‘Joker’ leads Os­car noms; ‘1917,’ ‘Ir­ish­man’ close be­hind

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

This com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos shows best ac­tor Os­car nom­i­nees, from left, Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker,” Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time...in Hol­ly­wood,” Jonathan Pryce in “The Two Popes,” An­to­nio Ban­deras in “Pain and Glory,” and Adam Driver in “Marriage Story.” of a stream­ing up­heaval, also gave Net­flix more nom­i­na­tions than ever be­fore: 24. The 10 nom­i­na­tions for “The Ir­ish­man” tied the most for a Net­flix film, fol­low­ing “Roma” last year. Scors­ese, a one-time win­ner for “The De­parted,” was nom­i­nated for best di­rec­tor for the ninth time. The film also won nods for Al Pa­cino, Joe Pesci and its de-ag­ing spe­cial ef­fects. “We put all of our­selves into this pic­ture,” said Scors­ese in a state­ment.

“1917” fol­lowed up its Golden Globes win and strong open­ing week­end at the box of­fice with nom­i­na­tions not just for its tech­ni­cal achieve­ment (in­clud­ing Mendes’ di­rect­ing and Roger Deakins’ cin­e­matog­ra­phy) but for best screen­play, too.

“Once Upon a Time ... in Hol­ly­wood” was nom­i­nated in just about ev­ery cat­e­gory it was ex­pected to, in­clud­ing Tarantino for di­rect­ing and screen­play, best ac­tor for Leonardo DiCaprio and best sup­port­ing ac­tor for Brad Pitt. And Hol­ly­wood loves lit­tle more than a good story about it­self.

“It’s a real love story to this in­dus­try,” DiCaprio said by phone. “In this movie, Quentin got to do a movie that was a homage to Los An­ge­les and a place that I grew up in.”

De­spite a year in which women made his­toric gains be­hind the cam­era, fe­male di­rec­tors were again shut out of best di­rec­tor. The most likely can­di­date was Greta Gerwig (“Lit­tle Women”), who was the last woman nom­i­nated, two years ago for “Lady Bird.”

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to those men,” said Issa Rae, who pre­sented the nom­i­nees along­side John Cho.

Re­becca Gold­man, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer for Time’s Up said of the lack of women nom­i­nated for di­rect­ing: “This is why Time’s Up ex­ists — to en­sure women in en­ter­tain­ment and across in­dus­tries get the op­por­tu­ni­ties and recog­ni­tion they de­serve.”

There were many sur­prises. Awk­wa­fina, who was poised to be­come just the sec­ond Asian Amer­i­can nom­i­nated for best ac­tress (the first, 1936 nom­i­nee Merle Oberon, hid her South Asian her­itage), wasn’t nom­i­nated for her ac­claimed lead­ing per­for­mance in “The Farewell.” Also over­looked for best an­i­mated film was “Frozen 2,” the high­est gross­ing an­i­mated film ever; Bey­oncé, for her “Lion King” song; and the hit doc­u­men­tary “Apollo 11.”

Most glar­ingly, Jen­nifer Lopez, long con­sid­ered a sup­port­ing ac­tress fron­trun­ner for her per­for­mance in “Hustlers,” was also de­nied her first Os­car nom­i­na­tion.

Those over­sights left the Os­cars with their least di­verse field since the fall­out of #Os­carsSoWhit­e pushed the film acad­emy to di­ver­sify its mem­ber­ship. The only ac­tor of color nom­i­nated was Cyn­thia Erivo, the Bri­tish ac­tress, for her Har­riet Tub­man in “Har­riet.” (Erivo was also nom­i­nated for best song.) Last week, the Bri­tish film acad­emy nom­i­nated only white per­form­ers, lead­ing Erivo to de­cline an in­vi­ta­tion to per­form.

Bong Joon Ho’s “Par­a­site,” how­ever, made his­tory for South Korea. Along with the coun­try’s first nom­i­na­tion for best in­ter­na­tional film, the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val Palme d’Or-win­ner also scored nods for Bong’s di­rec­tion, best edit­ing and best pro­duc­tion de­sign.

No film­mak­ing cou­ple has had an Os­car nom­i­na­tions morn­ing quite like Gerwig and “Marriage Story” di­rec­tor Noah Baum­bach. Their movies were each nom­i­nated for best pic­ture, best screen­play (adapted for Gerwig; orig­i­nal for Baum­bach) and six nom­i­na­tions in to­tal.

“Lit­tle Women” pro­ducer Amy Pas­cal, the for­mer Sony Pic­tures chief, said she would cel­e­brate with Gerwig

This com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos shows best sup­port­ing ac­tress Os­car nom­i­nees, from left, Kathy Bates in “Richard Jewell,” Florence Pugh in “Lit­tle Women,” Mar­got Rob­bie in “Bomb­shell,” Laura Dern in “Marriage Story,” and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son in “Jojo Rab­bit.”

This com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos shows lead ac­tress Os­car nom­i­nees, from left, Char­l­ize Theron in “Bomb­shell,” Saoirse Ro­nan in “Lit­tle Women,” Scar­lett Jo­hans­son in “Marriage Story,” Renée Zell­weger in “Judy,” and Cyn­thia Erivo in “Har­riet.”

and Baum­bach at din­ner Mon­day evening. On Gerwig’s lack of di­rect­ing nod, Pas­cal said: “I wish it were oth­er­wise. But we’re so proud this morn­ing.”

Nom­i­na­tions for “Marriage Story” in­cluded nods for its leads, Adam Driver and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, and Laura Dern for best sup­port­ing ac­tress. Jo­hans­son, also nom­i­nated for her sup­port­ing turn in “Jo Jo Rab­bit,” be­came the first twotime act­ing nom­i­nee since Cate Blanchett man­aged the feat in 2007.

Also nom­i­nated for best ac­tress was Renée Zell­weger, con­sid­ered the fron­trun­ner for her Judy Gar­land in “Judy”; Char­l­ize Theron (“Bomb­shell”); and Soairse Ro­nan (“Lit­tle Women”). Just 25 years old, Ro­nan now has four Os­car nom­i­na­tions.

Join­ing Driver, DiCaprio and Phoenix for best ac­tor were Jonathan Pryce, who stars as Pope Fran­cis in “The Two Popes”; and An­to­nio Ban­deras, who plays a semi-fic­tion­al­ized ver­sion of di­rec­tor Pe­dro Almod­ó­var in “Pain and Glory.” “What are the odds that you are be­ing di­rected by your own char­ac­ter?” Ban­deras said by phone. “Very rare, right?”

No cat­e­gory was more com­pet­i­tive than best ac­tor this year. Those left out were them­selves a for­mi­da­ble group: Ed­die Mur­phy (“Dolemite Is My Name”), Robert De Niro (“The Ir­ish­man”), Chris­tian Bale (“Ford v Fer­rari”) and Adam San­dler (“Un­cut Gems”).

San­dler on Twitter re­sponded: “Bad news: Sand­man gets no love from the acad­emy. Good news: Sand­man can stop wear­ing suits.”

Tom Hanks re­ceived his first Os­car nom­i­na­tion since

“Cast Away” 19 years ago for his Mister Rogers in “A Beau­ti­ful Day in the Neigh­bor­hood.” But Pitt, who is head­ing to­ward his first act­ing Acad­emy Award, is the over­whelm­ing fa­vorite among the sup­port­ing ac­tor nom­i­nees. Join­ing Pitt, Hanks, Pa­cino and Pesci was Pryce’s pa­pal co-star, An­thony Hop­kins.

Along with Dern and Jo­hans­son, the nom­i­nees for best sup­port­ing ac­tress were Kathy Bates (“Richard Jewell”), Florence Pugh (“Lit­tle Women”) and Mar­got Rob­bie (“Bomb­shell”).

“Amer­i­can Fac­tory,” the first film from Barack and Michelle Obama’s re­cently launched pro­duc­tion com­pany, Higher Ground, was nom­i­nated for best doc­u­men­tary. Said Obama: “It’s the kind of story we don’t see of­ten enough and it’s ex­actly what Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground.”

“Honey­land,” about a wild bee keeper in ru­ral Mace­do­nia, be­came the first film ever nom­i­nated for both best doc­u­men­tary and best in­ter­na­tional film. The film, di­rected by Ta­mara Kotevska and Ljubo Ste­fanov, be­gan as a short video com­mis­sion from Mace­do­nia’s Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion Project and grew into one of the year’s most ac­claimed re­leases.

Also up for best doc­u­men­tary are: “For Sama,” “The Edge of Democ­racy” and the Syr­ian Civil War film “The Cave.” Feras Fayyad, di­rec­tor of “The Cave,” was nom­i­nated in 2018 for his “Last Men in Aleppo” but was un­able to at­tend the Os­cars when his visa was re­jected be­cause of Pres­i­dent Donald Trump’s travel ban.

“I wish my film, which pro­vides clear ev­i­dence of crimes against humanity com­mit­ted by Bashar al-As­sad’s Syr­ian regime and his Rus­sian con­spir­a­tors, did not need to ex­ist,” Fayyad said in a state­ment. “I wish I was still in Da­m­as­cus drink­ing cof­fee with my artist friends.”

The other nom­i­nees for best in­ter­na­tional film were “Pain and Glory” from Spain, “Les Mis­er­ables” from France and “Cor­pus Christi” from Poland.

The nom­i­nees for best an­i­mated fea­ture film were: “How to Train a Dragon: The Hid­den World”; “Toy Story 4”; “I Lost My Body”; “Klaus”; “Miss­ing Link.”

Af­ter the most dom­i­nant box-of­fice year in Hol­ly­wood his­tory, the Walt Dis­ney Co.’s top films — in­clud­ing the record-set­ting Mar­vel blockbuste­r “Avengers: Endgame” — were largely rel­e­gated to cat­e­gories like best vis­ual ef­fects. The stu­dio, which has never won a best pic­ture Acad­emy Award, does have a few con­tenders via its ac­qui­si­tion in April of 20th Cen­tury Fox: best pic­ture nom­i­nees “Ford v Fer­rari” and “Jojo Rab­bit.”

The 92nd Acad­emy Awards will take place Feb. 9 in Los An­ge­les at the Dolby Theatre. ABC will again broad­cast the show, view­er­ship for which last year rose 12% to 29.6 mil­lion. Like last year, this year’s cer­e­mony will go with­out a host.

An­other thing that will be the same: John Wil­liams is again a nom­i­nee for best score, for “Star Wars: Rise of Sky­walker.” His 52 nom­i­na­tions are sec­ond only to Walt Dis­ney’s 59.

Copy­right 2020 The As­so­ci­ated Press. All rights re­served. This ma­te­rial may not be pub­lished, broad­cast, rewrit­ten or re­dis­tributed.

This com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos shows best sup­port­ing ac­tor Os­car nom­i­nees, from left, Joe Pesci in “The Ir­ish­man,” Al Pa­cino in “The Ir­ish­man,” Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time...in Hol­ly­wood,” An­thony Hop­kins in “The Two Popes,” and Tom Hanks in “A Beau­ti­ful Day in the Neigh­bor­hood.”

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