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Alfonso Cuaron, Willem Dafoe, Spike Lee react to their Oscar nominations

/ 12:06 PM January 23, 2019

LOS ANGELES — Reaction from selected nominees for the 91st annual Academy Awards, announced Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California:

Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron arrives at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Image: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

“Cinema needs the opportunity to be diverse. What mainstream cinema and the theatrical experience has lacked in general is diversity. And I’m talking about diversity in terms of stories and characters and ways of doing films.” — Alfonso Cuaron, nominated for best director for “Roma,” one of ten nominations for the film. Via phone interview.

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Spike Lee

In this Jan. 13, 2019 file photo, director Spike Lee arrives at the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

“Thirty years is a long time, ain’t it?” — Spike Lee, on his first Oscar nomination as director in a three-decade career, for “BlacKkKlansman.” Via phone interview.

willem dafoe

This images released by CBS Films shows Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate.” Image: Lily Gavin/CBS Films via AP

“It feels great. I’m still freezing my butt off.” — Willem Dafoe, who for months has been in Canada filming the Disney sled-dog movie “Togo.” Via phone interview.

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“The subject matter we’re talking about is a very unpleasant time in history, and we did it with an unusual style in storytelling. We knew it was going to be polarizing, but we felt like it was in a good way.” — Adam McKay, director of “Vice,” nominated for best picture and several other Oscars. Via phone interview.

“To break down a wall like that, to be your ancestors’ wildest dreams, to show other young women of color and boys and girls that you can do whatever you want no matter what struggles you have in your life — all of that. That’s what it means to me.” — Hannah Beachler of “Black Panther,” the first African-American to be nominated for production design. Via phone interview.

“We always felt that if Alex was able to climb up El Capitan without a rope and succeed — that for us is always going to be the win already.” — Jimmy Chin, co-director with of “Free Solo,” the nominated documentary about Alex Honnold becoming the first to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan without ropes. Via phone interview.

“No one is saying I don’t have a chance. They’re saying you have a chance. The women who I’m going against are top level. The top of the heap. To be there and give them a run for their money, I’m totally stoked.” — Ruth E. Carter, nominated costume designer for “Black Panther.” Via phone interview.

“I was flying into Warsaw when they were announcing the nominees. When I landed, I got bombarded by messages, a nice way to arrive.” — Pawel Pawlikoski of Poland, whose film “Cold War” was nominated for three Oscars including best director. Via phone interview.

“As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen” — Yalitza Aparicio, nominated for “Roma.” Via emailed statement.

“It’s a national pride. Lebanon doesn’t have a real cinema industry in the real sense of the term. With our first nominee last year and this one this year, it’s a big step.” — Nadine Labaki, director of Lebanon’s “Capernaum.” Via phone interview.

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“Hot damn!” — Sam Rockwell, best supporting actor nominee for “Vice.” Via emailed statement.

rami malek, bohemian rhapsody

This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Rami Malek in a scene from “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Image: Alex Bailey/Twentieth Century Fox via AP

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the work of so many from the cast and crew who made all of this possible. I have absolutely treasured playing Freddie Mercury and I am so profoundly humbled and thrilled to honor him this way.” — Rami Malek, best actor nominee for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Via Twitter. NVG

RELATED STORIES:

‘Black Panther’ makes Oscar history with best picture nod

‘Roma,’ ‘The Favourite’ lead Oscar nomination with 10 nods

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TAGS: Academy Awards, Alfonso Cuaron, diversity, Oscar Nominations, Oscars, Rami Malek, Spike Lee, Willem Dafoe
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