More audience favorites in Best Picture race, but art films lead

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are more people-pleasing pictures among the eight films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Oscars, but two art films are tied at the top.

The Favourite and Roma each have a total of 10 nominations to lead the field.

"I met (director) Yorgos (Lanthimos) before I even started La La Land," Favourite star Emma Stone said. "So it had been a couple of years in the making, of us trying to work on this together. So I was really excited to get to work with him, and everybody."

"It's very rare to find projects as refreshing and unique as this, especially with someone like Yorgos at the helm of it," actor Joe Alwyn said. "And everything about it, the dialogue, the physicality, the performances, it's just off-kilter in a way that you don't expect from a normal period film."

One man's childhood memories and the live-in nanny he loved make for one of the most sublime movies of the year.

Roma, named for the neighborhood in Mexico where director Alfonso Cuaron grew up, is a film that requires viewers' attention. And if you give yourself over to its magic, you will be rewarded.

Marvel's Black Panther was one of the year's biggest films, and it makes history as the first superhero movie ever to be recognized in the top category.

"Black Panther has to look out for an entire nation," star Chadwick Boseman said. "And then also consider that nation's place and how they affect the rest of the world."

"To see an African country with kings and queens and warriors, it's so inspiring," star Lupita Nyong'o said.

A Star is Born was also made its mark on audiences and was rewarded as such.

"It really was (star and director) Bradley (Cooper) driving the ship, especially in terms of making sure that this film was completely different than the ones that came before it," Lady Gaga said.

Vice captivated with star Christian Bale's dramatic transformation into former Vice President Dick Cheney.

"This guy changed history as much as anyone," director Adam McKay said. "This was a guy who had his hand at the wheel and quietly changed our lives more than anyone."

Echoes of the present are found four decades in the past in BlacKkKlansman, as David Duke was looking to move the Ku Klux Klan to the mainstream without toning down the group's racism.

Enter Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, in director Spike Lee's nominated film.

"It was a good feeling, because the thing that was posted, that was the best picture," Lee said. "So that wasn't just for me. That was for all of us combined."

The luminous performance of star Rami Malek stands at the center of Bohemian Rhapsody, the tale of Freddie Mercury and Queen's rise to fame that culminated with one of the all-time great performances as the band took the stage at Live Aid.

Then there's Green Book, the story of two men -- one black and one white -- driving through the deep south half a century ago and developing unlikely friendship.

"I get to play Dolores Vallelonga, who is married to Tony Lip, who's played by Viggo Mortensen," actress Linda Cardellini said. "She represents home, and she represents his heart. And you know, he's gruff and rough and he's got his problems and his ignorance, but she truly brings him back to the home and to who he really is. Because in honesty, he believes in fairness and kindness when he's really challenged and when he really comes to know Dr. Shirley...Every movie, everybody puts, if you're doing it right, everybody puts their heart and soul into it. And the idea that everybody put their heart and soul into this movie, and it's actually working out really well for all of us, is a wonderful and exceptional thing."

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