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Nominees for the Academy Awards are out

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Oscar nominations are out today. Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid read the list at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. And NPR culture correspondent Mandalit del Barco was following along. Mandalit, good morning.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, HOST:

Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP:

OK, so what do you see there?

DEL BARCO: Well, let's start with the big categories. There were no surprises really, except for maybe one, a snub for Greta Gerwig as best director of "Barbie." But remember, Steve, this was a year when the entire film industry was disrupted by a double strike against the studios and streamers by writers and performers or actors. There were barely any movie productions this year, and union members could not promote their films for half a year. So really, there weren't as many films that could be nominated. But as far as the nominees, really, they were fairly predictable. It seems the studios and streamers Apple, Focus, Netflix, Amazon, Neon - they each have one nominated movie up for Best Picture, and A24 got two. There were "Killers Of The Flower Moon," "The Holdovers," "The Zone Of Interest," "Poor Things," "Maestro," "Past Lives," "Anatomy Of A Fall," "American Fiction." And, of course, the summer hits collectively known as "Barbenheimer" made the list. That is "Barbie," a movie based on a doll...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BARBIE")

RYAN GOSLING: (As Ken) Hi, Barbie.

MARGOT ROBBIE: (As Barbie) Hi, Ken.

DEL BARCO: ...And a movie about the making of the atom bomb, "Oppenheimer."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "OPPENHEIMER")

CILLIAN MURPHY: (As J. Robert Oppenheimer) This is a national emergency.

DEL BARCO: I just got back last night from the Sundance Film Festival, where I interviewed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. And he reminded me that these two biggest box office movies of the year were made by Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig, two darlings of the independent film world who have now made huge commercial successes. Christopher Nolan was nominated for best director but, as I said before, not Greta Gerwig.

INSKEEP: That's really fascinating about Nolan, who has said he thinks of himself as an indie film guy but keeps ending up doing these giant but idiosyncratic projects. But let me ask about Gerwig being left out. Had she been honored at some of the earlier moments in the awards season?

DEL BARCO: Yes, she's been honored, and she's been talked about for this Oscars nomination. It would've been significant because there are very, very few women who've gotten the best director award at the Oscars.

INSKEEP: OK, so that won't be happening, at least not for her. What about some of the other awards, best actor, best actress?

DEL BARCO: Yeah, up for best actor this year is Paul Giamatti in "The Holdovers," Cillian Murphy in "Oppenheimer," Bradley Cooper in "Maestro," Colman Domingo in "Rustin" and Jeffrey Wright in "American Fiction." We were expecting to see Leonardo DiCaprio for "Killers Of The Flower Moon," but he didn't make the list. And in the actress category, the nominees include Carey Mulligan in "Maestro," Annette Bening in "Nyad," Sandra Huller in "Anatomy Of A Fall." But the word is it could be a close call between Emma Stone in "Poor Things" and Lily Gladstone in "Killers Of The Flower Moon." She could make history as the first Indigenous actress to win the big prize.

INSKEEP: Love hearing Annette Bening's name. There's someone who's had a long and distinguished career and one more nomination.

DEL BARCO: Right.

INSKEEP: What about music?

DEL BARCO: Yeah, in the best original song category, well, on stage at the Oscars this year, we could see Billie Eilish performing her song "What Was I Made For?" And Ryan Gosling could sing "I'm Just Ken" - two songs from Barbie.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M JUST KEN")

GOSLING: (As Ken, singing) I'm just Ken. Anywhere else, I'd be a 10. Is it my destiny to live and die a life of blond fragility?

INSKEEP: We're not going to top that, so let's just end the report right there. That's NPR's Mandalit del Barco, our culture correspondent in Los Angeles. Mandalit, thanks so much.

DEL BARCO: Sure. I'm just Mandalit.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) And I'm just Steve.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M JUST KEN")

GOSLING: (As Ken, singing) ...The man behind the tan and fight for me? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Mandalit del Barco
As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.