Monday 9 December 2019

'Shy' Ruth becomes the toast of Tinseltown as she leads Irish charge at Oscars

Ruth Negga in a scene from 'Loving'. (Ben Rothstein/Focus Features via AP)
Ruth Negga in a scene from 'Loving'. (Ben Rothstein/Focus Features via AP)
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

For a notoriously shy actress, Ruth Negga is in for a whirlwind of Hollywood hype, hysteria and PR spin in the lead-up to the 86th Academy Awards.

The Ethiopian-born Irish actress received her first Oscar nomination yesterday for her role in Jeff Nichols' heartfelt film 'Loving'.

The actress said she was "truly humbled by the news".

"It has been such an honour to have been given the opportunity to tell the incredible story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who serve as an inspiration that ordinary people can do extraordinary things." she said.

Negga will go up against Academy Award stalwart Meryl Streep - who is up for her 20th nomination for her performance in 'Florence Foster Jenkins' - in the Best Actress category.

She also faces competition from Emma Stone in 'La La Land', Natalie Portman in 'Jackie', and Isabelle Huppert for her role in thriller 'Elle'.

Emma Stone in a scene from,
Emma Stone in a scene from, "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)
Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in a scene from the film, "Jackie." (Stephanie Branchu/Fox Searchlight via AP)
Isabelle Huppert in a scene from, "Elle." (Guy Ferrandis/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)
Meryl Streep in a scene from "Florence Foster Jenkins." (Nick Wall/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Ryan Gosling in a scene from, "La La Land." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)
Casey Affleck in a scene from "Manchester By The Sea." (Claire Folger/Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios via AP)
Viggo Mortensen in a scene from, "Captain Fantastic." (Cathy Kanavy/Bleecker Street via AP)
Best Actor nominee Andrew Garfield. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/ File Photo
Denzel Washington in a scene from "Fences." (David Lee/Paramount Pictures via AP)

Read more: Irish-funded The Lobster secures Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay

Talk that Amy Adams had been snubbed for her role in sci-fi 'Arrival' was compounded yesterday when the official Oscars website made an unfortunate gaffe.

The site listed Adams as a nominee instead of Negga. The mistake was quickly amended but speculation about a last-minute switch was soon doing the rounds on social media - all of which the Academy dismissed.

Negga's nomination is of particular significance in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite protests taking place over the past two years.

A record-setting six black actors were nominated for awards this year - compared to none last year.

This shift towards diversity is a result of the increase of the Oscar class by 638, with a breakdown of 46pc women and 41pc people of colour.

Negga is not the only Irish nominee gearing up for awards season.

Costume designer Consolata Boyle got the nod for her work on Stephen Frears' period drama 'Florence Foster Jenkins'.

Foster Jenkins was famously dubbed the "worst singer to ever perform in Carnegie Hall".

It is the second time Boyle has been in the running for an Oscar; she was previously nominated for her work on 2006 film 'The Queen'. 

Read more: Ruth Negga's Oscar nomination was given to Amy Adams first on official awards website

Irish co-production 'The Lobster', starring Colin Farrell, has made it into the Best Original Screenplay category alongside 'Hell or High Water', 'Manchester by the Sea', 'La La Land', and '20th Century Women'.

Producer of 'The Lobster', Ed Guiney, also worked on Oscar-winning film 'Room' and is looking forward to walking the Oscar red carpet for the second year running.

Damien Chazelle's musical 'La La Land' swept the boards, receiving 14 nominations.

The film, which has been dubbed a "hymn to old-school Hollywood" joins current nominee record-holders 'All About Eve' (1950) and 'Titanic' (1997).

The ceremony will take place on February 26.

Irish Independent

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