Topline: Oscars nominations usually aren’t unveiled without creating some drama of their own, and this year’s surprises and snubs contain echoes of recent controversies, with watchers quickly pointing out that the nominations were mostly white and male—despite a diverse short list.
Joker leads the nominations with 11, while The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon A Time . . . In Hollywood each got 10.
Harriet actress Cynthia Erivo gets closer to obtaining EGOT status (winning each of all four of the most prestigious awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) after her nomination for Actress in a Leading Role.
Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite made history, becoming the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture. The film received six nominations in total.
Netflix documentary American Factory, the first release from the Obamas’ Higher Ground production company, received a nod in the Documentary (Feature) category.
Speaking of Netflix, the streaming company received 24 nominations, led by The Two Popes and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, as well as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. This is way up from the studio’s 15 nominations last year, and signals the firm’s increasing hold on Hollywood.
Matthew Cherry’s crowdfunded animated short Hair Love, starring Issa Rae, was also praised for its nomination.
Disappointed watchers criticized the Academy for overlooking Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in Jordan Peele’s Us, and Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers for the Actress in a Leading Role category. Awkwafina also missed out on a nomination for The Farewell.
Directors Greta Gerwig and Lulu Wang did not receive recognition for Little Women and The Farewell, respectively.
Beyoncé’s rousing anthem, ‘Spirit’, from the Lion King, was overlooked for the Original Song category.
#OscarsSoWhite, first tweeted in 2015 by April Reign, was revived on Monday amid the lack of diversity among the nominations—19 out of 20 acting nominees are white.
The hashtag, first tweeted in 2015 by April Reign, went viral in 2016 and defined that year’s Academy Awards ceremony as all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting categories were white.
Chief critics: Tyler Perry was “upset” about the nominations, notably that Lopez didn’t make the cut. He told TMZ: “J Lo didn’t get nominated? Are you kidding me? And Awkwafina didn’t get nominated? She should have got nominated.”
Critics were abuzz on Twitter too.
Key background: Academy executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs has previously pledged to double membership among women and minorities in response to controversy in past years. Signs of improvement emerged in 2019, which marked a historic year of wins for women and minorities. But this year’s lack of recognition for performances deemed commendable by critics and commentators threatens to once again overshadow this year’s ceremony, long before the red carpet is rolled out on February 9, 2020.
Tangent: For the second year in a row, Oscars 2020 will not have a host. The move was inadvertently premiered last year after Kevin Hart stepped down when homophobic comments he made in the past resurfaced. Last year's decision injected some much-needed ratings magic, with more people tuning into the ceremony than in previous years.
What to watch for: You may recall that Uncut Gems star Adam Sandler previously threatened to make a film “so bad on purpose” if he was not nominated. That threat may well materialize, as the Safdie Brothers film was overlooked in Monday’s list.
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