Published: Tue, January 14, 2020

Academy Awards 2020: Margot Robbie leads Australian Oscars nominations

In an industry criticized for its lack of diversity, the Oscars picked only one non-white acting nominee - British star Cynthia Erivo, who plays U.S. anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman in "Harriet". They really do deserve more recognition. But... The 50-year-old Hustlers star made an appearance at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards on January 12 to accept the prize for best supporting actress, and her darling Elie Saab gown certainly made an impression.

In announcing the nominees for best director, actress Issa Rae said with a deadpan expression: "Congratulations to those men".

In the 90-year history of the Oscars, only five female directors have gotten a nomination in the category, with Gerwig preceded by Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.

In the past 10 years, the only woman nominated was Greta Gerwig in 2017 for Lady Bird.

Little Women is the only film directed by a woman among the best picture contenders.

The pre-dawn Academy Award announcement capped months of ceaseless campaigning by A-listers and studios, revealing which stars and movies have a shot at Hollywood's ultimate prize next month. Director Bong Joon Ho also received a nod for best director. You know we're probably going to watch the February 9th ceremony anyway - but if the night doesn't end with the words "and the Oscar for best picture goes to.Parasite", you can be certain our knives will be out. "I think best Oscar, people thought this was not possible in our lifetime".

Don't believe me? Watch 1976's "Taxi Driver" and last year's "Joker" in tandem.

In the "Best Picture" category, New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi's comedy-drama Jojo Rabbit, featuring Rebel Wilson, was nominated, as was Little Women, which stars Australian actress Eliza Scanlen. The grand total of nominations for all of those films combined?

Considering Joker was far from a critical favourite and divided audiences with its portrayal of an isolated loner, the Academy's overwhelming support for the film was unexpected. "Explore what we're seeing and feeling in society, from the lack of empathy to the effects of the absence of love". The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon a Time... Had Awkwafina been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, she would have been only the second woman of Asian descent after Indian-born Merle Oberon to have been acknowledged by the Academy.

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