A by-the-numbers look at a year of Oscar diversity, firsts
10 — Nominations for “Mank," the most of any film this year, with nods for best picture, best director for Fincher, best actor for Gary Oldman and best supporting actress for Seyfried. In the best supporting actor category, Heath Ledger and Ralph Richardson were nominated, with Ledger winning for “The Dark Knight” in 2009. 5 — African nations that have received nominations for best international feature, now that Tunisia has its first nominee, “The Man Who Sold His Skin." 4 — Nominations received by “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao, a record for a woman in a record year for women. 1 — Man nominated for both best actor and best original song.
Chadwick Boseman is posthumously nominated for an Oscar
This image released by Netflix shows Michael Potts, from left, Chadwick Boseman and Colman Domingo in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." (David Lee/Netflix via AP)NEW YORK – Half a year after his death, Chadwick Boseman was posthumously nominated for an Academy Award on Monday for his final performance in “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.”The nomination for best actor was widely expected but still historic. Boseman is the first Black performer ever nominated posthumously for an Oscar. He was nominated alongside Steven Yeun ("Minari"), Riz Ahmed ("Sound of Metal"), Anthony Hopkins ("The Father") and Gary Oldman ("Mank"). Three months later, the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” was released by Netflix.
'Joker' toes fine line in portraying the making of a monster
There is a constituency eager to blame Hollywood for contributing to societal ills that includes plenty of dishonest brokers. (At the risk of stating the obvious, this R-rated film is not for children, although a parade of related Halloween costumes seems sadly inevitable.) Ultimately, "Joker" is about the making of a monster, told in a manner that seeks to evoke empathy without rooting for him -- a fine line, underscoring a level of ambition beyond what's usually associated with comic-book-adjacent fare. Phoenix's live-wire work alone makes "Joker" an intriguing film, if one that has been conspicuously overpraised amid the irrational exuberance of film festivals. "Joker" premieres Oct. 4 in the US and is rated R. The film is being released by Warner Bros., like CNN, a unit of WarnerMedia.