It's the most hyped night of the showbiz year – and this time Ireland has a few hopefuls in the running for a coveted Academy Award. David Roy takes a look at our runners and riders in the 2017 Oscars race
LIMERICK'S Ruth Negga is our most high-profile Oscar contender, nominated in the Best Actress category for her portrayal of real life civil rights hero Mildred Loving in the acclaimed Jeff Nichols-directed drama, Loving.
Love/Hate and Preacher star Negga (35) was recently nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the same role but lost out to Isabelle Huppert – who's also in the running for the Best Actress Oscar – and last week was passed over for a Bafta Best Newcomer award in favour of Tom Holland.
Could it be a case of 'third time lucky'?
Oddball indie drama The Lobster starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C Reilly was co-produced by Irish company Element Pictures as well as being shot in Co Kerry and Dublin. It's in the running for Best Screenplay and the Yorgos Lanthimos directed and co-written film surely deserves some Academy recognition for its unusual but highly effective blend of darkly comedic drama and surrealistic dystopian sci-fi.
Nominated in the Best Costume category for her work on period biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, costume designer Consolata Boyle is already an old hand at the Oscars game: Dublin-based Boyle, who has a background in top-level Irish theatre work, was previously nominated in 2006 for costuming Stephen Frears' royal biopic The Queen, starring Helen Mirren.
There's also another Irish actor in the running for an Academy Award, although he never actually appears on-screen: Moville-born teen and Game of Thrones veteran Art Parkinson provided the voice for the titular lead character in the acclaimed Travis Knight-directed animation Kubo and The Two Strings, which is among the contenders in the Best Animated Feature category.
If the film should emulate its recent Bafta-winning success on Sunday night, Parkinson (15) can expect to find himself mentioned in Knight's acceptance speech along with Kubo's bona-fide Oscar-winning 'parents', Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron – fine company for one of Ireland's rising young stars to be keeping.
:: Watch the 2017 Academy Awards live on Sky Cinema from 1.30am on Monday February 27.
:: OSCARS 2017 – KEY CATEGORIES
Manchester by The Sea
La La Land
Hell or High Water
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Isabel Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Casey Affleck – Manchester by The Sea
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by The Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis – Fences
Michelle Williams – Manchester by The Sea
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by The Sea
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan)
La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou)
Manchester by The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
20th Century Women (Mike Mills)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival (Eric Heisserer)
Fences (August Wilson)
Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi)
Lion (Luke Davies)
Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McRaney)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
OJ: Made in America
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Kubo and The Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini (My Life as a Courgette)
The Red Turtle
Zootopia - Zootropolis
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