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‘Joker’ Somehow Leads the Way in Oscar Nominations

‘Joker’ Somehow Leads the Way in Oscar Nominations

Remember Joker? Of course, you do. Todd Phillipps’ Scorsese pastiche dressed up as a supervillain origin story was a black hole of internet discourse for a few weeks there, pulling in hot take after hot take praising it, critiquing it, defending it and then observing its meteoric box office rise.

Few could have predicted that the guy behind The Hangover movies would churn in a gritty DC Comics movie anchored by a mesmerizing Joaquin Phoenix performance. Fewer still could have predicted today, when Joker came out on top of the Oscar game with 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Phoenix and Best Editing and Cinematography.

Pretty wild, considering what didn’t get nominated this year. Oscar darling film studio A24 was largely shut out, except for a cinematography nomination for Lighthouse. Its Uncut Gems, which was expected to net the first-ever nomination for Adam Sandler, was snubbed altogether. Also snubbed: The Farewell, Lulu Wang’s exquisite meditation on family and loss starring Awkwafina.

In fact, no women at all were nominated for Best Director, prompting announcer Issa Rae to pointedly jab “Congratulations to these men” after reading their names. Little Women received a Best Picture nomination, but it must have come together all on its own, because Gerwig’s name was nowhere to be seen among the Best Director nominees.

None of this is likely to curb criticisms of the Oscars’ lack of diversity, which seems to happen every year because the Academy can’t seem to fix its own mostly white, mostly male focus, routinely skipping over excellent movies and performances from people of color. There was one, single person of color nominated for an acting award: Cynthia Erivo for Harriet.

One bright spot: Parasite. Bong Joon-Ho became just the second Asian director in Oscar history to get a nomination for Best Director. Parasite, which was not only nominated for Best Movie — it was the first South Korean movie to ever get nominated for Best Foreign Film. That’s the sort of richly deserved recognition the Academy should be focusing on more in the future.

Read below for the full list of nominees:

Best Picture

Ford v Ferrari


The Irishman


Jojo Rabbit

Little Women

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Best Director

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Sam Mendes – 1917

Bong Joon-ho – Parasite

Todd Phillips – Joker

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver – Marriage Story

Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory

Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes

Best Actress

Renee Zellweger – Judy

Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Cynthia Erivo – Harriet

Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Scarlett Johnasson – Jojo Rabbit

Margot Robbie – Bombshell

Florence Pugh – Little Women

Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell

Best Original Screenplay

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino

Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach

Parasite – Bong Joon-ho

Knives Out – Rian Johnson

1917 – Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Irishman – Steven Zaillian

Joker – Todd Phillips & Scott Silver

Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

The Two Popes – Anthony McCarten

Best International Film

Corpus Christi – Poland

Honeyland – North Macedonia

Les Miserables – France

Pain and Glory – Spain

Parasite – South Korea

Best Documentary Feature

American Factory

The Cave

The Edge of Democracy

For Sama


Best Documentary – Short Subject

In the Absence

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Life Overtakes Me

St. Louis Superman

Walk Run Cha-Cha

Best Animated Feature Film

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body


Missing Link

Toy Story 4

Best Film Editing

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit



Best Cinematography

The Irishman


The Lighthouse


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Production Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Best Costume Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit


Little Women

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Makeup & Hairstyling




Maleficent: Mistress of Evil


Best Visual Effects

Avengers: Endgame

The Irishman

The Lion King


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Original Score


Little Women

Marriage Story


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Original Song

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” – Toy Story 4

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again” – Rocketman

“I’m Standing with You” – Breakthrough

“Into the Unknown” – Frozen II

“Stand Up” – Harriet

Best Sound Editing

Ford v Ferrari



Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Sound Mixing

Ad Astra

Ford v Ferrari



Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Live-Action Short Film


Nefta Football Club

The Neighbors’ Window


A Sister

Best Animated Short Film

Dcera (Daughter)

Hair Love




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