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‘Joker’ leads Oscar nods with 11 as women, minorities miss out

‘Joker’ leads Oscar nods with 11 as women, minorities miss out

AFP
Los Angeles
Dark comic book tale ‘Joker’ topped the Oscar nominations on Monday, picking up 11 nods including best picture and best director, as women and ethnic minorities were largely shut out once again.
The pre-dawn Academy Award announcement capped months of ceaseless campaigning by A-listers and studios, revealing which stars and movies have a shot at Hollywood’s ultimate prize next month.
Todd Phillips’s ‘Joker’, a bleak, arthouse take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix, was just ahead of three films.
Quentin Tarantino’s 1960s Tinseltown homage ‘Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood’, Sam Mendes’s World War I odyssey ‘1917’ and Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ each earned 10 nominations, including best picture and director.
South Korean class satire ‘Parasite’, from Bong Joon-ho, secured the final best director slot, meaning once again no women made the shortlist.
Much of the focus so far this award season has been on the lack of women and ethnic minority filmmakers honored.
Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed ‘Little Women’ adaptation has been notably absent in several award nominations announcements, although it was one of nine films nominated for the best picture Oscar.
“Unfortunately there are just five nominees” for best director in an “incredibly strong year,” one Academy voter who asked not to be named told AFP, pointing to the revered track records of the likes of Scorsese, Tarantino and Mendes.
In the history of the Oscars, only five women have ever been nominated for best director -- including Gerwig, for 2017’s ‘Lady Bird’.
‘Little Women’ acting nominee Florence Pugh told Variety she was “happy that everybody is upset” over Gerwig’s snub.
“Congratulations to those men,” actress and writer Issa Rae, co-host of the official Oscars nominations announcement, said pointedly as she presented the nominees.
‘Bombshell’, the female-led drama which depicts the sexual harassment scandal that ousted Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes, was a surprise absence from the best picture list.
In an industry criticised for its lack of diversity, the Oscars picked only one non-white acting nominee -- British star Cynthia Erivo, who plays US anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman in ‘Harriet’.