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What's missing from this year's Oscar nominations

14 January 2020

"Greta Gerwig will be nominated for director, Lulu Wang for screenplay and Zhao Shuzhen, Song Kang-ho, Awkwafina, Lupita Nyong'o and Eddie Murphy will all get in for acting". Mary J. Blige did it in 2018 for "Mudbound" and Lady Gaga did it past year for "A Star Is Born".

Monday's Oscar nominations announcement came with a few surprises. Both are up for best actor, Banderas for "Pain and Glory" and Pryce for "The Two Popes".

Todd Phillips's "Joker", a bleak, arthouse take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix, was just ahead of three films. (And yet 2019's best movie by and about white dudes - Uncut Gems - received zero nominations.) Yes, Little Women and Bong Joon-ho's Parasite were next in line with six each - and thank god for that - but it still felt overwhelmingly like Oscars voters were not simply ignoring an opportunity to celebrate the burgeoning diversity of the industry they represent: they were full-on pushing back against it by showering the old guard with as much love as possible.

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"The Irishman" helped Netflix to 24 nominations - the first time it has ever topped the studio count.

"Parasite", from South Korea, is the sixth film to be nominated for best worldwide film - before this year known as best foreign language film - and for best picture in the same year. In the ceremony's 90 years of existence, the Academy has only nominated five female directors and awarded one: Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.

It's already in the history books as the first South Korean film to be nominated for either best picture or best worldwide film.

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Thomas Newman, nominated for best original score for his work on "1917", is part of an extended family film-scoring dynasty with almost 100 nominations between them. John Williams got his 52nd on Monday morning - 47 for music scoring and five for original song. Both fall short of Walt Disney, however, who had 59.

Meanwhile, Robert De Niro was the biggest star overlooked in the best actor category for "The Irishman", although Martin Scorsese's director nod makes him the living director with the most Oscar nominations, with nine.

There really is an Oscar season.

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Another controversy is brewing after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) failed to nominate any female directors.