VIDEO: Canadian Oscar hopefuls include Ryan Gosling, Arrival

Academy Awards on Sunday feature several Canuck contenders




From a jazzy Ryan Gosling, to a Montreal team behind “Arrival,” and a trio of homegrown animators, there’s a healthy dose of Canuck amongst this year’s Oscar nominees.

Here are five Canadian bullet points for Sunday’s show, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC and CTV:

GA-GA FOR GOSLING

Awards shows have been showering the London, Ont., native with nominations for his “La La Land” role as a jazz pianist who falls in love with a fledgling actress, played by Emma Stone. The former “Mickey Mouse Club” star has already won a Golden Globe for the part and is up for an Oscar for best actor. It’s his second such Oscar nomination after 2006’s “Half Nelson,” in which he played a high school teacher with a drug addiction.

Fun fact: Gosling found inspiration in the musicals “Top Hat” starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire (“I like Fred’s style. He’s very mischievous,” he said) and “An American in Paris,” which he called “very experimental and yet it doesn’t feel pretentious.”

DENIS VILLENEUVE HAS ARRIVED

Hollywood is hot for the talents of this French-Canadian gem, who is nominated for best director for his heady alien-invasion drama “Arrival.” It’s his second Oscars ride after his 2010 drama “Incendies” was nominated for best foreign-language film. The Quebec filmmaker has had a string of high-profile projects in recent years, including “Prisoners,” “Enemy” and “Sicario.” His next film is a whopper: the hugely anticipated “Blade Runner 2049,” starring Gosling.

Fun fact: Villeneuve has dreamed of doing science fiction since childhood, when he read European sci-fi comic books. “I was raised with dreaming about space all my childhood,” he said. “I’m part of the ‘Star Wars’ generation.”

“ARRIVAL”‘s MONTREAL MOMENTUM

Several other Montrealers who worked on “Arrival” are also up for Oscars. They include sound editor Sylvain Bellemare production designer Patrice Vermette and decorator Paul Hotte and sound mixers Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye.

Fun fact: Bellemare found inspiration for the sound of the heptapod aliens in Pink Floyd’s music and a melange of animals. “We tried to do something that … was more based on instinct and rhythm,” he said.

HIGH HOPES FOR ANIMATED SHORTS

Three of the five titles nominated in the best animated short category have Canadian ties. “Blind Vaysha” is by Montreal’s Theodore Ushev and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” produced by Cara Speller, is directed by Robert Valley of Vancouver. And the Pixar-produced “Piper” is helmed by Alan Barillaro of Chippawa, Ont.

Fun fact: When Ushev heard of his nomination, he fainted, overwhelmed by pent-up emotions from the campaign. “A lot of people were telling me, ‘You have a chance, you have a chance,’ and when a lot of people tell you this you just get nervous,” he said. “I had to do a lot of yoga and sports to tame the pressure.”

FIRST NOD FOR “13TH” PRODUCER

Winnipeg-born producer Howard Barish has his first Oscar nomination for the documentary “13th,” which looks at the criminalization and mass incarceration of African Americans in the U.S. He shares the nomination with filmmaker Ava DuVernay and her co-writer, Spencer Averick.

Fun fact: Barish first met DuVernay a decade ago and also had producer roles on her 2010 debut “I Will Follow” and her 2012 film “Middle of Nowhere.” Working on her first two films inspired him to focus on “giving back.” “My current projects revolve around producing small independent features which will embrace emerging talent and first time directors,” he said.

– Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

— with files from David Friend.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Our View: Province needs to crack down on COVID-spreading events

Illicit parties and rule-breaking gatherings need to be stopped

Many questions for Langley teachers as return to school approaches

Immune-compromised teachers are among those waiting to hear about plans

Summerset keeping ‘live music alive’ with weekly outdoor concerts at Fort Langley eatery

Sundays in August will see a ticketed audience of no more than 50 seated with social distance

Postcards from kids in Aldergrove to uplift isolated seniors amidst COVID

United Way launched Intergenerational Postcard Club in August, matching up kids with older pen pals

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read