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‘Joker’ leads Oscar nominations with 11 nods

LOS ANGELES: Dark comic-book story “Joker” led nominations on Monday for the Oscars with eleven nods for  its terrifying portrayal of an isolated loner.

The comic-comic genre was turned upside down as the film covered all the major fields, including best picture, director Todd Phillips and Golden Globe-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix. The movie has taken in more than $1 billion at global box offices.

Phillips in a statement said he saw the film as “a character study to reflect the world around us. Explore what we’re seeing and feeling in society, from the lack of empathy to the effects of the absence of love.”

“Joker” will compete for the top prize with testosterone race car drama “Ford v Ferrari,” gangster movie “The Irishman,” Nazi-era satire “Jojo Rabbit,” divorce drama “Marriage Story,” World War One film “1917,” nostalgic showbux story “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and South Korean social satire “Parasite.”

Netflix received 24 nominations, including for biographical drama “The Two Popes” and documentary “American Factory,” one of the first collaborations with the production company of former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

Only “Little Women,” an adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel by an all-female production team, broke the mold with its best picture nod. Director Greta Gerwig was shut out of the directing race, but scored a nomination for adapted screenplay. Stars Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh were also nominated.

“Little Women” co-producer Amy Pascal said the movie “made history by being only the third movie ever to be nominated for best picture that’s written, directed and produced exclusively by women.”

However, a record 62 women got nominations , almost one-third of the field, said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose 8,000 members vote on the nominees and the winners. The Oscars will be awarded in Hollywood on Feb 9.

Only one of the 20 acting nominees was a person of colour, Cynthia Erivo for her lead role as anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman in “Harriet.” 

“1917,” which took home the Golden Globe for best movie drama last week, got 10 nods, including for British director Sam Mendes.

“Parasite,” a dark satire about the gap between rich and poor, became the first South Korean movie to be nominated in both the best picture and best international film categories. Director Bong Joon Ho also received a nod for best director.

Notable snubs included Robert De Niro, star of “The Irishman,” Jennifer Lopez for “Hustlers,” Eddie Murphy for comedy “Dolemite is My Name” and Disney’s animated blockbuster “Frozen 2.”

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