Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams earned his second career Academy Award nomination Tuesday morning when “Hidden Figures,” a movie he helped produce, was selected as one of nine best picture Oscar nominees. Williams took to Twitter shortly after noon with this tweet via @Pharrell: “Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture! Thank you to the Academy for three #HiddenFigures nominations!”
Williams was nominated along with fellow “Hidden Figures” producers Peter Chernin, Donna Gigliotti, Theodore Melfi and Jenno Topping. Octavia Spencer, a previous Oscar winner, received a nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress. Allison Schroeder and Melfi were nominated for best adapted screenplay. The 89th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 26. Williams was nominated three years ago in the category of best original song, for “Happy,” from “Despicable Me 2.”
Despite his one nomination this year, The New York Times and People magazine websites listed Williams among the Oscar snubs on the music side. “Mr. Williams didn’t just help produce ‘Hidden Figures,’ he also wrote songs and music for it,” NYTimes.com said. “The academy, however, didn’t give him the love this year, opting instead for ‘The Empty Chair’ from ‘Jim: The James Foley Story,’ by Sting and J. Ralph.
“The musician and producer was nominated for a Golden Globe for best original score for ‘Hidden Figures,'” People.com said. “However, his work was overlooked in the Oscars’ Original Score and Best Original Song categories.” “Hidden Figures” tells the story of real-life mathematicians who worked at NASA in the 1960s and stars Taraji P. Henson, Spencer and Janelle Monáe. The movie is set in Hampton but was filmed in Atlanta.
“Hidden Figures” is currently certified fresh on RottenTomatoes.com, with a 92 percent favorable rating from critics and 94 percent from audiences. So far, the movie has grossed more than $100 million in U.S. theaters, according to the-numbers.com. It finished third in the box office last weekend, behind only the premieres of “Split” and “XXX: Return Of Xander Cage.”
Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures