Ireland sitting pretty with nine film nominations at 2016 Oscars

Forget the gold-plated statuettes waiting to be handed out next month.
Ireland sitting pretty with nine film nominations at 2016 Oscars

The most precious part of the Oscars is right now.

“The time when you are shortlisted for something but you haven’t yet not won is the golden time,” said Emma Donoghue as she declared her intention to enjoy every moment of her nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay before the movie world’s biggest night on February 28.

The Dublin-born author, tipped for adapting her own novel, Room, for the big screen, is one of nine nominations for Irish films in the country’s best showing at the Oscars.

Room director Lenny Abrahamson shares the limelight in the Best Director category while the film itself is nominated for Best Picture and Brie Larson is in for Best Actress.

Competing against Room for Best Picture is Brooklyn, the film version of Colm Tóibín’s novel, directed by Corkman John Crowley. Brooklyn also brings a Best Actress nomination for Saoirse Ronan, while Nick Hornby is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Michael Fassbender is nominated for Best Actor for his lead role in Steve Jobs while Stutterer, a film written and directed by newcomer Benjamin Cleary, is nominated for Best Live Action Short.

President Michael D Higgins, who as Arts Minister revived the Irish Film Board, led the congratulations. “This year’s Oscars shortlist is a remarkable testimony of the vitality and diversity of the talent available to the Irish film industry,” he said.

James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board which supported Room and Brooklyn, said: “It’s a day for the Irish film industry and the entire country to be very proud.”

The nominations came just a day after Mr Hickey appealed for the restoration of the board’s funding after a series of cuts.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys paid tribute to the “hard work, talent and dedication” in the film industry. “As the economy continues to improve, I aim to further enhance the supports for the Irish film industry and I will continue to use every opportunity to promote Ireland as a location for film investment,” she said.

Saoirse Ronan, a previous Oscar nominee when she was 13, said the nomination was “a dream”.

“It is the most personal film I have ever done; the hardest one too. I am honoured,” she said.

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