Three Alumni Nominated For 2019 Oscars

February 25, 2019

The 2019 Oscar nominations are out, and this year several recognize Columbia alumni. Film alumna Nicole Holofcener '88 received the nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Green Book directed by Writing alumnus Peter Farrelly '86 is nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Original Screenplay, and Ralph Breaks the Internet by film alumnus  Phil Johnston '04 is nominated for Best Animated Feature.


Holofcener, who was born in New York, made her feature film debut with Walking and Talking in 1996. Along with her feature films, she has also directed several TV episodes for shows such as Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, and Six Feet Under. Holofcener, in a profile by The New Yorker last August, was called “one of the sharpest anatomists of upper-middle-class American life.” Holofcener co-wrote the screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me? aloxngside writer, Jeff Whitty.


Still from Can You Ever Forgive me?

Still from Can You Ever Forgive Me? Image Courtesy of the New York Times


In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, celebrity biographer Lee Israel makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.


Johnston is the writer, producer and director known for Zootopia (2016), which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2017, and Wreck it Ralph (2012), which was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category. Johnston was named one of Variety’s 10 screenwriters to watch in 2009. He worked as a journalist in Omaha, Nebraska before deciding to pursue an MFA at Columbia.


Still from Ralph Breaks the Internet

Still from Ralph Breaks the Internet. Image courtesy of The Guardian


Ralph Breaks the Internet, voiced by Sarah Silverman as Vanellope and John C. Reilly as Ralph, is about a villain from an imaginary 1982 game, Ralph - the hero, who is introduced to cyberspace. Ralph and Vanellope must find a replacement part for her game – and avoid being sabotaged by a virus that replicates its victims’ insecurities.


Farrelly is a producer, writer and director known for comedies such as There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber. In a recent LA Times interview, Farrelly said of Green Book “I hope it's a movie that can in some small way incrementally move the needle in the right direction in [terms of] race relations in this country.”


Still from Green Book

Still from Green Book. Image courtesy of The Rolling Stone.


In Green Book, Dr Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist, who is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.


The Oscar Award nominations are voted on by the 7,000-plus members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The 91st Oscar awards ceremony will take place on February 24th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will air live on ABC.