The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced this morning and Focus Features is proud to have three of its films recognized. Loving, Nocturnal Animals and Kubo and the Two Strings each received nominations.
Loving: Ruth Negga, Actress in a Leading Role
For her stirring performance as Mildred Loving, Ruth Negga is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
As half of the real-life interracial couple whose determination to be legally married lead to a landmark civil rights case, Negga's portrayal of Mildred is both quiet and intensely powerful.
Loving writer/director Jeff Nichols told Vogue of his star's turn as the 1950s young Virginian wife and mother, “I’ve witnessed some pretty amazing performances in my life, and you know it when you see it. It was uncanny what we were watching happening in front of us.”
Or as Manohla Dargis of The New York Times simply put it, Ruth Negga is a "revelation."
Kubo and the Two Strings: Two Nominations
The latest masterpiece to rise from LAIKA, the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio, and Focus Features, Kubo and the Two Strings received two Academy Award nominations: Best Animated Feature Film and Best Visual Effects. Kubo is the first animated film to be nominated for the latter category since 1993 [The Nightmare Before Christmas].
Unlike any animated film you have seen, Kubo and the Two Strings is a fantastical journey tinged with ancient myths and childhood wonders.
Seamlessly blending stop-motion animation and computer-generated backgrounds, it has been called "the most visually intoxicating of all Laika’s movies," by The New York Times, and a film that will have "enduring cultural resonance" by The Guardian.
Nocturnal Animals: Michael Shannon, Actor in a Supporting Role
Michael Shannon received a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his riveting performance as tough-as-cowhide Texan cop Bobby Andes in Nocturnal Animals.
His transformative performance, in which you see the detective battling both demons and his own mortality, is unforgettable.
As writer/director Tom Ford told Vulture of Shannon's remarkable ability, “He is the Marlboro Man. He is Gary Cooper in High Noon...He is an archetype of something that exists in cinema history."
The 2017 Oscars ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 26th, and the Focus team will be there, cheering on our nominees.