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'Joker' leads Oscar nominations

January 13, 2020

The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards have been revealed. "The Irishman," "1917" and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" were also among the top contenders. Any women represented on the list of best films?

Kinostart Film "Joker"
Image: picture-alliance/dpa//Warner Bros. Entertainment/N. Tavernise

Among the various categories voted upon by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, nine films were selected for best picture, including James Mangold's sports action film Ford v Ferrari, Martin Scorsese's gangster testament The Irishman, Taika Waititi's Hitler comedy Jojo Rabbit, Noah Baumbach's intimate divorce drama Marriage Story and Todd Phillips' dark comic thriller Joker.

Also nominated for best picture are Greta Gerwig's coming-of-age story Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, Sam Mendes' World War I odyssey 1917, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bong Joon Ho's Palme d'Or-winning film Parasite.

Joker leads the award nominations race with 11 nods. The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood follow with 10 nominations each.

Read more: Oscars: The winning factors to land among the best films

How to get an Oscar nomination

Scarlett Johansson nominated for two different roles

Renee Zellweger was nominated for her portrayal of showbiz legend Judy Garland in Judy — for which she also already received a Golden Globe at the beginning of January. Also selected in the best actress category are Cynthia Arivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) and Charlize Theron (Bombshell).

The best actor contenders are Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes).

Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Margot Robbie (Bombshell) and Florence Pugh (Little Women) were selected for best supporting actress.

Best supporting actor nominees are Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman) and Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood).

'Parasite,' not only in the international feature film category

Five works were selected in the category formerly known as best foreign film — renamed this year "international feature film": Corpus Christi (Jan Komasa, Poland), Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov, North Macedonia), Les Miserables (Ladj Ly, France), Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodovar, Spain) and Parasite (Bong Joon Ho, South Korea).

Bong Joon Ho's Parasite is the first Korean film ever nominated for an Oscar — and it also makes history by picking up nods in a variety of prestigious categories beyond international film, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay.

Germany's pick, System Crasher, wasn't among the works selected on the Academy's long list.

Filmstill - Parasite von Bong Joon-ho
A top contender for the first time from South Korea: Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite'Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Koch Film

Gerwig only woman in the top category

Ever since the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite went viral in 2015, followed by the #MeToo movement initiated in 2017, Oscar nominations have faced controversy for selecting exceptionally few women and minorities in the top categories. The academy has nominated only men for best director in all but five years, and 2020 is no exception.

Little Women is the only film directed by a woman among the best picture contenders. Greta Gerwig had already received two Academy Award nominations for her 2017 film, Lady Bird, including best director — she however didn't get a nod in that category this time around.

Two critically-acclaimed films directed by women, Lorene Scafaria's black comedy Hustlers and Lulu Wang's The Farewell, are among the most notable snubs.

Oscar predictions had pointed out to performances by Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name, Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, Awkwafina for The Farewell and Lupita Nyong'o in Us, but only one non-white actor was among the Academy's picks: British star Cynthia Erivo, who plays US anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman in Harriet. Erivo also obtained a second nod with the same film, in the original song category.

Greta Gerwig
A rare woman in the race: Greta GerwigImage: picture-alliance/Zumapress/S. Yuqi

Last week, the British Film Academy was criticized for its nominations' lack of diversity; all best picture contenders were directed by men and not a single person of color was among the nominated actors. Following the results of this year's selection, the UK academy announced it would be reviewing its voting process.  

The Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 9 in Los Angeles.

eg/als (dpa, AFP)