STYLE The last laugh
“Joker” received 11 Oscar nominations.
“Joker,” the controversial drama about the mentally ill Batman villain that sparked a backlash with its realistic depictions of extreme violence, triumphed at the 92nd annual Academy Awards nominations Monday, earning 11 nods, the most of any film. ¶ Three films were close behind with 10 nominations: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s fictional ode to 1960s Hollywood; “The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s mob drama starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci that clocks in at 31/ hours; and “1917,” the World War I epic that centers on two British soldiers on a dangerous trip to
2 deliver a critical message that could save 1,600 troops. ¶ All four of those movies also earned best-picture nominations. Rounding out the prestigious category is “Little Women,” Greta Gerwig’s version of Louisa May Alcott’s tale of four sisters growing up in Massachusetts during the Civil War;
“Marriage Story,” which centers on an excruciating divorce and custody battle; “Parasite,” the South Korean psychological thriller/dark comedy; “Jojo Rabbit,” about a young German boy who counts Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend; and “Ford v Ferrari,” based on the true story of Ford’s goal to make a faster car than the Ferrari.
For the second year in a row, there were no women nominated in the best-director category. The nominees are Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips, with the notable snub of Gerwig.
Again, the Oscars ceremony will be host-free — after the debacle over Kevin Hart’s tweets in 2019, the show’s producers aren’t taking any chances. “There was a lot of conversation about which way to go and there may be a day when we decide to have a host again, but the focus has been on the most entertaining show and not on the host,” ABC’S entertainment president, Karey Burke, told reporters last week.
The Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 9, on ABC.
Here are the nominations in some of the major categories, with our analysis:
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“The Irishman” “Parasite”
“Ford v Ferrari”
The best predictors for the Oscar nominations are often the respective categories’ guild awards, and this year’s best-picture nominees almost mirror those for the Producers Guild Awards’ top prize. The exception would be “Knives Out,” which the PGAS nominated but which landed only a nomination for best original screenplay here. None of these titles are a shock, though it’s worth noting that “Parasite” has picked up enough steam in the past few weeks to land major nominations outside the international feature film category.
Renée Zellweger, “Judy” Charlize Theron, “Bombshell” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women” Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet” There are no major surprises here, though one could surely take issue with the lack of nods for Awkwafina, a Golden Globe winner for her dramatic turn in “The Farewell,” and Cho Yeo-jeong, a scene-stealer in Bong Joon-ho’s heavily nominated “Parasite.” Unlike BAFTA, the voting body overseeing Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, the academy also gave a nod to Erivo’s performance in the long-awaited “Harriet.” It’s worth noting that Johansson is nominated for her first Oscar (make that two, since she also got a supporting-actress nod for “Jojo Rabbit.”) She has solid competition from
Zellweger, Theron and Ronan, so the outcome for this category is anyone’s guess.
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” Leonardo Dicaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two
Phoenix — the clear front-runner — Driver and Dicaprio have consistently landed best-actor nominations throughout award season, but those last two slots have been in flux. Banderas, a critics favorite, was always in the running for his emotional performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” while Pryce also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in “The Two Popes.” Also-rans include Christian Bale for “Ford v Ferrari” and Robert De Niro for “The Irishman,” two films that fared well in other categories.
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker” “Congratulations to those men,” Oscar nominations host Issa Rae joked after this category was announced. Indeed, Gerwig’s exclusion for “Little Women” is a snub, though sadly not an unexpected one. The director to watch here is Tarantino, who has been twice nominated for the award to no avail. A wave of goodwill has swelled around Joon-ho’s film “Parasite.” Directors of foreignlanguage films don’t historically win in this category — Alfonso Cuarón winning for “Roma” last year being a notable exception — so a W for Joon-ho could begin a welcome/interesting trend. But let’s not forget that though Phillips’s “Joker” might be the year’s most divisive film, it’s also the one with the most Oscar nods. One thing’s for certain: A dude will be bringing this trophy home — again.
Best supporting actor
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman” Joe Pesci, “The Irishman” Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
This race has long been Pitt’s to lose, especially if Pacino and Pesci split voters fond of Scorsese’s mob epic. If Pitt does emerge victorious, it’ll be his first Oscar win for acting, despite three nominations. However, the academy always enjoys an actor’s soulful transformation into a real person, so Hanks’s turn as Mister Rogers stands a strong chance. And no one should sleep on Hopkins — voter buzz around “The Two Popes” has been strong during the past few months. Netflix did well here; three of the five performances were in films produced by the streaming service.
Best supporting actress
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story” Margot Robbie, “Bombshell” Florence Pugh, “Little Women” Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell” If any race has a clear front-runner, it’s here. Dern has spent most of the year as a favorite, and nothing here suggests she won’t win — except, maybe, Johansson’s nomination. The actress, who has never before been nominated, appears here and in the best-actress list (for “Marriage Story”). There’s clearly a wave of support for Johansson, which suggests she just might upset Dern. And speaking of upset, though she was a long shot, many “Hustlers” fans are decrying the lack of Jennifer Lopez — some even calling it a snub.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: George Mackay in “1917”; Timothée Chalamet and Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women”; and nominees Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in “Marriage Story.” Johansson was also nominated for her work in “Jojo Rabbit.”