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What to look out for at the queerest Oscars yet

What to look out for at the queerest Oscars yet

Roma; Bohemian Rhapsody; The Favourite; A Star Is Born; and Black Panther - five of this year's Best Picture nominations

Movie fans are gearing up for the most LGBTI-inclusive Oscars in history this Sunday (24 February).

For the first time, more than half of the Best Picture nominations include LGBTI characters or actors.

The Favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, Vice, and Green Book are all up for the award.

LGBTI characters, actors, directors, and screenwriters have been nominated for awards across the board.

This year’s nominees ‘reflect a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film’ US LGBTQ organization GLAAD said.

‘The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated and will no doubt lead to more inclusive, culture-changing films’ said GLAAD Presiden Sarah Kate Ellis.

Some people, however, argue the nominations are not as inclusive as they look.

What’s more, Queen, fronted by gay popstar Adam Lambert, will perform at the Academy Awards. The Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, is up for five awards.

For only the second time in the Oscar’s 90-year history, the night will take place without a host.

The Acadamy announced US comedian Kevin Hart would be Oscar host in December last year. But, he stepped down following a fierce backlash after his long history of homophobic jokes was revealed.

The 91st Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles from 5pm (US East Coast Time) on Sunday (24 February).

Here’s what to look out for:

The favorite?

The Favourite, telling the very queer and very brazen story of two women vying for the favor of England’s Queen Anne, is up a massive 10 awards.

The movie, which features British actress Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne, was one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of 2018.

The Favourite is up for Best Picture as well as a Best Original Screenplay. Coleman is up for Best Actress.

Queen Anne’s suitors, played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, could take home Supporting Role awards.

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Coleman in The Favourite | Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Rachel Weisz and Olivia Coleman in The Favourite | Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Oscars may also award The Favourite for film editing, production, costume, cinematography, and directing.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) handed The Favourite seven awards out of 12 nominations.

It also won Outstanding British Film, Original Screenplay, Production Design, Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hair.

What’s more, Coleman won best actress in a musical or comedy at the Golden Globes.

We are the champions?

Bohemian Rhapsody, charting the rise to fame of the late queer musician Freddie Mercury and his band Queen, is up for five Oscars.

It’s the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time.

Critics widely expect Rami Malek, who plays Mercury in the film, to take home the Best Actor award.

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, performing at Live Aid in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, performing at Live Aid in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody (Photo: Alex Bailey/20th Century Fox)

The Golden Globes, SAF, and the BAFTAs have already awarded him for the role.

The biopic is also nominated for Best Picture and sound and film editing awards.

While the film has been incredibly well-received commercially, some critics say it fails to examine Mercury’s queer identity in any meaningful or nuanced ways.

At the BAFTAs, it picked up the award for Best Sound and Rami Malek won for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury.

A Star is Born

A Star is Born – which features bisexual actress Lady Gaga, as well as Drag Race queens Willam and Shangela – is up for eight awards.

Gaga could take home the Best Actress award. Her co-star and director, Bradley Cooper, meanwhile is up for Best Actor.

The movie depicts the love story of seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Cooper) and struggling artist Ally (Gaga). It is also up for Best Original Song, Best Adapted Screenplay and cinematography and sound mixing gongs.\

Lady Gaga won three Grammys earlier this month.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born. | Photo: Warners Bros

More nods

The Oscars has recognized Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, who play a lesbian and a gay man respectively in Can You Ever Forgive Me, with acting nominations.

Mahershala Ali, who of course won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Moonlight in 2017, has been nominated in the same category again for Green Book.

Many people interpret the star’s character in the movie to be LGBTI as he has a same-sex sexual encounter in the movie.

Green Book tells the true story of Dr Don Shirley (played by Ali), an African-American pianist who forms an unexpected bond with his driver.

The Acadamy has recognized Barry Jenkins’ latest movie If Beale Street Could Talk with nominations for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, Best Supporting Actress (for Regina King) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

See also:

Relive the most LGBTI moments of the Oscars

Adam Lambert and Queen rock the Oscars

Shangela makes history as first-ever drag queen on the Oscars red carpet