Todd Phillips (left) and Joaquin Phoenix attend the premiere of "Joker," which scooped 11 Oscare nominations Photo: AFP/File

'Joker' leads Oscar nominations with 11 as women miss out


Dark comic book tale "Joker" topped the Oscar nominations Monday, picking up 11 nods including best picture and best director, as women and ethnic minorities were largely shut out once again.

The pre-dawn Academy Award announcement capped months of ceaseless campaigning by A-listers and studios, revealing which stars and movies have a shot at Hollywood's ultimate prize next month.

Todd Phillips's "Joker," a bleak, arthouse take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix, was just ahead of three films.

Quentin Tarantino's 1960s Tinseltown homage "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," Sam Mendes's World War I odyssey "1917" and Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" each earned 10 nominations, including best picture as well as best director.

South Korean class satire "Parasite," from Bong Joon-ho, secured the final best director slot, meaning once again no female directors made the shortlist.

Much of the focus so far this award season has been on the lack of women and ethnic minority filmmakers honored.

Greta Gerwig's acclaimed "Little Women" adaptation has been notably absent in several award nominations announcements, although it was one of nine films nominated for the best picture Oscar.

"Unfortunately there are just five nominees" for best director in an "incredibly strong year," one Academy voter who asked not to be named told AFP, pointing to the revered track records of the likes of Scorsese, Tarantino and Mendes.

Controversy over those omissions, in an industry criticized for its lack of diversity, was fueled at last week's BAFTA nominations, which were also condemned for overlooking ethnic minorities.

The Oscars picked only one non-white actor -- British star Cynthia Erivo, who plays U.S. anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman in "Harriet."

Notable snubs included Eddie Murphy for blaxploitation biopic "Dolemite Is My Name," Jennifer Lopez for "Hustlers," Awkwafina for "The Farewell" and Lupita Nyong'o for "Us."

Last year, three of the four acting Oscars went to non-white performers.

Voting for Oscar nominees ended last Tuesday, two days after the Golden Globes.

But Taron Egerton's Globe-winning turn as Elton John in "Rocketman" was not enough to earn an Oscar nomination in an outrageously competitive best actor field.

Renee Zellweger, who has swept the best actress nominations so far during this awards season, headed the best actress Oscar shortlist thanks to her acclaimed turn as showbiz legend Judy Garland in "Judy."

Some 9,000 Academy members vote for the Oscars.

In the nominations round of voting, members were asked to rank their top choices only for best picture, and for the categories corresponding with the specific Academy branch to which they belong.

Voting for winners -- in which members can vote in every category -- begins Jan 30, closing five days later.

The Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on Feb 9.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Transpeople and pansexuals also missed out.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The Greta Gerwig snub is truly baffling. At this point it's like they are actively trying to remain sexist when it comes to directors.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Meh, if the academy wanted it could alter the format for selecting nominees, add categories or increase the nomination pool. But they people would complain about the changes not being traditional. So, anyone want to take bets on what next year's Oscars complaint will be?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Joaquin Phoenix winning the best actor is a done deal.

Best director and best picture are up on the air though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For the love of dog, will the Academy finally give the phenomenal Joaquin Phoenix the Oscar he deserves? He was robbed of it in Walk the Line (he learned to play the guitar and did his own singing! He channeled Johnny Cash.)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This topic is endlessly grating. There is absolutely no need to equally distribute awards among any demographic. Every year will have a different make up of genders, races, and sexualities. Sometimes it will result in a nice, satisfying mix. Other years it will be weighted in one way or another. Deal with it. It's based on merit only.

That these types of "watchdog" articles and conversations are resurrected every year is horribly annoying.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I'd day best actor is a shoo-in. I don't really have a problem with that, his portrayal was at times, chilling, sympathetic, horrific and compelling.

It's just that the film itself was rather derivative, but then, aren't most films?

Transpeople and pansexuals also missed out.

Possibly, but given that you tend to indulge in trans-erasure, this makes your comment somewhat insincere.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are considered 'best picture' material?

No wonder the industry is in the dumps.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

as women and ethnic minorities were largely shut out once again.

So what, the Joker is a great film and deserves the nominations, so is The Irishman and 1917.

If women and minorities want to be nominated more they should pick the quality of their work and the nominations will follow.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

1917 gonna clean up, it looks amazing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This problem can be easily solved. Just stop nominating movies based on their quality and just say there has to be this many women films and this many ethnic minority films every single year. Problem solved.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Agreed, set quotas (black, asian, native aboriginal, transracial, male, female, transgender, under 12s, under 18s, 18-35, 45+, etc) or just have based on quality...preferably from panel made up of average joes who watch these things. Slmetimes I feel the movies selected are the fashion designer catwalks that nobody wears while the stuff people actually wear gets ignored.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Joaquin Phoenix should, ve won two Oscars already, but finally, this is his year. Joker is an incredible/special movie and completely deserves to be the leader of the nominations, with 11(!). Best Picture and Best Director is debatable, since there,s some strong contenders, but as for Best Actor, i think we all know who deserves it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

as women and ethnic minorities were largely shut out once again.

as women and ethnic minorities were largely unable to perform well enough to be nominated once again

Fixed it for ya.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Little Women

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (the second highest rated movie for 2019 on metacritic)

Atlantics (nominated for International Film, but not best film. Parasite seems to be nominated for both)


Queen & Slim

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

The Souvenir

The Farewell

are just some of the very good movies released with female directors released last year.

If my quick count is right, 4 of the top 10 best reviewed movies for 2019 are by female directors.

So I'm not sure it's right to say that they didn't perform well enough.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


Takings per film Worldwide -

Joker - $1 billion Rating 8.6

The Irishman - $961 million Rating 8.1

1917 - $66 million in two weeks Rating 8.7

Little Women - $108 million Rating 8.3

Portrait of a Lady on Fire - $4.2 million in 6 weeks Rating 8.3

Atlantics - $369,000 Rating 6.4

Hustlers - $157 million Rating 6.4

Queen and Slim - $43 million Rating 7

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood - $60 million Rating 7.7

The Souvenir - $1.7 million Rating 6.5

The Farewell - $19 million Rating 7.7

The figures speak for themselves

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Last night showed my wife "Little Women". She loved it. We also watched "The Irishman" which was just ok. "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" was good. Joker sounds too violent for us.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Awkwafina won a Golden Globe Best Actress - and she's not even nominated in the Oscars

Asian women are a no-go for the Oscars too

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a dream !... that one day movies will be judged on the strength of their performances, and not the color or gender of their creators.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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