The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards are in. What films cleaned up? Who was snubbed? Are we looking at the return of #OscarsSoWhite?
At Take 2 Blog, we break down the takeaways from today’s Oscar nominations.
#OscarsAlmostSoWhite: This year’s field of nominees reveals a glaring lack of diversity after last year’s historic turnout. In the top four acting categories, the only minority performer among the 20 actors and actresses nominated is Cynthia Erivo for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in the biopic “Harriet.” This comes after last year’s Academy Award winners for acting included three people of color: best actor Rami Malek, best supporting actor Mahershala Ali and best supporting actress Regina King. Despite a strong showing by female directors in 2019, the directing category shut out women. Failing to receive nominations were Greta Gerwig for “Little Women,” Lulu Wang for “The Farewell,” Lorene Scafaria for “Hustlers” and Marielle Heller for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Just two years ago, Gerwig was nominated for her directorial debut “Lady Bird.”
“Joker” proves comic book films no joke: “Joker,” Todd Phillips’ psychological drama about DC Comics’ iconic villain, leads the field with 11 nominations and is now the most nominated comic book flick in Oscars history. The movie racked up nods for best picture, Phillips for best director and Joaquin Phoenix as best actor, as well as for cinematography, adapted screenplay, score, film editing, sound mixing, sound editing, costume design, makeup and hairstyling. The film is the first DC Comics movie to be nominated for best picture. Last year, Marvel’s “Black Panther” broke through as the first comic book film to receive a best picture nod.
Surprising snubs: Despite a critically hailed performance in “Hustlers” that netted her Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice nominations, Jennifer Lopez was left out of the best supporting actress category. Adam Sandler, riding a wave of praise after his excellent performance in “Uncut Gems,” also failed to score a best actor nod. Awkwafina, who won the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for “The Farewell,” was left off the acting slate. Beyonce’s original song “Spirit” from “The Lion King” failed to roar into the best original song lineup. And despite becoming the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, “Frozen II” couldn’t thaw a place for itself in the best animated feature category.
Double the honor: Scarlett Johansson had double the surprise when she received not only her first Oscar nomination, but first two. The actress scored nods for best actress for “Marriage Story” and best supporting actress for “Jojo Rabbit.” Her dual nominations mark the first time since 2007 that an actor had received two different nods in a single year. That honor belongs to Cate Blanchett, who was nominated for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “I’m Not There.”
“The Irishman” soars: Martin Scorsese’s mob drama with Northeast Pennsylvania ties claimed 10 nominations, tying with “Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood” and “1917” behind the haul of “Joker.” The film received nods for best picture, best director, and best supporting actor for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Pesci came out of retirement to play Kingston mafia don Russell Bufalino. The film was also nominated for adapted screenplay, cinematography, production design, film editing, costume design and visual effects.
Scorsese competing against Marvel: The director of “The Irishman” has been very vocal about his stance that the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe comic book films do not qualify as cinema. Yet Scorsese will now compete against the very films he criticized at this year’s Academy Awards. “The Irishman” and “Avengers: Endgame,” the highest-grossing film of all time and the 22nd film in the MCU, are both nominated for best visual effects. Will one of them end up claiming the prize and keep the war of words going?
The 92nd Academy Awards will air Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Rebecca Kivak and Joe Baress write about movies for Take 2 blog. Together, they review current flicks and offer their insights into the latest movie news. Rebecca is a copy editor and page designer at The Times-Tribune. She started her career with Times-Shamrock Newspapers in 2005 and has won several professional journalism awards for page design and headline writing. She also covers NASCAR races from Pocono Raceway. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5126; @TTRebeccaKivak