The 2020 Oscar nominations have been announced, with films such as Joker, 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood snapping up the bulk of nominations.
As always, there was some controversy over who got love and who was snubbed.
Here are the five things we learned from the nominations:
1) #Oscarssowhite… again
Only one of the 20 acting nominees was a person of colour and that was Cynthia Erivo for her lead role as anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman in Harriet.
Nevertheless, Erivo — who was also nominated for best original song for Stand Up — said she was honoured to be nominated.
“To receive two Oscar nominations for a film paying tribute to Harriet Tubman, a person whose heart and spirit are the embodiment of courage, makes this morning’s news beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” she said.
Aside from Erivo, all the other nominees were white, prompting a revival of the hashtag #Oscarssowhite on Twitter.
When the hashtag was first picked up in 2015, it prompted the Academy to diversify its mostly white, male membership by inviting more women and people of colour to join.
It seems that hasn’t done much to address the issue.
2) No women nominated for best director
In announcing the nominees for best director, actress Issa Rae said with a deadpan expression: “Congratulations to those men.”
That’s because, once again, no women were nominated in this category.
And it’s not like there weren’t options: The Farewell, Hustlers and Little Women were all films both written and directed by women that missed out this year.
The Oscars has a pretty bad track record with recognising female directors.
In the past 10 years, the only woman nominated was Greta Gerwig in 2017 for Lady Bird.
The only woman to have ever won this award was Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.
But Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman said he didn’t think the slate of nominees was a “gender-based decision”.
“The larger gender-based thing is that we need many, many more movies, major movies directed by women,” he said.
“That’s only going to happen when we have more and more women in the positions of power.”
3) Scarlett Johansson got a double nomination
And it was also the first time she’s ever been nominated for an Oscar.
That makes her double nomination for best supporting actress in Jojo Rabbit and best actress in Marriage Story pretty incredible.
4) Parasite became the first Korean movie nominated for best picture
One of the biggest surprises this year was Parasite landing a nomination for best picture.
A dark satire about the gap between rich and poor, it was the first South Korean movie to be nominated in both the best picture and best international film categories. Director Bong Joon Ho also received a nod for best director.
Korean film critic and Parasite translator Darcy Paquet said a win in any category would have “all of Korea celebrating”.
“This is something that nobody would have imagined happening … I think best Oscar, people thought this was not possible in our lifetime.”
If it wins, Parasite would become the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar for best picture.
Only nine foreign-language films have even been nominated. Roma came close to winning last year, but missed out to Green Book.
5) The most nominations went to Joker
The dark comic-book story Joker led nominations with 11 nods in all the major fields, including:
- Best picture
- Best makeup and hairstyling
- Best costume design
- Best cinematography
- Best director for Todd Phillips
- Best sound editing
- Best sound mixing
- Best film editing
- Best adapted screenplay
- Best original score
- Best actor for Joaquin Phoenix
Considering Joker was far from a critical favourite and divided audiences with its portrayal of an isolated loner, the Academy’s overwhelming support for the film was unexpected.
Director Todd Phillips said he saw Joker as “a character study to reflect the world around us. Explore what we’re seeing and feeling in society, from the lack of empathy to the effects of the absence of love”.
1917 and Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood came close seconds, both nabbing 10 nominations each.
News Credit: abc.net.au