Newspaper article The Canadian Press

From Best Picture to Best Song, Canadians Figure Prominently in Oscar Races

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

From Best Picture to Best Song, Canadians Figure Prominently in Oscar Races

Article excerpt

Canadians figure prominently in Oscar races


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - It'll be easy to play spot-the-Canadian at this year's Oscars bash -- actress Rachel McAdams, chart-topper the Weeknd and author Emma Donoghue were among the Canucks named as Academy Award nominees on Thursday.

A uniquely Canadian faceoff is set for the best picture race, where the Canadian co-productions "Brooklyn" and "Room" are each vying for the top prize.

Plus there's "The Revenant," partly shot in Alberta and British Columbia, and "Spotlight," which was largely filmed in Toronto and Hamilton.

Toronto-bred filmmaker Michael Bederman, one of "Spotlight"'s executive producers, said all the Cancon at this year's Oscars speaks loudly to the country's deep talent pool.

"People seem very attuned to our perspective on things," Bederman said from New York, where he is now based.

"I think it's refreshing and it's exciting to know that (the United States) welcomes talent from Canada to come down, or to stay in Canada and turn out these amazing movies."

Bederman says he hopes to attend the bash, although he wouldn't be one of the core producers accepting a trophy if the film won.

He says he spent the morning texting with the London, Ont.-born McAdams, who will compete in the best supporting actress category for her role in the film, a Boston-set tale of church corruption.

The Irish-Canadian co-production "Room" nabbed four nominations overall: best picture, best director for Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, best actress for U.S. star Brie Larson, and best adapted screenplay for Donoghue, who translated her own 2010 novel of the same name.

Toronto native the Weeknd is in line for a best original song Oscar for his track "Earned It," from "Fifty Shades of Grey." He shares the honour with fellow Canadian songwriters Ahmad Balshe, Jason (Daheala) Quenneville and Stephan Moccio.

"It can't get more surreal than this," the Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for the recognition @TheAcademy. Truly a proud moment."

Several Canucks were recognized for their work on front-runner "The Revenant. …

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