The supervillain origin story “Joker” took the lead in the Academy Awards race with 11 nominations in Monday morning’s Oscar announcement, including the categories of best picture, best director, best actor and best adapted screenplay.
Following close behind were Sam Mendes’s World War I movie ‘1917,’ Quentin Tarantino’s show-business saga “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” with 10 nominations each.
“Joker,” which made headlines for its extreme violence, becomes the most nominated superhero movie in Oscar’s history, beating out eight nominations for the 2008 film also featuring the Joker character, “The Dark Knight.” No comic-book film has ever won the Academy Award for best picture, though the genre has showed increasing awards strength along with its box-office dominance in recent years. Last year, “Black Panther” won three Oscars and was nominated for seven, including best picture.
The movie ‘1917’ was among those nominated for best picture and best director.
FranÃ§ois Duhamel/Associated Press
The Oscar nominations also showed strong prospects for South Korean film “Parasite,” a satirical thriller that notched six nominations, including best director, best picture and best international feature film. “Jojo Rabbit,” the story of a boy whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler, emerged somewhat surprisingly as a stealth contender with six nominations, including one for best picture.
(See the full list of nominations.)
Scarlett Johansson, who has never been nominated for an Oscar, is in contention for two trophies: best actress for “Marriage Story” and best supporting actress for “Jojo Rabbit.” The acting categories almost entirely excluded people of color except for Cynthia Erivo’s nomination for best actress in the Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet.”
‘Marriage Story’ was nominated for six Oscars.
As has been the pattern this awards season, all the nominees for directing were men, including Hollywood veterans like Martin Scorsese, who helmed “The Irishman.”
Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” racked up six nominations including one for best picture. In that category she will compete against longtime boyfriend Noah Baumbach, nominated for his tale of an unraveling union in “Marriage Story.”
After Netflix’s disappointing turn at the Golden Globes, where its film and television works earned 34 nominations but won only two, the streaming giant made a strong showing in the Oscar race. Along with the Netflix mob story “The Irishman,” the tech giant also was recognized for its drama “Marriage Story,” with six nominations, and its tale of papal adversaries in “The Two Popes,” with three nods.
Mr. Phoenix’s nomination for best actor as the deranged Joker and his recent win for best actor in a drama at the Golden Globes makes him a frontrunner in that category. Same for Renée Zellweger, who many believe has a lock on the best-actress trophy for her performance as the spiraling Hollywood legend Judy Garland in “Judy.”
Laura Dern is the one to beat for supporting actress for her performance as a killer divorce attorney in “Marriage Story.” Also in contention for that award: Kathy Bates for “Richard Jewell,” Margot Robbie in “Bombshell” and rising star Florence Pugh, who put a nuanced spin on the usually bratty character of Amy in “Little Women.”
The supporting actor race includes frontrunner Brad Pitt for “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” for a charismatic turn as a stuntman that drew raves. Others nominees include Joe Pesci as a mobster and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa in “The Irishman” and Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in the otherwise overlooked “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
The awards telecast, going hostless for the second year in a row, is set to air earlier than ever on Feb. 9 on ABC.
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