Bohemian Rhapsody and The Favourite are leading several LGBT+ Oscars nominees ahead of the 2019 Academy Awards.
The Favourite, a comedy-drama about the scandalous love affairs between Queen Anne and two women during the 18th century, was nominated for Best Picture ahead of the Oscars ceremony on Sunday, February 24.
Olivia Colman was nominated for Best Actress for her role as Queen Anne in the historical comedy-drama, while Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are both nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
The film’s director Yorgos Lanthimos is also nominated for Best Directing, adding to the film’s total ten Oscar nominations.
Bohemian Rhapsody, a semi-fictionalised biopic based on the life of Queen singer Freddie Mercury, also picked up a number of nominations despite facing controversy and mixed reviews.
Rami Malek picked up a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, with the film also landing a Best Picture nod among its five nominations.
The film has been panned by several of Mercury’s biographers, who have questioned its approach to Mercury’s gay relationships and the lack of focus on his battle against HIV/AIDS in the final years of his life.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which stars Melissa McCarthy as lesbian writer Lee Israel at the height of the AIDS crisis, is nominated for three awards.
McCarthy and Richard E. Grant picked up respective Best Actress and Actor nominations for the film, which is partly set in New York’s Julius gay bar, according to the Advocate.
Green Book, which is based on the life of gay jazz pianist Don Shirley, is also nominated for three Oscars.
Long-time LGBT+ ally Lady Gaga also received a Best Actress nomination for her role in A Star is Born, which is also nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song.
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The LGBT-inclusive short film Marguerite also picked up a nomination for Best Live Action Short.
Kenyan lesbian film Rafiki had been touted for major success in the Best Foreign Language Film category, but was ruled ineligible after censorship in its home country prevented it from meeting Oscars selection criteria.
LGBT+ Oscars nominees tipped for success despite Kevin Hart controversy
The high number of LGBT+ Oscars nominees comes after a run-up to the Academy Awards that has been dominated by a row over homophobia.
Hart’s choice to pull out as host instead of apologise led to a wave of criticism of the LGBT+ community.
According to reports, the Oscars ceremony is set to go forward with no host.
The Favourite could be first LGBT+ Oscars Best Picture winner since Moonlight
The Favourite has picked up considerable steam heading into the Oscars season, with Olivia Colman picking up a Golden Globe for Best Performance in a Motion Picture on January 6.
If successful in the Best Picture category, it would be the second film to feature LGBT+ relationships to win in just two years, following Moonlight‘s victory at the Oscars in 2017.
Moonlight, about an African-American man’s struggle to accept his homosexuality, went down in Oscars history for the wrong reasons as a mix-up initially saw the wrong winner announced.