Breaking down this year’s Oscar nominees, snubs, trends, ironies

WTOP's Jason Fraley breaks down the Oscar nominees

Martin Scorsese laid the blueprint for “Joker” with “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy.”

Ironically, “Joker” now tops Scorsese’s “The Irishman” to lead with 11 Oscar nominations.

The two will compete for Best Picture against “Ford v. Ferrari,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Parasite,” “1917,” which won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama), and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Comedy).

Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) is the favorite for Best Actor against Antonio Banderas (“Pain & Glory”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) and Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”). Snubbed were Christian Bale, who was electrifying in “Ford v. Ferrari,” Eddie Murphy, who mounted a comeback in “Dolemite is My Name,” and Taron Egerton, who won a Golden Globe for “Rocketman.”

Cynthia Erivo is one of the few nominees of color for her role as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet,” competing for Best Actress against front runner Renee Zellweger (“Judy”), Scarlett Johannson (“Marriage Story”), Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) and Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”). Despite her history-making Golden Globe win, Awkwafina was somehow snubbed for “The Farewell,” which tragically didn’t receive a single nomination.

Laura Dern’s lawyer in “Marriage Story” is a lock for Supporting Actress, competing against Kathy Bates (“Richard Jewell”), Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”), Florence Pugh (“Little Women”) and Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”). Golden Globe nominees Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) and Annette Bening (“The Report”) were left on the outside looking in.

Brad Pitt’s aging stuntman in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is the favorite for Supporting Actor, competing against Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”), Al Pacino (“The Irishman”), Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”) and Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), who earned his first Oscar nomination since “Cast Away” (2000).

Best Director featured the daring work of Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), Todd Phillips (“Joker”), Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”) and Sam Mendes (“1917”), who won the Golden Globe for Best Director for his immersive World War I film shot to look like one long single take.

Still, the directing category was once again criticized for being a boy’s club, snubbing Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”), Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet”), Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Melina Matsoukas (“Queen & Slim) and Gurinder Chadha (“Blinded by the Light”).

However, Gerwig’s “Little Women” did at least earn a nomination for Adapted Screenplay, competing against Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”), Steve Zaillian (“The Irishman”), Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”) and Todd Phillips and Scott Silver (“Joker”).

Best Original Screenplay is a battle between Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”), Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”), Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (“1917”), Bong Joon-ho and Han Ji-won (“Parasite”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), who won Best Screenplay at the Golden Globes.

Best Animated Feature includes “Toy Story 4,” “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” “I Lost My Body,” “Klaus” and “Missing Link.” Left out was “Frozen 2,” although it’s up for Best Original Song for “Into the Unknown.” By the way, “Abominable” was robbed.

Thankfully, “The Lion King” was not nominated for Best Animated Feature as it was at the Globes. Instead, it’s competing for Best Visual Effects against the digital de-aging of “The Irishman,” the light-saber battles of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the battlefield explosions of “1917,” and the time-traveling thrills of “Avengers: Endgame,” which was the year’s top-grossing movie.

Find more in-depth analysis in my official Twitter thread here.

See all the full list of nominees below:

Best picture: “Ford v. Ferrari”; “The Irishman”; “Jojo Rabbit”; “Joker”; “Little Women”; “Marriage Story”; “1917”; Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”; “Parasite.”

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”

Best actress: Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”; Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”; Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”; Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”; Renée Zellweger, “Judy”

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”

Best supporting actress: Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”; Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”; Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”; Florence Pugh, “Little Women”; Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Best director: Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”; Sam Mendes, “1917”; Todd Phillips, “Joker”; Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”; Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Adapted screenplay: “The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian; “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi; “Joker,” Todd Phillips and 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 and Jin Won Han

Animated feature: “How to Train a Dragon: The Hidden World”; “Toy Story 4”; “I Lost My Body”; “Klaus”; “Missing Link”

Original Score: Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker”; Alexandre Desplat, “Little Women”; Randy Newman, “Marriage Story”; Thomas Newman, “1917”; John Williams, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Original song: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman” (Music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin); “I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough” (Music and lyrics by Diane Warren); “Into The Unknown,” “Frozen II” (Music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez); “Stand Up,” “Harriet” (Music and lyrics by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo); “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4” (Music and lyrics by Randy Newman)

Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto, “The Irishman”; Lawrence Sher, “Joker”; Jarin Blaschke, “The Lighthouse”; Roger Deakins, “1917”; Robert Richardson, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.”

Costume design: “The Irishman”; “Jojo Rabit”; “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”

International film: “Corpus Christi,” Poland; “Honeyland,” North Macdeonia; “Les Miserables,” France; “Pain and Glory,” Spain; “Parasite,” South Korea

Film editing: “Ford Vs. Ferrari”; “Jojo Rabbit”; “The Irishman”; “Joker”; “Parasite”

Production design: “The Irishman”; “Jojo Rabbit:’ “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 and Rachel Tate; “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” Wylie Stateman; “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Matthew Wood and David Acord

Sound mixing: “Ad Astra,” Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano; “Ford v Ferrari,” Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow; “Joker,” Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland; “1917,” Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson; “Once upon a Time…in Hollywood” Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano

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