March 3rd, 2024

Celine Song, Ryan Gosling, and Robbie Robertson among Canadians nominated for Oscars

By Alex Nino Gheciu, The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

Ryan Gosling arrives at the 81st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Pizzello

Ryan Gosling’s turn as Ken in the summer blockbuster “Barbie” and writer-director Celine Song’s debut feature “Past Lives” received Oscar nominations on Tuesday as the Academy Awards recognized the work of several Canadians.

Song’s romantic drama, partly based on her own life, snagged best picture and best original screenplay nominations. Gosling is up for best supporting actor for his role as Barbie’s paramour, while “I’m Just Ken,” a power ballad he performs in the movie, nabbed a nomination in the best original song category for its writers Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt.

Toronto-born musician Robbie Robertson, who died last year at age 80, was nominated for his work on the score for Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” an Osage epic that received 10 Oscar nods. Robertson had a long history of working with Scorcese, dating back to the concert film “The Last Waltz” in 1973.

The National Film Board of Canada’s “To Kill a Tiger,” helmed by Toronto-based director Nisha Pahuja, has been nominated in the best documentary feature category. The film focuses on the efforts of a father in Jharkhand, India to seek justice after his 13-year-old daughter is brutally raped at a wedding.

Also nominated is Nova Scotia filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, who received a best short documentary nod for co-directing “The Last Repair Shop,” the story of a Los Angeles warehouse that repairs thousands of musical instruments for children in the area’s public school system. Proudfoot previously won an Academy Award for 2021 his short film, “The Queen of Basketball.”

Quebec filmmaker Vincent René-Lortie also got a nod in the live action short category for his film, “Invincible,” based on the true story of his childhood friend who died at age 14 after escaping from a juvenile centre. René-Lortie and the film’s producer, Samuel Caron, said in a statement Tuesday that the nomination comes with a “great rush of emotion” and is a childhood dream come true.

Song’s “Past Lives,” the story of two childhood sweethearts who contemplate the nature of their relationship as they live separate adult lives, will go up against Hollywood juggernauts including “Oppenheimer,” “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Barbie” in the best picture category. Song was not a producer of the film, so is not personally nominated in the category.

In the best screenplay race, the 34-year-old Song will compete against “Maestro,” “May December,” “The Holdovers,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” and “The Holdovers.”

Song, who was born in South Korea and moved to Markham, Ont., with her family when she was 12, also received five Golden Globe nominations for “Past Lives.”

Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic, “Oppenheimer,” received a leading 13 nominations, including for best picture, direction and acting nods for its stars Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt.

Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, while Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” got 11 nominations, including an acting nod for star Emma Stone.

The 96th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, are set to air March 10 on ABC and CTV.

-With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024.

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