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Latino Oscar Nominees

Latino Oscar nominees highlight Hispanic influence in film

  • Manuel Gómez - East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director Manuel Gómez, East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director
  • February 8, 2022

These Latino Oscar nominees are ready to take home the trophy.

The nominations for the Acadamy Awards were announced Tuesday. This year’s award ceremony is set to highlight a wide variety of film genres and filmmakers, including these Latino Oscar nominees who are ready to make history.

One of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture – “Nightmare Alley” – was directed by a Latino. This film was written and directed by acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. It pays homage to the quintessentially American genre of Film Noir. It stars Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, among others.

“Nightmare Alley” is also nominated for production design, cinematography, and costume design. Previously, del Toro won Best Achievement in Directing for “The Shape of Water” in 2018. That film also won Best Motion Picture of the Year and was nominated for Best Screenplay. He was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “El Laberinto del Fauno” (Pan’s Labyrinth) in 2006.

Del Toro wasn’t the only Mexicano nominated for an Academy Award this year. Carlos López Estrada’s film “Raya and the Last Dragon” was nominated for Best Animated Feature. This is Estrada’s first Oscar nomination. If victorious, he would share the award with Don Hall and Osnat Shurer.

“Encanto” Another Latino Achievement

Elsewhere, you can find Lin-Manuel Miranda’s influence spread across a number of categories. To begin with, the Boricua’s song “Dos Oruguitas” was nominated for Best Original Song. This is the only song among the other nominees that is entirely in Spanish. Performed by Sebastián Yatra, the song tells the story of two inseparable caterpillars that must separate in order to grow into beautiful butterflies.

The song appears in this year’s Best Animated Film nominee “Encanto,” which is the story of a teenage girl in Colombia who struggles with being the only member of the family Madrigal without magical powers. 

The film’s composer Germaine Franco is also nominated for Best Orginal Score. Franco is the first Latina invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Though she received the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music for the movie “Coco” in 2018, this is her first Oscar nomination.

Lin-Manuel Miranda also directed the film “Tick, Tick, BOOM!” which received two nominations this year. First, actor Andrew Garfield was nominated for Best Actor, and Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum received nominations for Best Film Editing.

“West Side Story”

Also nominated for Best Picture is Stephen Spielberg’s reimagining of “West Side Story.” A win for this picture will be monumental as it features a cast made up largely of Latinos, including Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, and Rita Moreno among others.

This musical is a remake of the 1961 film, which took home 10 Academy Awards, including one for Best Supporting Actress Rita Moreno. The 90-year-old native of Puerto Rico was the first Latina to win an Oscar when she won it for her role as Maria.

She really had no choice even though many have critiqued the actress for wearing dark makeup for her role in the film. Moreno told the Associated Press in 2019 that she “resented” having to do that.

“Puerto Rico was colonized by the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish and so we are many colors,” she said. “I am Puerto Rican and I really resented it when they put very dark makeup on me because that’s not my color.”

Spielberg allowed actors to be entirely themselves in this version. He even refused to put subtitles in the film, allowing the beauty of the Spanish language to flow like the rest of the dialogue.

This year’s Academy Awards are a testament to the Latino influence in film. We look forward to seeing these Latino Oscar nominees bringing home the gold.

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