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Oscar nominations shortlists in nine categories boost hopefuls from ‘Parasite’ to ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Parasite
A scene from Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite”
(Neon)

Bringing at least some degree of clarity to an Oscar season that has thus far been fairly unpredictable, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday announced the shortlists of potential nominees in nine categories, including international feature (formerly foreign-language film), original song and documentary.

This is the second time the academy has simultaneously announced these lists, which are determined either by the specific branches involved or by special awards committees. They may be light on obvious snubs or surprises but, particularly given the compressed timetable this year, the shortlists will no doubt be scrutinized by Oscar prognosticators for clues of which way academy voters may be leaning.

Out of 149 films submitted in the documentary feature category, 15 will advance to the final round of voting, including a number of movies tackling politically charged topics such as “American Factory,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “The Great Hack” and “Knock Down the House” — all four of which, as it happened, were released by Netflix.

In years past, the documentary category has not infrequently generated controversy over films that were snubbed, including such recent examples as the Roger Ebert documentary “Life Itself” and the Jane Goodall doc “Jane.” This year, some music fans may be disappointed to see that while “The Apollo,” about Harlem’s Apollo theater made the cut, a number of other recent documentaries on such legendary artist as Bob Dylan (“Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese”), Luciano Pavarotti (“Pavarotti”), David Crosby (“Remember My Name”), Linda Ronstadt (“The Sound of My Voice”) and Bruce Springsteen (“Western Stars”) did not. Lauren Greenfield’s critically acclaimed Imelda Marcos documentary “The Kingmaker” also failed to make the shortlist.

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Out of 91 movies considered in the international feature film category, 10 made the shortlist, including “Parasite” (South Korea), “Atlantics” (Senegal), “Pain and Glory” (Spain), “The Painted Bird” (Czech Republic) and “Les Misérables” (France).

Of those, Bong Joon Ho’s dark, genre-scrambling class satire “Parasite” and Pedro Almodóvar’s bittersweet, semi-autobiographical “Pain and Glory” are considered to have the strongest Oscar chances outside the international film category. Among other prospects for the films, “Parasite” is trying to follow the path of last year’s “Roma” into the best picture category, which would be a first for a South Korean movie, while Antonio Banderas is considered a contender in the lead actor category for his performance as an aging filmmaker in “Pain and Glory.”

Among the highest profile films that failed to make the cut are Amazon’s “Invisible Life” (Brazil), Neon’s “Monos” (Colombia), Sony Classics’ “The Traitor” (Italy), Cohen Media Group’s “Tel Aviv on Fire” (Luxembourg) and Kino Lorber’s “The Chambermaid” (Mexico). (Another of the year’s most popular international contenders, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” already missed the cut when France submitted “Les Misérables” as its official entry instead.)

Members of the academy’s music branch advanced 15 songs to the final round of voting out of 75 that were eligible, including two songs by Elton John (“Never Too Late” from “The Lion King” and "(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the biopic “Rocketman”). The Taylor Swift-Andrew Lloyd Webber collaboration “Beautiful Ghosts” from the forthcoming adaptation of the musical “Cats,” however, failed to move forward. It received a Golden Globe nomination this month.

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In the visual effects category, the year’s biggest blockbuster to date, “Avengers: Endgame,” will go up against a field that includes, among other films, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Captain Marvel,” “1917,” “Gemini Man” and “Cats.” While Martin Scorsese’s mob epic “The Irishman” scored a VFX nod for its de-aging of actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, the film failed to make the cut in the makeup and hairstyling category.

Oscar nominations voting will open Jan. 2 and close Jan. 7. The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will then be announced Jan. 13.

Here are the shortlists announced Monday in full:

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Advocate”

“American Factory”

“The Apollo”

“Apollo 11”

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“Aquarela”

“The Biggest Little Farm”

“The Cave”

“The Edge of Democracy”

“For Sama”

“The Great Hack”

“Honeyland”

“Knock Down the House”

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“Maiden”

“Midnight Family”

“One Child Nation”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

“After Maria”

“Fire in Paradise”

“Ghosts of Sugar Land”

“In the Absence”

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

“Life Overtakes Me”

“The Nightcrawlers”

“St. Louis Superman”

“Stay Close”

“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird”

Estonia, “Truth and Justice”

France, “Les Misérables”

Hungary, “Those Who Remained”

North Macedonia, “Honeyland”

Poland, “Corpus Christi”

Russia, “Beanpole”

Senegal, “Atlantics”

South Korea, “Parasite”

Spain, “Pain and Glory”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Bombshell”

“Dolemite Is My Name”

“Downton Abbey”

“Joker”

“Judy”

“Little Women”

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

“1917”

“Once upon a Time… in Hollywood”

“Rocketman”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

“Avengers: Endgame”

“Bombshell”

“The Farewell”

“Ford v Ferrari”

“Frozen II”

“Jojo Rabbit”

“Joker”

“The King”

“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”

“Motherless Brooklyn”

“1917”

“Pain and Glory”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“Us”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Speechless” from “Aladdin”

“Letter to My Godfather” from “The Black Godfather”

“I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”

“Da Bronx” from “The Bronx USA”

“Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II”

“Stand Up” from “Harriet”

“Catchy Song” from “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

“Never Too Late” from “The Lion King”

“Spirit” from “The Lion King”

“Daily Battles” from “Motherless Brooklyn”

“A Glass of Soju” from “Parasite”

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”

“High Above the Water” from “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4”

“Glasgow” from “Wild Rose”

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Dcera (Daughter)”

“Hair Love”

“He Can’t Live Without Cosmos”

“Hors Piste”

“Kitbull”

“Memorable”

“Mind My Mind”

“The Physics of Sorrow”

“Sister”

“Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days”

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Brotherhood”

“The Christmas Gift”

“Little Hands”

“Miller & Son”

“Nefta Football Club”

“The Neighbors’ Window”

“Refugee”

“Saria”

“A Sister”

“Sometimes, I Think About Dying”

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Alita: Battle Angel”

“Avengers: Endgame”

“Captain Marvel”

“Cats”

“Gemini Man”

“The Irishman”

“The Lion King”

“1917”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“Terminator: Dark Fate”


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