Couples, deaf actors, and an unlikely singer mark Oscar noms

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This image released by Netflix shows Andrew Garfield in a scene from "Tick, Tick...Boom!" (Macall Polay/Netflix via AP)

LOS ANGELES – Standout facts and notable numbers from Tuesday's Academy Award nominations.


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The foursome of Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons have all joined the elite club of couples nominated for Oscars in the same year. Cruz, who has been married to Bardem since 2010, was nominated for best actress for “Parallel Mothers” while Bardem got a best actor nod for “Being the Ricardos.” Dunst and Plemons, who live together and have two sons, have been partners since 2016. They were nominated in the supporting categories for playing a married couple in “Power of the Dog.”

Dunst told The Associated Press that Bardem and Cruz are “definitely the sexier couple.”

The pairs join a group of same-year nominated couples that include Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Heath Ledger and Michele Williams, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.


Twenty five men had been nominated for best actor for a role in a musical before Andrew Garfield’s nod Tuesday for playing “Rent” creator Jonathan Larson in “tick, tick...BOOM!”

“And now 26 with myself this morning,” he told the AP after hearing his name on the Oscar nomination announcements. “Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, James Cagney, it’s (expletive) amazing. I feel strangely really grateful for that. I hadn’t sung before and I hadn’t played piano or danced in any real way before.”

With a win, Garfield would be the sixth of the 26 singing men to win, joining Crosby, Cagney, Rex Harrison, Yul Brynner and Jeff Bridges.


Troy Kotsur became just the second deaf actor to be nominated for an Oscar, with his role as the seafaring patriarch of a mostly deaf family whose lone hearing member wants to become a singer in “CODA.”

He's the first since 1987, when Kotsur's “CODA” co-star Marlee Matlin was nominated for “Children of a Lesser God.”

I feel like this is just the beginning," Kotsur told the AP. “It’s like a thunderbolt.”

He said he has no idea what he'll wear to the ceremony.

“I think I’ll ask Marlee for advice,” he said.


The lead acting categories are stacked with performers who have received multiple Oscar nominations, including Denzel Washington, whose nod for “The Tragedy of Macbeth is his 10th, and Nicole Kidman, whose nomination for ”Being the Ricardos" is her fifth.

Kristen Stewart, nominated for playing Princess Diana in “Spencer,” is the lone rookie in the group.

The supporting categories, which have been full of seasoned veterans in small roles in recent years, are newbie clubs this year. Four of the five best supporting actor nominees are first-timers: Ciarán Hinds, Troy Kotsur, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It's the second for J.K. Simmons.

The supporting actress category also has four first-timers: Jessie Buckley, Ariana DeBose, Kirsten Dunst and Aunjanue Ellis.

Judi Dench is the raging exception. Her nod for playing Granny in “Belfast” is her eighth Oscar nomination.


Kenneth Branagh's three nominations for his autobiographical film “Belfast” have made him the first person to be nominated for Oscars in seven different categories.

He was nominated Tuesday for best picture, best director and best original screenplay, and has previously been nominated for best actor, best supporting actor, best adapted screenplay and best live action short.

He topped George Clooney and Walt Disney, who were each nominated in six different categories. Both won multiple Oscars, however, while Branagh is still awaiting his first.

“Belfast” earned seven nominations overall. Branagh told the AP that it was an "emotional and magical day."


At this point it would be more notable if Diane Warren weren't nominated for an Oscar. A win would really change the narrative, though. Warren received her 13th nomination, and fifth in a row, for “Somehow You Do,” performed by Reba McEntire from the film “Four Good Days.”

Warren's first nomination came for “Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" from “Mannequin” in 1988, and nothing has stopped her from racking up nominations. But she's never won, and “Four Good Days” will be a real long shot at the Oscars on March 27. There's always next year. And the year after that.


“We Don't Talk About Bruno" was not nominated for best original song despite being the runaway movie-musical hit of the year and one of the biggest film songs of all time.

Another of the songs that Lin Manuel-Miranda penned for “Encanto,” the ballad "Dos Oruguitas,” was submitted for Oscar consideration from the Disney animated film before “Bruno” took off.

Miranda said the response to the song has been “just crazy.”

”You never think the ensemble number that kind of doesn't make sense out of the context of the movie, is gonna be the one that goes to number one," he told the AP.

If the song wins, it will put Miranda in elite EGOT territory. He has already won an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony.


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