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Oscars 2019: Black Panther, Mary Poppins Returns get a boost as category shortlists are revealed

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Feb 4, 2019, 11:28 AM EST (Updated)

The 2019 Oscars are just over two months away, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released the shortlist of contenders in nine awards categories. These shortlists, via Variety, tighten up the competition ahead of Jan. 22, when the formal nominees will be announced. And genre is well represented.

First up, the Best Visual Effects category is down to 10 possible nominees. Among those are obvious contenders like Avengers: Infinity War, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Black Panther. All four are Disney productions, and the Mouse House is also in the running for Mary Poppins Returns and Christopher Robin. Some non-Disney entries, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, and Damien Chazelle's moon-landing epic, First Man, are also up for consideration

Several of these effects-heavy films are also up for Best Original Score, including Infinity War and Black Panther. They're joined by Annihilation, the second Fantastic Beasts installment, The Crimes of Grindelwald, John Krasinki's A Quiet Place, and Wes Anderson's stop-motion flick Isle of Dogs

The Mary Poppins sequel also has two tunes still in the running for Best Original Song, "The Place Where Lost Things Go" and "Trip A Little Light Fantastic." Additionally, "A Place Called Slaughter Race" from Ralph Breaks the Internet, Thom Yorke's "Suspirium" from the remake of Suspiria, and the Kendrick Lamar/SZA collaboration "All the Stars" from Black Panther are on the current list of 15 possible nominees.    

Black Panther is also in the running for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, alongside Suspiria and the off-kilter love story Border. They're joined by the usual roundup of period pieces and biopics, including Vice, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Stan & Ollie

Of the nine shortlists released today, none mentioned the traditionally "big" categories like Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director. So, we'll have to wait and see how Deadpool 2's (possibly) ironic awards campaign worked out.  

Of course, this is all just pre-game for 91st Annual Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 24.