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Joker tops Oscar nominations with 11

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The nominations for Joker include best actor for Joaquin Phoenix (above) and best director for Todd Phillips.

Los Angeles

FILM writer Todd Phillips' much-debated supervillain origin story and R-rated box-office smash Joker topped all films with 11 Academy Awards nominations, while Martin Scorsese's elegiac crime epic The Irishman, Quentin Tarantino's 1960s Los Angeles fairy tale Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood and Sam Mendes' World War I tale 1917 all trailed close behind with 10 nods apiece.

Those four were among the nine films nominated for best picture, in nominations announced on Monday to the 92nd Academy Awards. The others were: Parasite, Little Women, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari. While Joker was expected to do well on Monday, the academy's overwhelming support for a movie that was far from a critical favourite was unexpected. The film's nominations included best actor for Joaquin Phoenix and best director for Phillips.

The results for The Irishman, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood and 1917 were nearly just as good.

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The 10 nominations for The Irishman tied the most for a Netflix film, following Roma last year. Scorsese (a one-time winner) was nominated for best director for the ninth time. The film also won nods for Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and its de-aging special effects.

1917 followed up its Golden Globes win and strong opening weekend at the box office with nominations not just for its technical achievement (including Mendes' directing and Roger Deakins' cinematography) but for best screenplay, too.

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood was also nominated in just about every category it was expected to, including Tarantino for directing and screenplay, best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and best supporting actor for Brad Pitt.

For the 87th time, the academy selected all-male directing nominees despite a year in which women made historic gains behind the camera. The most likely candidate was Greta Gerwig (Little Women), who was the last woman nominated, two years ago for Lady Bird.

There were some surprises. Awkwafina, who was poised to become just the second Asian American nominated for best actress (the first, 1936 nominee Merle Oberon, hid her South Asian heritage), wasn't nominated for her acclaimed leading performance in The Farewell. Also overlooked was Frozen 2, the highest grossing animated film ever; Beyonce, for her Lion King song; or the hit documentary Apollo 11.

Most glaringly, Jennifer Lopez, long considered a supporting actress front-runner for her performance in Hustlers, was also denied her first Oscar nomination.

Those oversights left the Oscars with their least diverse field since the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite pushed the film academy to diversify its membership.

The only actor of colour nominated was Cynthia Erivo, the British actress, for her Harriet Tubman in Harriet.

The other nominees for best actress are: Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story; Saoirse Ronan, Little Women; Charlize Theron, Bombshell; Renee Zellweger, Judy. The nominees for best actor are: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory; Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood; Adam Driver, Marriage Story; Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes; Joaquin Phoenix, Joker.

The nominees for best supporting actress are: Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell; Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit; Florence Pugh, Little Women; Margot Robbie, Bombshell. The nominees for best supporting actor are: 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.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on Feb 9 in Los Angeles at the Dolby Theatre. ABC will again broadcast the show, viewership for which last year rose 12 per cent to 29.6 million. AP