Nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards were just announced LIVE from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills and both Demian Bichir (A Better Life) AND Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) received nominations!
Bejo, whose stunning performance we've been touting for months, received a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, while Mexican actor Bichir was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his heartbreaking performance in Chris Weitz's compelling drama, A Better Life.
Heading into today’s announcement, Bejo stood a good chance of getting nominated. After all, she had secured all of the important precursor nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globe, SAG), but Bichir, who has been a major underdog in the race all season, was not expected to be nominated. The Mexican actor beat out Leonardo Dicaprio (J. Edgar) and Michael Fassbender (Shame), both of whom had huge buzz for their performances this year.
Bichir will face some stiff competition at the Feb. 26 Academy Awards. He'll be up against George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Brad Pitt (Moneyball). Clooney is the category's frontrunner, having won both the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Actor, Drama.
Meanwhile, Bejo will contend with the likes of Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer (The Help), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids). Spencer is that category's undisputed frontrunner.
Bejo's husband Michel Hazanavicius also received a Best Director nomination and a nomination for Best Original Screenplay for The Artist. The film was also nominated for Best Picture of the Year.
Even animated movies about Latinos were nominated this year! Chico & Rita, a love story set in 1948 Cuba that premiered at the New York International Latino Film Festival in August, was nominated for Best Animated Film, as was Puss in Boots starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.
The 84th Academy Awards will be presented on Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre. We'll be rooting for Berenice and Demian!
For a full list of nominees, click here.