Irish films win nine Oscar nominations

Lenny Abrahamson at Sharks

Irish films have secured a record nine Academy Award nominations, with an unprecedented two Irish films shortlisted for best film at this year’s Oscars. Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (above), and Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley, are in for best picture. Abrahamson, whose other movies include Adam & Paul and Garage, is up for best director.

Irish actors Michael Fassbender and Saoirse Ronan have been nominated for best actor and best actress for Steve Jobs and Brooklyn respectively. Fassbender was previously Oscar-nominated as best supporting actor for 12 Years a Slave, while Ronan was formerly nominated for best supporting actress for Atonement back in 2008.

Recent Golden Globe winner, Brie Larson, was nominated for her role in Room, while the bestseller’s author, Emma Donoghue, is among the nominees for best adapted screenplay. Donoghue is joined by English writer Nick Hornby (Fever Pitch) in the same category for his screen adaptation of Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn.

The live action short, Stutterer, directed and written by Benjamin Cleary, is also nominated. Irish Film Board chairman James Hickey described the nine nominations as marking ” a golden age” for Irish film-making. The Revenant has been nominated for 12 awards, including best picture and Leonardo DiCaprio, pictured, as best actor.

The Revenant

Directed by Alejandro G Inarritu, The Revenant tells the gripping and often gruesome story of 19th century frontiersman Hugh Glass, who dragged his body 200 miles through the western wilderness after being gnawed by a grizzly bear and left for dead by his fellow trappers. While DiCaprio has already been nominated four times, he has yet to win an Oscar.

A beautifully shot epic, with some breathtaking scenes.

DiCaprio’s fortitude in the face of endless adversity deserves Hollywood’s top prize. He makes a Bear Grylls hike look like a leisurely Sunday stroll in the Wicklow Hills. Having won a Golden Globe, it would be a brave person who would bet against him leaving Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 28th without a statuette in hand. A movie not to be missed.

Lenny Abrahamson in Kinsale

Lenny Abrahamson interview

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