Hollywood woke up bright and early this morning to join Issa Rae and John Cho, who announced the nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards. As always, the list of those who made the cut and those who unfortunately did not spark immense debate among film fans and Oscar pundits alike, but nonetheless the nominations point to an exciting, competitive race as we approach the ceremony on Sunday, February 9.
Leading the way is Joker, which picked up 11 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. Not far behind were 1917, The Irishman, and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, each of which received 10 nominations.
Among the more exciting news from this morning is Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller, Parasite, snagged an impressive six nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and it made history by becoming the first South Korean film to earn an Oscar nomination. Joining Parasite with 6 noms are Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, and Marriage Story.
Of course, as with every nomination morning, a series of glaring snubs became apparent. One of the most shocking of those being Jennifer Lopez, who has not only received critical praise for her portrayal of Ramona in Hustlers but who also snagged a nomination at nearly every major awards show leading up to the Oscars.
Golden Globe winner Taron Egerton was also among the more talked about snubs for his star turn as Elton John. And while Rocketman picked up a nom Original Song, the fantastical musical (and a personal favorite of mine) unfortunately did not show as strong as Bohemian Rhapsody did last year.
A24’s excellent The Farewell was also shut out Monday morning, as neither Awkwafina nor writer/director Lulu Wang received nominations.
Some of the aforementioned omissions, plus a handful of other hopefuls, adds to the growing concern that deserving diverse talent is not earning the recognition they deserve, despite the Academy’s initiatives to become more inclusive. And while there are hints at improvement, like both Regina King and Mahershala Ali winning acting awards last year and Greta Gerwig is nominated for Best Director for Lady Bird two years ago, this year’s nominations prove that there is still a great deal of room for improvement.
On a more positive note, however, are some of the exciting surprises and first-time nominees. One of the biggest standouts is Rian Johnson, whose spin on the whodunnit genre, Knives Out, earned him a nomination for Original Screenplay. Also among the first-timers is Florence Pugh, who had an incredible year with Fighting with my Family and Midsommar, which was capped off by her now Oscar-nominated role as Amy in Little Women.
A few longtime respected talents also received their first nominations this year, including Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Pryce for his turn as Pope Francis in The Two Popes, and Scarlett Johansson, who received two acting nominations for Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit.
This is just the beginning of the final leg of awards season, and while the clock is winding down, there will be a whole lot more to dig into in the coming weeks. Does the lack of an editing nomination spell doom for Once Upon a Time’s Best Picture chances? Can Parasite ride the wave of momentum to some big wins? Will the upcoming guilds sway the final vote? Keep an eye on this website for more in-depth looks at the Oscar race.
The full list of nominees can be found here.