Monday, January 13, 2020

“JOKER,” “PARASITE” from S-KOREA Make Waves Among ACADEMY AWARDS Nominees

It has been said that there is a New Hollywood emerging that is in competition with the “Old” Hollywood. The latter of course refers to the traditional motion picture studios making productions that premiere in cinemas before home media. New Hollywood on the other hand stands for the big-budget movies that release primarily for online streaming such as Netflix. It was predicted that film awards will see the struggle between film and digital formats, and the nomination announcements for the upcoming Oscars have indeed proven prophetic. But even for Old Hollywood there has been a shift in award trends too.

According to The New York Times, the list of nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards is showing the bourgeoning contest between traditional and digital streaming platforms for major motion picture releases. One needs to look no further than the streaming giant itself, Netflix, which earned a total of 24 Oscar nominations for several of its exclusive original film content. Standout nominees for Netflix include Martin Scorsese’s crime epic “The Irishman,” starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and “Marriage Story” with Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. In response, Old Hollywood has the one film with the most nominations, but its title is one that fans are not expecting.

While Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” was the first major superhero film to get nods for Oscars (in last year’s Academy Awards no less), it was a surprise that Warner Bros. Pictures’ standalone DC movie about Batman super-villain “Joker” would become the most-nominated film for the 92nd edition. The villain-protagonist centered psychological thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix as Gotham City’s Clown Prince of Crime was nominated 11 times, including for Best Picture, Best Director (Todd Phillips) and Best Actor for Phoenix. This is indeed surprising and indicative of comic-book movies perhaps finally being considered serious Oscar business.

Other multiple-nominees for the 92nd Oscars include “The Irishman,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and Universal Pictures war drama “1917,” all with 10 nominations apiece. South Korean comedy thriller “Parasite” from director Bong Joon-ho has also been highly praised in its native country for garnering six Academy nominations. These include not only Best International Feature Film (formerly “Foreign-Language Film”) but also Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and even Best Picture, one in a field of nine competitors. About the only perceivable shortcomings in the nominee announcement is a palpable return of majority-male and majority-white trending of choices.

The next Oscars will be held on February 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, with no host on emcee duties but a succession of presenters instead, just like last year. The ceremony will as always be broadcast on ABC.

Image courtesy of The Wrap


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