92nd Academy Awards Nominations: Quick Reactions

This year’s Academy Awards ceremony (airing on February 9, 2020) will offer up quite a few surprises, I’m sure. Yet with the nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have already served us up a few shocks. On one hand, many of the 92nd Academy Awards Nominations nominations were entirely foreseeable, following tried and true predictable landmarks of other nominations. On the other hand, however, a few notable snubs punctuate this list, highlighting a distinct lack of diversity or recognition for the broader range of filmmaking talent this year.

Joker surprised me (though likely not many others) by garnering 11 nominations, while The Irishman, 1917and Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood got 10 nominations each. Lagging far behind in numbers were JoJo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Storyand Parasite with 6 nominations apiece.

Here, I’ll list out the 92nd Academy Awards nominations and some quick reactions to many of them – not all. A deeper analysis and set of predictions will come as the awards show date nears.

Tyler Howat's Top 10 Films of 2019

Best Picture

  • Ford v. Ferrari
  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Marriage Story
  • 1917
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Parasite

Really, there are very few surprises here. I worried that Parasite wouldn’t get a nomination, and I hoped that Knives Out might scrape one, but other than that, this seems like a respectable list. I still think that Ford v. Ferrari, while a respectable, well-made, fun film, is nowhere near Best Picture worthy for me.

Best Director

  • Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
  • Sam Mendes, 1917
  • Todd Phillips, Joker
  • Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
  • Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Here we go – this is a bit of a rough category. Now, each of these films is well-directed, of course, and I’m not one for inclusion without merit. However, my top ten of the year had four films directed by women – three of those landed in my top five. One of which was my top film of the year (Little Women). And none of the nominees for Best Director were women? None?! While my thoughts on the controversial Joker are widely articulated, and while I respect its craft overall, no way does it deserve the praise it’s getting at this year’s Oscars, save Score and Actor. Greta Gerwig easily deserves a place amongst these men. Moreover, I think that (hot take a-coming here!) Martin Scorsese’s opus could give up its place to the exquisitely emotional Honey Boy by Alma Har’el – let alone Lulu Wang’s beautiful, devastating The Farewell. All this to say, I’m shocked (but should I be surprised?) that we’ve missed out on some fantastic films being recognized here.

Best Actor

  • Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Adam Driver, Marriage Story
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
  • Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

I’m more than a bit surprised that Song Hang-ho didn’t get any recognition as Kim Ki-Taek in Parasite, but I suppose it’s just too much to ask for The Academy to read the subtitles and watch the performances. The same will go for Best Supporting Actress. I know there are many Adam Sandler apologists for his transformative performance in Uncut Gems, but my money is on Eddie Murphy for Dolemite Is My Name as the more deserving comeback acting showcase this year.

Best Actress

  • Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
  • Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
  • Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
  • Charlize Theron, Bombshell
  • Renée Zellweger, Judy

I never thought I’d say this, but how in the world is Awkwafina not on this list? It’s clear that the Academy just avoided “that Asian movie” this year because Awkwafina’s performance in The Farewell is heartfelt and raw and ever-more deserving than Theron. Moreover, Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in Us or Florence Pugh’s in Midsommar is infinitely stronger than Theron’s or Erivo’s. I also love that Scarlett Johansson earned both Best Actress and Supporting Actress nominations this year!

Best Supporting Actor

  • Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
  • Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Joe Pesci, The Irishman
  • Al Pacino, The Irishman

While this award is Brad Pitt’s to lose, I’d love for Pesci to get it, or even Hanks to break his snub streak!

Best Supporting Actress

  • Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
  • Laura Dern, Marriage Story
  • Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
  • Florence Pugh, Little Women
  • Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Park So-Dam’s performance in Parasite is so dry and droll, while Thomasin McKenzie (though should she be up for Best Actress?) in JoJo Rabbit is just powerful in her quiet portrayal.

Adapted Screenplay

  • The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
  • Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi
  • Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
  • Just Mercy, Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham
  • Little Women, Greta Gerwig
  • The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay

  • Knives Out, Rian Johnson
  • Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach;
  • 1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
  • Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han

Original Score

  • Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
  • Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
  • Randy Newman, Marriage Story
  • Thomas Newman, 1917
  • John Williams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Lighthouse review: At atmospheric trip to absolute lunacy | RSC

Cinematography

  • Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
  • Lawrence Sher, Joker
  • Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
  • Roger Deakins, 1917
  • Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Honestly, I’m so happy that The Lighthouse earned a nomination here–it’s such a dark, strange little film that I hope the recognition it gets will bring it a wider audience.

Costume Design

  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Animated Short Film

  • Dcera (Daughter)”
  • “Hair Love”
  • “Kitbull”
  • “Memorable”
  • “Sister”

Visual Effects

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • The Irishman
  • The Lion King
  • 1917
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Live-action Short Film

  • “Brotherhood”
  • “Nefta Football Club”
  • “The Neighbors’ Window”
  • “Saria”
  • “A Sister”

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”

Documentary Feature

  • “American Factory”
  • “The Cave”
  • “The Edge of Democracy”
  • “For Sama”
  • “Honeyland”

Original Song

  • “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
  • “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough
  • “Into The Unknown,” Frozen II
  • “Stand Up,” Harriet
  • “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4

It’s a bit surprising that no love went Taylor Swift’s way for her Cats song, but the vitriol spewed forth about that film all but guaranteed no showing at this year’s Oscars.

International Film

  • Corpus Christi, Poland
  • Honeyland, North Macedonia
  • Les Miserables, France
  • Pain and Glory, Spain
  • Parasite, South Korea.

I know that my predictions will largely come in a later article, but seriously–how is Parasite not winning this one?

Film Editing

  • Ford Vs. Ferrari
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • The Irishman
  • Joker
  • Parasite

Production design

  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabit
  • 1917
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Parasite

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Bombshell
  • Joker
  • Judy
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • 1917

Sound Editing

  • Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester
  • Joker, Alan Robert Murray
  • 1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord

What nominations were you expecting? Any major snubs? Anyone you wish you’d seen or wish didn’t get nominations here? What about Joker sweeping so many nominations? Let us know!


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Tyler Howat

Tyler is a teacher, librarian and the Co-host of The Geek Card Check Podcast. He has been a Film Critic for Ready Steady Cut since 2018.

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