Monday, Jan. 13 saw the announcement of the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards. The announcement comes a week earlier than it normally would. This is to accommodate the fact that the televised ceremony is airing nearly three weeks earlier than it normally does. So instead of airing on the last Sunday in February, the program will air on the second weekend of February. The Oscars, as they’re known, will occur the weekend after Super Bowl LIV. Some wonder what effect the swifter schedule will have on the awards. As for the nominations, the lists come with some expectations being met, as well as some notable snubs.
The controversial Joker (2019), which made headlines in advance of its release over possible violence that might erupt at theaters, ended up with the most nominations at 11, including Best Picture, Best Director for Todd Phillips, Best Actor, Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Best Music. It’s also the highest-grossing film of all the nominees for Best Picture. It’s made $334 million domestically and $1.06 billion worldwide. It’s also the second film based on a comic book character to be nominated for Best Picture. It follows Black Panther (2018), which was nominated last year but made $700 million domestically and $1.34 billion worldwide. Joaquin Phoenix plays the titular character, making him the second person to be nominated for that particular role. He follows Heath Ledger, who won the Oscar for playing the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008).
Robert De Niro didn’t get an acting nomination this year, but he is featured in two films that got a bunch of nods. The first is Joker. The second is The Irishman (2019), which got 10 nominations. De Niro helped to produce the gangster flick. It will be the seventh time a film starring De Niro will be up for Best Picture. Most of those nominations were for films directed by Martin Scorsese, who also directed The Irishman. This is Scorsese’s ninth nomination for directing. This will also be the ninth time that a film that he’s directed has been nominated for Best Picture.
During his Golden Globes speech, Sam Mendes paid homage to Scorsese. Mendes beat Scorsese for Best Director at the Globes. Mendes is also nominated opposite Scorsese here for his World War I film, 1917, which is also nominated for 10 Oscars. Quentin Tarantino also won at the Golden Globes and his film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood equally is running with 10 nominations here.
Filling out the Best Director list is Bong Joon Ho, who created the South Korean thriller Parasite. Bong’s film is the first film from South Korea to be nominated in the category of Best International Feature, formerly Best Foreign Language Film. It also joins a small list of films not in English to be nominated for Best Picture. Last year, Roma (2018) did the same, but Roma got more nominations. Parasite only achieved six nominations. What sunk it a little is that there are no acting nominations, of which Roma got two.
A good chunk of the acting nominations came from a couple of the other films up for Best Picture, including Little Women and Marriage Story, both of which got six nominations. Interestingly, both those films were directed by filmmakers who are currently dating each other. Greta Gerwig directed Little Women and Noah Baumbach directed Marriage Story. Gerwig and Baumbach have reportedly been partners since 2011. Both are nominated this year in the writing categories. It was hoped that Gerwig would get nominated in the Best Director category. She was the most expected female director to do so. Since she didn’t, it means that again no female directors are nominated this year. Her film Little Women is one of several remakes of the Louisa May Alcott book. The 1933 version was also nominated for Best Picture.
Speaking of snubs, Jennifer Lopez was denied her first Oscar nomination, which many thought she could get for her role in Hustlers (2019). Frozen II, the sequel to the hit Disney film, was also denied in the Best Animated Feature category. It’s up for Best Song, but not being recognized for Best Animated Feature is probably a sign that the song won’t win. Frozen II did make $1.37 billion worldwide, so if it’s feeling left out in the cold, there’s a ton of cash that can keep it warm.
Music composer, John Williams received his 52nd Oscar nomination for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. He maintains his record of living person with the most Oscar nominations. The late Walt Disney still holds the record for most nominations with 59. Cinematographer, Roger Deakins received his 15th Oscar nomination for 1917. Deakins is the front-runner to win in his category. Netflix is the movie company with the most nominations this year with 24 total.
There’s also some interesting double-nominees. Scarlett Johansson (pictured above) was nominated for the first time today and she was nominated twice for two, different films. She’s up for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Marriage Story. She’s also up for Best Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit, which got a total of six nominations, including Best Picture. She’s the 12th actor to achieve that status. She’s the ninth actress to do so. The last actress to achieve that was Cate Blanchett at the 80th Academy Awards and the last actor was Jamie Foxx at the 77th Academy Awards.
Cynthia Erivo is also a double-nominee this year. She’s nominated for Best Actress for Harriet (2019), the biopic about abolitionist and union soldier, Harriet Tubman. Erivo is also nominated for Best Song, given that she wrote and performed the track “Stand Up,” which bookends that film. She follows women like Lady Gaga and Mary J. Blige, who were double-nominees for acting and song-writing in their respective years. Erivo is the sole black actor who will be in attendance. She’s not the only person of color who will be at the ceremony though.
Taika Waititi who is a double-nominee along with Scorsese and Baumbach. Waititi is from New Zealand and he’s of Polynesian descent. Bong Joon Ho is Korean and he will be in attendance. Matthew A. Cherry, the up-and-coming black filmmaker who directed the short animated film, Hair Love (2019) will also be in attendance. One could also make the argument for Antonio Banderas who is Spanish and scored his first Oscar nomination for Pain & Glory, the film by iconic director Pedro Almodóvar.
There are triple-nominees. Phillips, Mendes, Tarantino and Bong are all nominated for writing, directing and producing their respective films. All four will be expected to take an award home that night. Here is the full list of all 24 categories.
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Animated Feature
Best International Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Visual Effects
Best Film Editing
Best Music, Original Song
Best Music, Original Score
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Live Action Short
Nefta Football Club
The Neighbors’ Window
Best Animated Short
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
For a list of my favorite films of 2019, check out my personal blog.
The 92nd Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, February 9.