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Oscars 2020: Joker leads nominations with 11 in total


Story by Jack Foley

TODD Phillips’ Joker leads the nominations for this year’s Oscars with 11 nods in total.

The divisive comic book villain origin story is up for best picture, best director (for Phillips) and best actor for Joaquin Phoenix, plus eight other awards. Its closest rivals are Martin Scorsese’s mob drama The Irishman, Sam Mendes’ World War I epic 1917 and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, with 10 apiece.

Joker‘s 11 nominations equals its tally at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), which were announced last week. Further nods came for best adapted screenplay and best original score and cinematography.

In the main category of best picture, Joker is shortlisted against main contenders The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, as well as Ford vs Ferrari (released in the UK as Le Mans 66), Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story and South Korean film Parasite.

Joker leading man Joaquin Phoenix, meanwhile, is shortlisted in the best actor category alongside Marriage Story‘s Adam Driver, Once Upon a Time‘s Leonardo DiCaprio, Pain and Glory‘s Antonio Banderas and The Two Popes‘ Jonathan Pryce.

In the best actress category, Britain’s Cynthia Erivo is shortlisted for Harriet, the true story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman. But she faces tough competition from current awards darling Renee Zellweger, who is nominated for Judy in the same category, as well as Little Women‘s Saoirse Ronan, Bombshell star Charlize Theron and Marriage Story‘s Scarlett Johansson.

Johansson is double nominated, having also found herself on the supporting actress shortlist for WWII satire Jojo Rabbit alongside her Marriage Story co-star Laura Dern (the hot favourite), Bombshell‘s Margot Robbie, Britain’s Florence Pugh (for Little Women) and Kathy Bates, who landed for her fourth Oscar nomination for Clint Eastwood film Richard Jewell.

In the best supporting actor category, Brad Pitt will go into the ceremony as the favourite, for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, but also faces stiff competition from both The Irishman‘s Al Pacino and Joe Pesci as well as Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hanks, who are recognised for The Two Popes and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Britain’s Sam Mendes is on the best director shortlist for 1917 alongside The Irishman‘s Martin Scorsese, Joker‘s Todd Phillips, Parasite‘s Bong Joon-ho and Once Upon A Time‘s Quentin Tarantino. But there was consternation among many for the absence of Little Women filmmaker Greta Gerwig, who has now been snubbed by most of the major awards bodies despite winning rave reviews for her film.

Gerwig is nominated for best adapted screenplay but this comes as scant consolation for those who have championed the film and the possibility of seeing Gerwig added to the list of women who have been nominated in that category. Only five women have ever been shortlisted for the best director Oscar and only one – The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow – has ever won.

In other notable categories, Netflix landed two nominations in the best animated film category, where its films I Lost My Body and Klaus are up against surprise Golden Globe winner Missing Link, Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and the third How to Train Your Dragon film, The Hidden World.

That meant there was no room for Frozen 2, whose only nomination comes in the best song category for Into The Unknown.

In the international feature film category (formerly known as best foreign film), best picture nominees Parasite and Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory are shortlisted alongside Poland’s Corpus Christi, North Macedonia’s Honeyland and France’s Les Miserables.

Also of note is the fact that veteran composer John Williams earned his 52nd nomination for his score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The 87-year-old composer already holds the record for the most Oscar nominations ever received by a living individual.

Also up for best original score are Joker‘s female composer Hildur Gudnadottir, Little Women‘s Alexandre Desplat and a pair of Newmans – Randy and Thomas – for Marriage Story and 1917 respectively.

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 9, 2020.

This year’s ceremony, like last year’s, will not have an overall host, with a variety of celebrity guests instead introducing each category.

View the nominees in full