Movie News & Reviews

‘Black Panther’ and ‘Free Solo,’ repping Sacramento ties, earn big Oscar nominations

The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced Tuesday, with two notable Sacramento-rooted masters of their craft getting big nods.

“Black Panther,” directed by Sacramento State alumnus Ryan Coogler, made history as the first superhero movie to ever earn a nomination for Best Picture; and “Free Solo,” centering on Sacramento rock climber Alex Honnold, is up for Best Documentary Feature.

Both films were met with overwhelming critical acclaim: “Free Solo” and “Black Panther” maintain a 98 percent and 97 percent critic approval rating, respectively, on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

Starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Marvel’s “Black Panther” hit was a box office smash, raking in more than $1.3 billion worldwide since its February release.

“Free Solo,” meanwhile, follows Honnold’s unprecedented conquest of Yosemite’s El Capitan - without any ropes or harnesses. It came out in September, and just wrapped up a run at Sacramento’s downtown IMAX.

Coogler, 32, was born in Oakland but graduated from Sacramento State in 2007 with a degree in business administration, taking film classes at the university before studying cinema at USC. Honnold was born and raised in Sacramento.

“Black Panther” is one of eight Best Picture contenders, while “Free Solo” will compete against four other documentaries. “Black Panther” is up for an Oscar in six additional categories: original score, original song (“All the Stars”), production design, sound mixing, sound editing and costume design.

Also nominated for Best Picture: “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star is Born” and “Vice.”

And for Best Documentary Feature: “Hale Country This Morning, This Evening,” “Minding the Gap,” “Of Fathers and Sons” and “RBG.”

The Oscars are Feb. 24.

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