Following a year in which “Avengers: Endgame” became the biggest money-maker in movie history, it was another comic book-inspired movie that shot to the top of the Academy Award nominations announced Monday.
“Joker,” a dark, R-rated origins story of one of Batman’s biggest foes, received 11 nominations, with nods for the performance of its star, Joaquin Phoenix, as well as for director Todd Phillips, who moved from comedies like “The Hangover” into drama with this movie.
Three films followed immediately behind with 10 nominations at the 92nd annual Oscars — “The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s return to mob movies; “Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s fable about 1960s Hollywood and Los Angeles; and “1917,” the World War I drama that took home top prizes at the recent Golden Globe Awards.
Following is a list of nominees in several leading categories, but first, a look at Tulsans who came closest to receiving Oscar nominations and at some of the biggest snubs and surprises.
Locals could have been contenders
By all accounts from film industry journalists who cover awards season, Micah Fitzerman-Blue — the Tulsan who co-wrote a new “Mister Rogers” movie starring Tom Hanks — just missed out on being nominated for his first Academy Award on Monday.
The nomination would have come in the adapted screenplay category, in which the Holland Hall graduate was nominated recently by the Writers Guild Association, along with those for “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker” and “Little Women.”
Those four films repeated with adapted screenplay Oscar nods Monday, but Fitzerman-Blue saw his exceptional film replaced in the category by Netflix’s “The Two Popes.”
There were also a couple of Tulsans who figured into the acting races:
• Alfre Woodard: for “Clemency,” playing a prison warden burdened by her years of supervising executions, the Bishop Kelley alum won rave reviews and was seen as having finished somewhere in the No. 6-10 spot when voters decided the five nominees in the best actress category.
• Mary Kay Place: as a guilt-ridden woman helping others to redeem herself in “Diane,” the Tulsa native has already won the best actress prizes from the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics, but she won no love from the Academy.
• What does the Academy have against Jennifer Lopez? I’ve thought this ever since her amazing performance in 1998’s “Out of Sight” was overlooked. This year, as a stripper with a get-rich scheme in “Hustlers,” she owned the movie in a way that not only should have made her a nominee in the best supporting actress category, but she should be the winner.
• When I think of Julianne Moore in her Oscar-winning role in “Still Alice,” I know she was very good but it’s not one of her top 10 performances. Her role in last year’s “Gloria Bell” is, and if you’re a fan, you shouldn’t miss it.
• Staying in the best actress category, it’s also a disappointment that Awkwafina didn’t make the cut for showing her dramatic range in “The Farewell,” but it’s absolutely criminal that Lupita Nyong’o’s unforgettable double-turn in “Us” isn’t on the list.
• The World War I movie “1917” was made to look like it was filmed in one continuous tracking shot, and it’s an exceptional technical achievement because, of course, it wasn’t. But the movie wasn’t nominated in the category of film editing. Is that because voters couldn’t see where it was edited? A real shame.
• The best supporting actor category is stuffed with deserving nominees, but in the category of supporting film performances you didn’t see in 2019 but should, make time in the future for Sterling K. Brown in “Waves” and Shia LaBeouf in “Honey Boy.”
• Surprises to some, but not here: The “Frozen” sequel didn’t make the cut in best animated film; “Apollo 11” wasn’t nominated, but the documentary branch is as much a wild card as the Joker is; and diversity is again lacking among the acting categories, with deserving nominees left on the sidelines.
The following are nominees at the 92nd annual Academy Awards (set for Feb. 9) in several leading categories:
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; “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 Your Dragon: The Hidden World”; “Toy Story 4”; “I Lost My Body”; “Klaus”; “Missing Link”