This year's Oscar nominations have arrived, and Joker-the box office smash and unlikely comic book adaptation-was a somewhat unexpected leader of the pack, with 11 nominations total. It was followed close behind by 1917, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, and The Irishman, with 10 nominations apiece; all four are best-picture nominees alongside five other titles, making it a fairly robust field of nine.
The nomination announcement from John Cho and Issa Rae kicked off with two surprises in the best-supporting-actress category: Florence Pugh in Little Women and Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell. Nowhere to be found? Jennifer Lopez, whose revelatory performance in Hustlers generated Oscar buzz back in September, but couldn't keep it going through the rest of the competitive awards season. Laura Dern, meanwhile, earned a nod in this category, continuing her march as the front-runner in this race.
In the best-supporting-actor race, the category was stacked with legends, including both Al Pacino and Joe Pesci for The Irishman, Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes. Brad Pitt also made the cut, taking the next step toward winning his first acting Oscar, if all the predictions are right thus far.
In the best-actor category, there were no surprises, with Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jonathan Pryce making up the category. As it stands, it's still a race between Driver and Phoenix, though, thanks to his Golden Globe bump, Phoenix seems poised to take the win for his eerie turn as the titular villain in Joker.
In the best-actress category, expected nominees like Charlize Theron and Renée Zellweger picked up nods, while surprise nominee Cynthia Erivo made the cut thanks to her dynamic, rigorous performance in Harriet. She's the sole black woman to be nominated in this category and the sole person of color to be nominated out of the entire 20-person batch of acting nominees. Potential contenders who were blocked from acting nods this year? Awkwafina (The Farewell) and Lupita Nyong'o (Us), whose respective films were all but shut out of this year's nominations.
As (sadly) expected, the best-director category was an all-male lineup, featuring predicted front-runners like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, plus Bong Joon-ho. Rae was quick to note the gender disparity: "Congratulations to those men," she said pointedly, echoing Natalie Portman's remark at the 2018 Golden Globes.
There were major nomination hauls overall for Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood as well as The Irishman and 1917, three critically lauded films with significant nominations from the awards groups that come before the Oscars (the Golden Globes, the Directors Guild, etc.) as well as complicated technical achievements that led to a lot of nominations in below-the-line categories like production design, editing, and visual effects.
Right in the conversation with them was Parasite, the critical favorite and Palme d'Or winner that made history as the first South Korean film ever nominated in the best-international-feature category, as well as for best picture. Joon-ho's film cleaned up on Oscar nomination morning, picking up additional nods for best original screenplay, best production design, and more. Also in the best-picture lineup? Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Ford v Ferrari,* and Marriage Story, all trucking along in the race.