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:

Best pic­ture

“Once Upon a Time in Hol­ly­wood”

“The Ir­ish­man” “Par­a­site”


“Mar­riage Story”

“Jojo Rab­bit”


“Lit­tle Women”

“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.

Best ac­tress

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.

Best ac­tor

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.

Best di­rec­tor

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.”


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