‘Roma,’ ‘Burning’ among foreign language Oscar contenders

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A number of Oscar hopefuls just got one step closer to a nomination with Monday’s reveal of nine Academy Awards shortlists, including best foreign language film where Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Lee Chang-dong’s thriller “Burning” are among nine films in consideration.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday announced shortlists for a number of below the line categories including hair and makeup, score, original song and best documentary, where crowd-pleasers like the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary “RBG” and the Fred Rogers film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” made the cut.

Shortlists, decided on by executive committees in the film academy, help narrow the playing field in many of the categories before they are whittled down further to five final nominations in late January.

Many believe Mexico’s “Roma” to be a front-runner for a best picture nomination as well, while the acclaimed “Burning,” which is based on a Haruki Murakami story, could make history by becoming South Korea’s first ever nominee.

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Other films in contention include Poland’s “Cold War,” which was snubbed by the Golden Globe Awards, Lebanon’s “Capernaum,” Japan’s “Shoplifters,” Colombia’s “Birds of Passage,” Denmark’s “The Guilty,” Germany’s “Never Look Away” and Kazakhstan’s “Ayka.”

Notable documentary features also included on the shortlist include “Minding the Gap,” a 12-year odyssey about a group of skateboarders growing up in Rockford, Illinois, the too-wild-to-be-true “Three Identical Strangers,” about triplets separated by adoption at birth who find each other later in life, and the intense climbing film “Free Solo.”

This is the first time since 1979 that the film academy has released a shortlist for the music categories. Fifteen original songs were selected from 90 submissions and include “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born,” ”All The Stars” from “Black Panther,” Dolly Parton’s “Girl in the Movies” from “Dumplin’,” and two songs from “Mary Poppins Returns” — “The Place Where Lost Things Go” and “Trip a Little Light Fantastic.”

“Mary Poppins Returns” and “Black Panther” were also shortlisted for best original score, as was “Vice” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which were both composed by Nicholas Brittell.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 22, with one month before the Oscars on Feb. 24

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