Numerous Oxford natives are amongst the nominees for awards at this year’s Oscars. Sam Mendes and Florence Pugh have been nominated for prizes at the 92nd Academy Awards, due to take place on February 9.
Sam Mendes’ film 1917, an account of two British soldiers during World War I, has been nominated for 10 awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Mendes, who grew up in Oxford- shire, has received numerous awards for his work, including an Academy Award for Best Director for American Beauty (1999).
1917 has received significant critical acclaim. Mendes has already won the Golden Globe for Best Director for the film, and it also won in the Best Picture – Drama category. 1917 is currently the frontrunner in the Best Picture category but faces competition from Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which won the Best Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes.
Oxford-born producer Dame Pippa Harris has been nominated alongside Mendes for the Best Picture award. Harris is the Chair of BAFTA, and has worked on many of Mendes’ films as a producer or executive producer. She won the Producer’s Guild Award this year for her work on 1917.
Florence Pugh has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. Pugh, also raised in Oxford, and educated at St. Edward’s School, plays Amy March in Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel. Pugh has also been nominated for the BAFTA in the same category. The film has received numerous nominations and awards: six Oscar nominations, two Critics’ Choice awards, and was featured in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 10 films of the year. The film has received a Best Picture nomination, but Gerwig was snubbed from the Best Director nomination – the list of nominees was all male.
Edward Watts, an Oxford University alumnus, has been nominated for the Documentary Feature Award for the documentary film For Sama which he co-directed. The film follows the life of Waad al-Kateab through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. For Sama has received significant critical acclaim, winning the L’oeil d’or, the award given at Cannes Film Festival to the best documentary. It is BAFTA’s most-nominated documentary of all time within the categories of Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer; Outstanding British film; Best film not in the English language and Best documentary.