This year’s Oscar nominees have many ties to New Jersey

This year’s Academy Award nominations made history for their diversity. There were also numerous connections to the Garden State.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” is one of three best picture nominees with New Jersey ties. Twin brothers Kenny and Keith Lucas, who grew up in Newark and graduated from the College of New Jersey, are nominated for best screenplay for the drama, which is about the infiltration of the Black Panther Party and betrayal of leader Fred Hampton.
Best picture nominee “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was filmed mainly in Paterson.
The film “Nomadland” has six nominations, including best picture and best actress. The movie is based on the nonfiction book by Montclair native Jessica Bruder, who traveled with itinerate senior workers across the United States to research the book.
Bruder recently told News 12 New Jersey that she never dreamed that the book would become a motion picture.
“I mean, I was out there in these cinematic landscapes, and I thought the stories were amazing,” she said. “But I’m a big book nerd, not a film person. I hadn’t been thinking about it.”
Chadwick Boseman could be the third person ever to win the best actor award posthumously for his portrayal of a headstrong musician in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Viola Davis received a best actress nod as Ma Rainey, her fourth nomination, becoming the most-nominated Black actress in Oscar history.
The nominations, announced by Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, could bring the movie business much-needed buzz, coming just as movie theaters begin to reopen, after a year in which most were shuttered due to the pandemic.
Other historical notes: For the first time, two Black actresses are nominated for best actress and two women are among those who are up for best director.
The winners will be announced on April 25.