product of his imagination and style – exactly the same Moulin Rouge! was when best picture was up for grabs two decades ago – Baz Luhrmann was snubbed for best director.

While Mandy Walker (elvis) is nominated for best cinematographer, she’s only the third woman to compete in – wait a minute – 95 years.

The strong claims of the grandiose Indian action film RRR were overlooked, save for an original song nomination. And, surprisingly to many, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical action film didn’t get any credit The Woman King – not even a widespread acting nomination for Viola Davis.

Viola Davis as the warrior Nanisca in The Woman King.

Viola Davis as the warrior Nanisca in The Woman King.Credit:Sony Movies

The brilliant documentary good night oppy one of the most heartwarming films of the year – was also snubbed. But there was still room for little movies with heart, with Bill Nighty drama lifeDrama by Andrea Riseborough To Leslie and international film nominee Close all acknowledged.

It’s just over six weeks until the Oscars on March 13 (AEDT). Bring it on.

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Email Garry Maddox at and follow him on Twitter at @gmaddox. The year the Oscars went mainstream

Jaclyn Diaz

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