America Ferrera, Colman Domingo, Becky G Oscars 2024 nominees
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MIAMI - The 2024 Oscar nominations list is glittering with Latino names like Colman Domingo, America Ferrera, Rodrigo Prieto, and Becky G, as well as notable Spanish films such as "La Sociedad de la Nieve" and "Robot Dreams", celebrating a diverse range of stories, filmmaking, and performances.

But the disappointments cut deep. The exclusion of the fantastic Mexican movie "Totem" from the Best Foreign Film category and Pedro Almodovar's "A Strange Way of Life," starred by beloved Pedro Pascal, from Best Short Film, among others, were dark surprises.

But that doesn't mean the recognition of Latino and Spanish talent by the approximately 13,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn't offer numerous reasons for celebration. Some of them could make Oscar history during the Academy Awards ceremony on March 10th.

Latino actors nominated at the 2024 Oscars

Colman Domingo's nomination is a watershed moment. As the first Afro-Latino actor nominated in a major acting category, his portrayal of LGBTQIA activist Bayard Rustin in "Rustin" breaks barriers. Domingo's potential win could be a historic achievement, marking it the first time a Latino actor clinches the best actor category since Puerto Rican José Ferrer did so in 1951. His roots, spanning across Belize, Guatemala, and Central America, enrich his victory, making it a beacon of pride for the Latino community and the whole region.

Honduras American actress and activist America Ferrera's nod for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Barbie" also stands out. After previous oversights, notably by the Golden Globes, Ferrera's Oscar nomination marks her first.

A win would place her in the esteemed ranks of past Latino winners like Rita Moreno, Ariana de Bose, Penélope Cruz, and Lupita Nyong'o, solidifying her status as a pivotal figure in representation for this demographic in cinema.

Films from Spain at the Oscars

The nominations for "La Sociedad de la Nieve" and "Robot Dreams" in major film categories further underscore the creative prowess of Spanish cinema. Juan Antonio Bayona's harrowing retelling of the Andes tragedy in "La Sociedad de la Nieve" vies for Best International Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, a testament to the film's gripping narrative and technical excellence.

Based on the popular graphic novel by the North American writer Sara Varon, Pablo Berger's "Robot Dreams," competing for Best Animated Film, showcases the innovative spirit of Spanish animation. The film tells the story of DOG, who lives in Manhattan and is tired of being alone. One day he decides to build himself a robot for it to be a companion to him. Their friendship blossoms until they become inseparable.

A new win for Latin music

Mexican-American artist Becky G's "The Fire Inside" nomination for Best Song adds another layer of Latino representation, showcasing the community's impact across various aspects of filmmaking.

In previous years, several Latino artists have been nominated for the Best Original Song category at the Oscars. Irene Cara won in 1983 for "Flashdance... What a Feeling," and Jorge Drexler won for "Al Otro Lado del Río" in 2005. Moreover, Lin-Manuel Miranda was nominated in 2016 for "How Far I'll Go" from "Moana." These nominations and wins further highlight the significant contributions of Latino artists to the realm of music in film.

In recent years, films like "Coco" and "Encanto" have also received nominations for Best Original Song at the Oscars. "Coco" was nominated and won for the song "Remember Me" in 2017. Similarly, "Encanto" received a nomination for "Dos Oruguitas" in 2021. These nominations are a testament to the enduring impact of Latino culture and music in cinema, resonating with audiences and the Academy alike.

Rodrigo Prieto for the win

Mexican filmmaker Rodrigo Prieto's fourth Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography for "Killers of the Flower Moon" adds anticipation, following his previous nominations for "Brokeback Mountain," "Silence," and "The Irishman." His work on "Barbie" was also recognized in the nominations the movie received, particularly in the category of "Best Film."

"Barbie" and "Killers of the Flower Moon" were two of the three most nominated movies, with eight and 10, respectively.

American cinematographer Ed Lachman is one of Prieto competitors this year as a result of his work in Pablo Larrain's "El Conde," the Chilean Netflix movie, so it counts as a Latino win in the Oscar nominations.

Painful Snubs at the 2024 Oscars

Yet, the snubs are as poignant as the nominations. Mexico's "Totem," a strong contender for Best Foreign Movie, and Pedro Almodóvar's "A Strange Way of Life," starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, were notably absent from the nominations.

Almodóvar's film, a unique English-language venture drawing inspiration from Westerns like "The Power of the Dog," failed to secure a spot despite the director's acclaimed visual style and the backing of Sony Pictures Classics.

The members of the Academy will start their final voting on Feb. 22. The show will air live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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