‘Joker,’ ‘The Irishman,’ ‘1917’ among top Oscar nominees

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Powered by Joaquin Phoenix’s gritty performance, “Joker” earned a leading 11 nominations today for the 92nd Academy Awards, while the mob saga “The Irishman,” the World War I drama “1917” and the Manson-era tale “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” each collected 10 nods.

All four films scored nominations in the best picture category, along with the high-octane thriller “Ford v Ferrari,” the World War II satire “Jojo Rabbit,” the big-screen adaptation of “Little Women,” the divorce drama “Marriage Story” and the South Korean noir thriller “Parasite.”

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “1917” have already collected Golden Globe awards — for best musical/comedy and best drama film, respectively. Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” won a Critics Choice Award Sunday night for best picture.

Joaquin Phoenix is the clear front-runner in the best actor category for his haunting portrayal of the title comic-book villain in “Joker,” a role that has already earned him Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards for best drama film actor. Adam Driver was nominated for his role as the divorcing husband in “Marriage Story,” as was Leonardo DiCaprio for his portrayal of a once-big-name actor in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Antonio Banderas for “Pain and Glory” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Robert De Niro, while earning accolades for his work in “The Irishman,” was repeatedly passed over for major awards nominations in the early stages of Hollywood’s awards season, and that trend continued Monday.

Phoenix is a four-time Oscar nominee, but he has never won. The only previous winner in the category is DiCaprio, who won best actor for “The Revenant.”

Renee Zellweger appears to be the person to beat in the best-actress category, thanks to her acclaimed portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy.” Scarlett Johansson was nominated for her work opposite Driver in “Marriage Story,” while Charlize Theron earned a nod for her role as Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” Cynthia Erivo scored a nomination for “Harriet” and Saoirse Ronan rounded out the category for her work in “Little Women.”

Theron is a previous best-actress winner for “Monster,” while Zellweger won a supporting-actress prize for “Cold Mountain.”

Brad Pitt leads the list of supporting-actor nominees for his work in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” having already won Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards. Also nominated were “The Irishman’s” powerhouse pairing of Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, Tom Hanks for his role as Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and Anthony Hopkins for “The Two Popes.”

Johansson is a double-acting nominee, earning a supporting-actress nod for her work in “Jojo Rabbit.” Laura Dern, who has already won Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, is nominated for her supporting work in “Marriage Story,” along with Margot Robbie for “Bombshell,” Florence Pugh for “Little Women” and Kathy Bates for “Richard Jewell.”

Notably absent from the supporting-actress list was Jennifer Lopez, who earned major buzz for her work in “Hustlers.”

Martin Scorsese added another best-director Oscar nomination to his resume for “The Irishman.” Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes also earned a nod for “1917,” as did Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite,” Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and Todd Phillips for “Joker.”

Greta Gerwig was left off the best-director list, leading to an all- male list of directing nominees. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences noted, however, that a record 62 women earned Oscar nominations, representing almost one-third of the overall nominees.

The nomination for Scorsese is the ninth of his career, making him the most-nominated living director. The only director to earn more nominations is William Wyler, who had 12.

In addition to his directing nomination for “Joker,” Phillips also earned a nomination for penning the adapted screenplay for the film, a nomination shared with Scott Silver. Other nominations went to Steven Zaillan for “The Irishman,” Taika Waititi for “Jojo Rabbit,” Gerwig for “Little Women” and Anthony McCarten for “The Two Popes.”

Tarantino earned a nomination for best original screenplay for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” while Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won were nominated for “Parasite.” Other nods went to Rian Johnson for “Knives Out,” Noah Baumbach for “Marriage Story” and Sam Mendes and Kyrsty Wilson-Cairns for “1917.”

Composer John Williams earned an original score nomination for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” padding his own record for nominations in the category, now at 47. He has 52 overall nominations in his career, the most of any living person and second only to Walt Disney’s 59.

The Elton John biopic “Rocketman” was largely shut out, earning just one nod — for Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s original song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”

Actors John Cho and Issa Rae read off the nominees in Oscar’s 24 categories during a live broadcast from the under-construction Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The Academy Awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 9 — the earliest it has ever been held. ABC recently announced that the Dolby Theatre ceremony will again be held without a host, relying instead on musical performances and comedy routines to keep the show moving.

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