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On the Twentieth Century Interview with Peter Gallagher

Gallagher’s work has never gone stale because the actor keeps things both cool and committed.

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On the Twentieth Century Interview with Peter Gallagher
Photo: Joan Marcus

Peter Gallagher and On the Twentieth Century each made their Broadway debuts during the same 1977 to ’78 season. Since then, the musical has rarely been seen, but the actor has had one of those rare careers in which he’s perpetually popped up in most every performance medium and genre without wearing out his welcome or curdling into type. On Broadway, he’s run the gamut from Hair, in which he made that debut in the love-rock musical’s short-lived first revival, to the tragic Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey, to the golden-age musical Guys and Dolls with Nathan Lane. He’s played key roles, usually as a slickster, in films that helped define their times, like Sex, Lies, and Videotape and The Player. On television, Gallagher has matured into authority figures—mostly trustworthy, sometimes not—on such series as The O.C. and Togetherness. He’s even put out an album, 7 Days in Memphis, and toured the country with a cabaret act peppered, like his conversation, with spot-on impersonations of the many legends he’s known.

Gallagher’s work has never gone stale because, even when playing hams like impetuous impresario Oscar Jaffee in the current revival of On the Twentieth Century, the actor keeps things both cool and committed. He finds a simple, direct connection to what makes his characters tick, so we relate to them even if we don’t approve. His blend of uncommonly good looks, easy masculinity, and down-to-earth urbanity was shared by many of the greats from the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway, which helps explain why Gallagher was cast alongside stars from that era during their final working years. Robert Altman called the actor his generation’s Cary Grant, “only 40 years too late.” But it makes him especially right for On the Twentieth Century, in which he stars with Kristin Chenoweth. The musical, by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green, harkens back to the screwball comedies in which Grant excelled, set to the legit, operetta style popular in its ‘30s time period. Before a performance, I spoke with the actor, who turns 60 next month, primarily about legacies—what he’s learned from his own experience, his parents, and the people who inspired him.

The list of your co-stars and directors is staggering. Who haven’t you worked with?

I’ve been very lucky to work with people who were part of my mythology. I worked with James Cagney on the last thing he did. I would have been happy to play a hat rack. My mother went to college with his sister, Jean. Art Carney was in the movie too. My uncle used to be a janitor’s assistant at the local New Rochelle bank where Art’s dad would bring him in to tap dance at the Christmas parties. I walked into the first day of rehearsal to Cagney’s suite at the Hotel Carlyle and he looked up at me and said, “Black Irish.” At the end of the day he said, “Gallagher, I want you to meet my wife, Billie, but first we’ve got to find her.” I got behind his wheelchair and we went searching the apartment. “Oh, Billie. Billie.” And there she was hiding behind the curtains. This kind of madness and inclusion did my heart good because, if these guys were talking to me, what could be so bad?

Later, I did a movie for Neil Jordan called High Spirits with Peter O’Toole, and he’d been the reason I’d wanted to be an actor, after I saw Lawrence of Arabia. He had a kind of a divine madness, too, and a humor that just made me feel hopeful. We got along great. And Mike Nichols. Just getting notes from Mike or having lunch with Mike or just being in the same room with Mike—that’s something that stays with you forever. Or Bob Altman.

My happiest experiences have been collaborations with people whose vision I embrace and who welcome me into the process. That’s when good things can happen. I remember when we were doing The Player, Tim Robbins and Cynthia Stevenson were doing a scene and I was up next. Altman said, “Gallagher, I need you to go in there and do something.” I said, “Okay. What?” He said, “I don’t know.” I said, “When?” He said, “Next take.” “Oh. All right.” “You ready?” “I don’t know.” “Let’s go.” It’s exciting to work with people who have the technique to take the kind of chances that sometimes pay off.

When you’ve been thrown in situations like that, what have you done to help it pay off?

You just think, “Where have you been, where are you going, what story are we telling?” I’ve had wonderful teachers. I worked with my longtime acting coach, Mira Rostova, for 25 years. I’d still be studying with her, but she died a few years ago at the age of 99. She had an extraordinary life experience. She and her family fled the Bolshevik Revolution, then Nazi Germany. And she ended up in New York in time for the Actors Studio to begin. The people you study with transform how you view yourself and what you think is possible. Sometimes you get new information, but the most reassuring thing is getting permission to believe in what you already believe in. It lets you know you’re not crazy.

There were so many people in the theater, when I started out, that sort of recognized who I was and helped me—not just the big directors and choreographers, but stage managers and assistants who’d come up at the knee of the theater greats. They were passing on that knowledge, but when I came back to do Guys and Dolls in the ‘90s so many of them had died of AIDS. It was like a whole world disappeared. There are still a few from the golden era. I just had lunch with Hal Prince [director of the original ’78 production of On the Twentieth Century]. I worked with him on the next show Comden and Green wrote after that, A Doll’s Life, which was a big flop. I guess the thing I ache for, and the thing I enjoy most, is that sort of family, where you’re united to achieve a common goal and you do it with a kind of mad delight.

You certainly seem to take delight in the extremes of Oscar Jaffee, but still you ground the production as you did in other pieces that go to extremes, whether it’s the noir of The Underneath on film or the farce of Noises Off on stage.

That’s what I’ve been trying to do my whole life. Growing up, I took care of my mother a little bit because she suffered from depression. But she was brilliant. She was first-generation American, like my father, and became a bacteriologist who helped develop a better milieu for penicillin. She had Alzheimer’s for the last 20 years of her life. And when she was in the depths of it, even after she’d let go of most words, if I touched her, if I’d sing to her, or hold her, or dance with her, she would say, “That was real.”

The thing that the theater has given me, among many, many things, is you get to be present when things happen. And you don’t really have all that much to do with them. You’re more or less a vessel for the writing or the moment. No matter how outsized or comedic or diabolical, it usually has to do with something we recognize as true. We’re not alone anymore. The truth underneath things, the truth you find in a moment on stage with an audience, that’s where the magic is and the solace.

Is that why you’ve been so open to playing characters that aren’t necessarily the most loveable? You’re fine as long as it’s true?

I had a lot of preparation for not being dependent on people’s approval. My father’s dad was a coal miner in Pennsylvania and his mom died when he was really young. In a way, he never grew past that 7-year-old boy. Between that and having been a soldier in the war, he never really talked to me. And then I ended up being this pretty boy. Altman once said, “Gallagher, you’re so good-looking it makes me sick.” I thought, “Even this guy who loves me and keeps casting me thinks this way.” And I do too. You see a guy that’s too handsome walking down the street and you think, “That guy’s never worked a day in his life. Fuck him.” So, in a way, I can side with people who don’t think much of me. But it’s never really slowed me down.

I remember when I was doing Sex, Lies, and Videotape, I didn’t really think about whether he was an asshole or not. I thought it was a comedic performance. When [Steven] Soderbergh and I first met, I asked him how he saw it, and he said, “It’s a black comedy,” so I said, “I’m in.” People hated me. Or people who were really dangerous loved me. But for me it was the delight of cracking the puzzle, of portraying a character who would resonate with people either way.

How did you go about cracking the puzzle of playing Oscar Jaffee?

I did a lot of research, studied [legendary theater impresario and alleged theater ghost] David Belasco a lot, because I knew the role required size. Belasco was regarded by some as a genius and others a hack. That gave a wide spectrum to find the funny and find the true. Ultimately he was a passionate theater artist who believed the more real he could make the smell and the sounds and the look of it, the more he’d succeed in transporting the audience. There’s an essential truth to that which was a good kind of architecture to support you when you’re doing all the other stuff.

Part of the other stuff is Oscar’s desperation. He’s determined to “rise again” after a string of flops. Is hitting a wall and trying to bounce back something you can easily identify with?

All the time. I’ve hit the wall in spectacular fashion and will continue to. But it always comes down to the work. It’s like what Coach Belichick says to the Patriots: “Tune out the noise and do the work.” It’s the only place where the black dogs that are nipping at your heels fade into the background. I had a life crisis when I was 29. For a young man, and probably a young woman, 29 or 30 is a chance to become the person you want to be. There’s stuff that’s not working and you have to buckle down and do your homework. I was doing The Real Thing and it was the first time I got to work with an amazing group of people: Mike Nichols, Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Tom Stoppard. It was an enormous hit, but then everyone got other great jobs and went off. I stayed and barely got another audition. It started to chip away at my confidence. My agent encouraged me to go do this production of Miss Julie, which was just the worst thing at the worst time. There aren’t a lot of laughs in Strindberg.

And then for the first time I quit a show, Total Eclipse, which ended up giving Michael Cerveris his first job. The director wasn’t quite sure what story he wanted to tell and I wasn’t confident enough to find my way. That was a time I hit the wall. As my mother used to call it, it’s like having a flu of the soul. But you just have to hang in long enough to have it pass. And it led me to Mira Rostova and to a kind of freedom and experience that really nourished me.

The entire experience of doing On the Twentieth Century has been nearly an existential challenge for me. I was sick in the beginning. And then the Tony Award process. I suffer from insecurity at times. It helps you see things differently and do things you might not expect you’d be able to do, but the process can be very painful. For me, it goes back to the little boy who’s desperate to talk to his dad. I would try everything in my little power. My mother finally got him to come in when he’d get home from work. I’d already be in bed and he’d lie down and I’d have these questions saved up and he’d be asleep as soon as he hit the bed because he worked hard. I never blamed him for that.

When I get despairing sometimes, I try to take myself by the hand as a little boy and listen and tell myself, “That’s interesting. How do you feel? Can I help? What do you want to do?” And, of course, I made the error with my son and daughter. My son would ask a question and, man, I would not shut up. One of his eyes would independently drift off and I’d say, “Am I talking too much?” And his little head would nod and I’d say, “Okay. I’m sorry.” You can’t win.

But doing what you love is helpful. And being with people you love is helpful, having a family. If I’d continued to look for love in show business it would’ve been a far different experience. Building a life has been just as scary and challenging—and even more rewarding in some respects.

Speaking of challenges, you’re about to hit a big milestone.

I’ll be 60 in August.

Does it seem fitting that your work is coming full circle? Your first big break was playing a kid being shaped by an idolmaker and now as Oscar you turn Kristin Chenoweth’s character into a star?

Doing The Idolmaker was great. I’d spent a year as Danny Zuko in Grease on Broadway and Hair before that, so I’d been singing and dancing almost in that same period. I’d worked really hard and fought to get the audition and then kept auditioning until they gave me the part. And it felt so right. When we were shooting in Alpine, New Jersey, I had a rare moment for me where I was walking among the C-stands and thought, “Oh my God. I’m finally someplace where I belong. I love this.” But United Artists was about to release Heaven’s Gate and that cut into their war chest just a bit, so it wasn’t the hit it might have been. Still, it’s something I’m very proud of.

You carried your second studio film, Summer Lovers, but after that you started playing character roles. Was that a conscious decision?

That’s exactly it. This was never about what I could get out of it. My only interest was in being the best actor I could become and trying to create the conditions that would help. With my kind of psyche, I couldn’t endure a success that I didn’t feel was earned. Doing the research for The Idolmaker, I could see a lot of the idols were still struggling in adulthood. And my looks have always been a curious thing to me, because I don’t see what other people see. Since I was a kid I always thought the problem with my face was my big fat lips. The thing I love about acting is if you play your cards right, and your body and mind stay in one piece, you can keep getting better.

While I’ve been doing On the Twentieth Century, I also finished the second season of Togetherness for HBO, which was a challenge. I love Mark and Jay Duplass. I love working with people I haven’t worked with before, where you have that feeling of standing shoulder to shoulder looking in the same direction, trying to figure out what they have in mind and doing the difficult thing, which is to tell the story. I love that more than anything.

So we won’t be hearing stories about you going middle-aged crazy?

Well, there’s very little certainty. You know, my father did occasionally talk to me. It was about how difficult it was being married to my mom, but toward the end of their lives they had a kind of grace and deep connection that as a child I couldn’t possibly have seen or understood. Life can hold that in store for you. So 60 isn’t something I’m scared of. If anything, I get scared about Alzheimer’s. My mother got it when she was about 70. So I look at it as I have at least another 10 good years, where I can finally get my big break. I’ll just keep on trying. And as long as my kids are okay, and my wife is okay, then I’ll be okay.

The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of On the Twentieth Century runs at the American Airlines Theatre through July 19.

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Who Killed My Father Is Heartbreaking but Prone to Pat Sociological Analysis

Édouard Louis’s latest is strong as a portrait of a family unable to communicate through anything but volatile, toxic outbursts.

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Who Killed My Father

Edouard Louis’s father has been an important figure in each of his previous works, even when he’s never seen or mostly at the periphery (as in The History of Violence). With his latest, Who Killed My Father, Louis finally turns to directly examining his most important, damaged relationship. Both in his previous books and interviews, Louis has repeatedly acknowledged this broken relationship, largely stemming from the author’s open homosexuality. Alongside this, Louis’s prior works have circled around a number of themes to which he returns here: the French political and working classes, the small-town prejudices that surrounded his upbringing and drove a closeted homosexual boy to escape to more cosmopolitan Paris, and the role of state power in producing social and physical illness.

With Who Killed My Father, Louis invites inevitable comparisons to Abdellah Taïa, another talented French writer who’s also gay and largely estranged from his place of origin, and also primarily an autobiographical novelist. Like Louis, Taïa incorporates his complicated relationship with a parent into several of his books. Taïa also connects that relationship, his writing, and his experience with the society he left behind in Morocco and the one he found in France. But what distinguishes his writing in, for example, Infidels or Salvation Army from that of Edouard Louis in Who Killed My Father is a strong sense of meaning. Taïa incorporates his relationship with his mother, M’Barka, to convey something more meaningful and developed.

Louis begins down this same road before clumsily inserting a political tract at the end of Who Killed My Father that doesn’t knit as effortlessly with parts one and two. The book situates Louis’s relationship with his father front and center as compared to his previous work. It’s clear that he’s exposing the painfulness of their relationship for the purpose of speaking about political power and its physical and social toll on those who don’t possess it, but Who Killed My Father stumbles in conveying its message adequately.

Louis’s account of his father’s suffering and violence toward those around him is both painful and sharp. Who Killed My Father is strongest when Louis is demonstrating his father’s most private acts of kindness, as when the father gives Louis a copy of Titanic for his birthday after trying to convince him to ask for a more “masculine” gift. After Louis realizes that his carefully planned tribute to the pop band Aqua at a family dinner has embarrassed his father, the man reassures Louis that “it’s nothing.” In the book’s first and strongest part, Louis expounds not only on the relationship with his father, but also excavates what might have made his father the man he grew up with. At one point, he recounts finding a photograph of his father in women’s clothes—undoubtedly some adolescent joke, but also inconceivable from the man who insisted to his son that men should never act like girls.

Regrettably, part one ends with a trite conclusion that says everything and nothing at the same time. In part two, the story attempts to braid together all the malignant threads of Louis’s family narrative. Louis recalls igniting a violent outburst between his father and older brother as a result of his mother shaming him for acting too much like a girl (“faggot” is what some others in the neighborhood more precisely call him). The insinuation hurts and angers him so much that he betrays his mother’s confidence on another family secret, setting loose a new wave of violence. Part two is short and important to moving Who Killed My Father toward some wider evaluation of the questions Louis begins the book with, but it ultimately fails to find its footing by pivoting in part three to an unearned polemic against the political classes.

Who Killed My Father is strong as a portrait of a family unable to communicate (except in brief moments of tenderness) through anything but volatile, toxic outbursts, but the book at its weakest when trying to ham-handedly force this narrative into some broad theorizing about power and society and structural violence. Part one aligned beautifully with a narrative of meaning more comparable to Taïa at his best. Unfortunately, the story quickly falls apart when Jacques Chirac is indicted for destroying Louis’s father’s body through changes in health care coverage. It’s not that the questions Louis ends with aren’t necessary and important ones; it’s that there’s so little threading the narrative together into anything cohesive. What was the point of the first two-thirds of the book? His father was cruel, occasionally loving, but never mind because the state is killing him? The life of the poor is one of abject powerlessness against an unremittingly powerful and callous “ruling class”?

Louis deserves credit for the attempt to tie it all together into some grander commentary on the political class and its ambivalence, but the conclusion is simultaneously glib and condescending. Perhaps Louis didn’t intend it, but the book’s conclusion drains away responsibility for the cruelty and bigotry of those like his father, and patronizes them as with a quick How could we expect any better of the noble, working poor? Is it the state’s or the ruling class’s subjugation of his father’s body that’s somehow also responsible for his inability to sympathize with gays or immigrants? Of course, the poor are subjugated by the rich and Louis has written more meaningfully about the implications of that relationship elsewhere. But in Who Killed My Father, he inadvertently demonstrates that the answer isn’t to sanctify them any more than it is to demonize them.

Édouard Louis’s Who Killed My Father is now available from New Directions.

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Through the Years: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” at 30

To celebrate this sacred anniversary, we’re taking a look back at the single’s evolution over the last three decades.

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Through the Years: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” at 25

This week Madonna’s iconic hit “Like a Prayer” turns 30. The song is, by all accounts, her most broadly beloved contribution to the pop-music canon, landing at #7 on our list of the Best Singles of the 1980s. Even the singer’s most ardent critics can’t help but bow at the altar of this gospel-infused conflation of spiritual and sexual ecstasy, a song that helped transform Madge from ‘80s pop tart to bona fide icon. To celebrate this sacred anniversary, we’re taking a look back at the single’s evolution over the last three decades.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x2z_rY1Fjk

Pepsi Commercial

Following a teaser that aired during the 31st Annual Grammy Awards in January of 1989, Madonna premiered “Like a Prayer” in a Pepsi commercial during The Cosby Show, the #1 rated series on U.S. television at the time. Part of a $5 million sponsorship deal with the soft-drink company, the ad, titled “Make a Wish,” was an innocuous bit of nostalgia that would soon be eclipsed by the scandal surrounding the single’s forthcoming music video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fzeNUqQbQ

Music Video

Madonna dances in front of burning crosses and kisses a black saint in a church pew in this modern morality tale about racial profiling and pious guilt, prompting both the religious right and cultural critics, like bell hooks, to cry foul. Eventually, the mounting outrage caused Pepsi to pull out of their multi-million dollar deal with the Queen of Pop. The singer’s response was coyly defiant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xvjnay4kS8

Blond Ambition Tour

Madonna’s first live incarnation of “Like a Prayer” was also her best. Sure, her voice was raw and unrefined (“Life is a misstaree, eve’one mus stan alone,” she heaves), but her 1990 tour performances of the song displayed a rapturous, almost possessed quality that she’s never been able to recapture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4vSbVWm6F8

Mad’House Cover

Dutch Eurotrash group Mad’House’s claim to fame is their blasphemous take on “Like a Prayer” from 2002. The glorified Madonna cover band’s version is stripped of the original’s nuance and soul, a tacky, mechanical shell of a dance track. Regrettably, this is the version you’re most likely to hear on Top 40 radio today. (Only slightly less heretical, the cast of Glee’s rendition of the song peaked at #27 in 2010.)


MTV On Stage & On the Record

Then notorious for forsaking her older material, Madonna dusted off “Like a Prayer” in 2003 during the promotion of her album American Life. Thirteen years after her last live performance of the song, even Madonna’s comparatively reedier voice and noticeably more limited range couldn’t diminish its enduring magic.


Sticky & Sweet Tour

After performing crowd-pleasing but relatively anemic versions of “Like a Prayer” during her Re-Invention Tour in 2004 and Live 8 in 2005, Madonna reinvented the song for her Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008, using elements of Mack’s “Feels Like Home” for an amped-up techno mash-up.


Super Bowl XLVI

Madonna closed her record-breaking Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in 2012 with “Like a Prayer,” and though she wasn’t singing live, it was the closest she’s ever gotten to her ecstatic Blond Ambition performances. (For those lamenting the lip-synching, she would go on to reprise this version of the song, completely live, during her MDNA Tour later that year.) And if there were any doubt, a stadium of nearly 70,000 football fans waving flashlights and singing along is a testament to the song’s transcendent, all-encompassing appeal. The performance’s final message of “World Peace” seemed attainable, if only for a brief moment.


Met Gala 2018

Last year, Madonna dusted off her old chestnut for an epic performance at Vogue magazine’s annual Met Gala. The event’s theme was “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” which seemed tailor-made for both the Queen of Pop and “Like a Prayer.” Madonna slowly descended the steps of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in a shroud, flanked on both sides by a choir of monks, as she sang a Gregorian-inspired rendition of the pop classic. The performance also featured a portion of a new song, “Beautiful Game,” and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

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Oscars 2019: Complete Winners List

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS.

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Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS. Which isn’t to say that the ceremony wasn’t without its surprises. For one, whoever decided to capture Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born in one single take that would end with the pair sitting side by side, rapt in each other and framed in Bergman-esque repose, should hereby be responsible for every Oscar ceremony moving forward.

For some, though not us, Green Book’s victory for best picture came as surprise. As our own Eric Henderson put it in his prediction: “Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.”

In the end, the awards went down more or less as expected, with the only real shock of the evening being Oliva Colman’s stunning upset over Glenn Close in the best actress race. (Glenn, we hope you are on the phone right now trying to get that Sunset Boulevard remake to finally happen.) Black Panther proved more indomitable than expected, winning in three categories (none of which we predicted), and Free Solo pulling a victory over RBG that was the first big sign of the evening that, then and now, AMPAS members vote above all else with their guts.

See below for the full list of winners from the 2019 Oscars.

Picture
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book (WINNER)
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Director
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (WINNER)
Adam McKay, Vice

Actor
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER)
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite (WINNER)
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Green Book (WINNER)
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee (WINNER)
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters

Original Screenplay
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly (WINNER)
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

Foreign Language Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico) (WINNER)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Documentary Feature
Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (WINNER)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross
Minding the Gap, Bing Liu
Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki
RBG, Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Animated Feature
Incredibles 2, Brad Bird
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson
Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda
Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman (WINNER)

Cinematography
Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón (WINNER)
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

Film Editing
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman (WINNER)
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Vice, Hank Corwin

Production Design
Black Panther, Hannah Beachler (WINNER)
First Man, Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas
The Favourite, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton
Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre and Gordon Sim
Roma, Eugenio Caballero and Bárbara Enrı́quez

Original Score
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson (WINNER)
If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Original Song
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
I’ll Fight from RBG by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Shallow from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice (WINNER)
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter (WINNER)
The Favourite, Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War, Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Daniel Sudick
Christopher Robin, Chris Lawrence, Mike Eames, Theo Jones, and Chris Corbould
First Man, Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm (WINNER)
Ready Player One, Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, and David Shirk
Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Dominic Tuohy

Sound Mixing
Black Panther, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, and Peter Devlin
Bohemian Rhapsody, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali (WINNER)
First Man, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis
Roma, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, and José Antonio García
A Star Is Born, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steve Morrow

Sound Editing
Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst (WINNER)
First Man, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A Quiet Place, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
Roma, Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay

Makeup and Hairstyling
Border, Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scots, Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, and Jessica Brooks
Vice, Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney (WINNER)

Live Action Short Film
Detainment, Vincent Lambe
Fauve, Jeremy Comte
Marguerite, Marianne Farley
Mother, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Skin, Guy Nattiv (WINNER)

Documentary Short Subject
Black Sheep, Ed Perkins
End Game, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald
A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry
Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi (WINNER)

Animated Short
Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden and David Fine
Bao, Domee Shi (WINNER)
Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall
One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
Weekends, Trevor Jimenez

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