Joker leads eyebrow-raising list

Batman spinoff earns 11 nominations; women directors shut out


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LOS ANGELES — An awards season that had been short on clarity and long on surprises came into focus Monday morning as the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced, with nine films representing a wide range of genres earning best picture nods and the dark comic-book smash Joker leading the field with 11 nominations.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/01/2020 (1172 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

LOS ANGELES — An awards season that had been short on clarity and long on surprises came into focus Monday morning as the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced, with nine films representing a wide range of genres earning best picture nods and the dark comic-book smash Joker leading the field with 11 nominations.

Following closely behind with 10 nominations apiece, including best picture, are the First World War epic 1917, Quentin Tarantino’s 1960s fantasia Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman. Along with Joker, the other nominees for best picture are Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story and Parasite, the latter of which became the first South Korean film to earn a nod for the academy’s top prize.

Nominees for director are Scorsese, Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite). It was a shutout for female directors, with potential nominees including Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) failing to make the cut. (See sidebar for the full list of nominations.)

As always, the nominations included more than a few notable snubs and a couple of surprises.

Snub: Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers, for supporting actress

It looked like it might be the year of J.Lo. Heading into 2020, Jennifer Lopez had already earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her role as a scheming stripper in Hustlers. She had also been announced as the Super Bowl halftime performer at the big NFL game next month. But after months of campaigning, Lopez was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday. Her supporting turn was overlooked by the organization, which instead chose to honor Kathy Bates, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh and Margot Robbie.

Snub: Awkwafina, The Farewell and Lupita Nyong’o, Us, for actress

In shades of #OscarsSoWhite, Lupita Nyong’o and Awkwafina were left out of a lead actress category with just one person of colour nominated. Nyong’o, who played dual roles in the horror flick Us, received a SAG nomination earlier this month. Awkwafina, meanwhile, just took home a prize at the Golden Globes last week, representing the Chinese American family drama The Farewell. Lulu Wang’s critically acclaimed film was not a favorite among Academy members, apparently, as the movie did not earn a single nod.

Snub: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari); Robert De Niro (The Irishman); Taron Egerton (Rocketman); Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), for lead actor

These were some of the highest-profile contenders left out of one of the most highly competitive best actor races in recent memory. In another year, any or all of them might have made the cut. Egerton recently won a Golden Globe and also earned a SAG nomination. Bale was also nominated by both of those groups, and Murphy was nominated by the Globes. De Niro’s snub might seem even more dramatic if the Globes, SAG and BAFTA hadn’t all left him out of their best actor races first.

Snub: Spirit from The Lion King, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Timothy McKenzie and Ilya Salmanzadeh, for original song

Another reason there won’t be as much star power at the Oscars next month: Beyoncé was left off the original song list. Her Lion King tune Spirit —which she co-wrote with Timothy McKenzie and Ilya Salmanzadeh —did not get nominated. At least Elton John will be at the Dolby Theatre, since his new Rocketman song — (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, with lyrics from collaborator Bernie Taupin — got a nod.

Snub: Any woman, including Greta Gerwig (Little Women), as best director

After no female directors were recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the Golden Globes, many feared the Academy would make similar choices. And as feared, no women — including Little Women’s Greta Gerwig and The Farewell’s Lulu Wang — will have a shot at Oscar glory in the filmmaking category this year.

Snub: Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy, as supporting actor

The onetime best actor winner was overlooked despite a SAG nomination for his work as a wrongly convicted death row inmate. Anthony Hopkins scored a nod for The Two Popes, as did Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood and Al Pacino and Joe Pesci from The Irishman.

Snub: Atlantics, as international feature

The celebrated French-Senegalese production Atlantics was not nominated in the international feature (formerly foreign language film) category. The film, which world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and is directed by Mati Diop, is the tale of a woman left behind when her lover goes in search of work elsewhere and how she seems to be haunted by his ghost after he is lost at sea.

Snub: Apollo 11, for documentary

Last year, the Academy overlooked the top-grossing box office documentary performer, the Mister Rogers bio Won’t You Be My Neighbor. That happened again Monday when the moon-landing doc Apollo 11 was left off the list; the movie has grossed over $12 million at the multiplex — a robust sum for a nonfiction film. Fellow successful docs The Biggest Little Farm and Maiden were also left out. Instead, the Netflix flick The Edge of Democracy landed a slot, as did American Factory and two films about the plight of the Syrian war, For Sama and The Cave. Honeyland, about Macedonian beekeepers, landed a nomination in the doc category and the international feature roundup.

Snub: Frozen 2

Surprise: Klaus, both for animated feature

Another box office smash that was ignored was Frozen 2, which, according to Disney, is the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Instead, the Academy chose to honour Klaus, the first original animated feature produced by Netflix. Other nominees included How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Missing Link and Toy Story 4.

Surprise: Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell for supporting actress

Bates, who won the best actress prize in 1991 for Misery, has been nominated in the supporting category twice before. Her third nomination comes for playing the mother of a wrongly accused Olympic security guard in Richard Jewell. She earned a Golden Globe nomination but was left out of the SAG award contenders, perhaps in part because Clint Eastwood’s film was a late entry into this year’s race.

— Los Angeles Times

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