Alumni Donoghue, Moccio earn Oscar nods

Special to Western News

Hollywood’s awards season continues to celebrate Western alumni Emma Donoghue and Stephan Moccio.

Donoghue, DLitt’13, has been nominated for an Academy Award, in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay, for the page-to-screen adaptation of her acclaimed novel Room. Other nominees in the category include The Big Short, screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Brooklyn, screenplay by Nick Hornby; Carol, screenplay by Phyllis Nagy; and The Martian, screenplay by Drew Goddard.

The movie, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Sept. 4. Since then, it received the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Widely recognized for her works of fiction, Donoghue’s work is known for its depth of historical and psychological research. The former Western Writer-In-Residence (1999-2000) has written, and continues to write, works of fiction, drama and literary history and is well known for international bestseller Room (2010) and Slammerkin (2000). Her works have been translated into more than 40 languages and Donoghue has earned her living as a writer since the age of 23.

Her Room screenplay was also nominated for a Golden Globe, but Donoghue lost Best Screenplay to Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs.

Moccio, BMus’94, has been nominated for an Academy Award, in the category of Best Original Song, for Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey. This is the first Oscar nod for Moccio and his co-writers, Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe and Jason Daheala Quenneville. Other nominees in the category include Manta Ray from Racing Extinction, J. Ralph and Antony Hegarty; Simple Song #3 from Youth, David Lang; Til It Happens to You from The Hunting Ground, Diane Warren and Lady Gaga; and Writing’s On The Wall from Spectre, Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes.

Earned It, a steamy bedroom groove that led the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, was also included on The Weeknd’s second studio album, Beauty Behind The Madness, and helped break the Toronto-based alt-R&B singer to pop audiences when it peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has also received three nominations at the 58th annual Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Song, Best R&B Performance and Best Song Written For Visual Media.


Moccio is one of the world’s brightest composers and producers. From Olympic anthems to chart-topping hits, he keeps millions around the world singing melodies from his songbook. The St. Catharines native has been a hit-maker for years, working on mega-selling singles like Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball and Celine Dion’s A New Day Has Come, as well as with artists such as Seal, Ne-Yo, Sara Brightman, Josh Groban, John Legend and Gladys Knight. Moccio was one of the three judges on Canada’s Got Talent, alongside comedian Martin Short.

Earned It, however, was snubbed for a nomination by the Golden Globes. Smith and Napes won that category for Writing’s On The Wall.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 88th annual Oscars Thursday. The Revenant led the way with 12 nominations, including for best picture. However, Room proved to be one of the biggest surprises of the morning, scoring additional nominations for Best Picture, Director and Actress.

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 28.