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BAFTA nominations revealed: Joker leads amid diversity criticism

The BAFTA nominations for 2020 have been revealed, with Joker leading the way with 11 nods in total – but the shortlists have once again come under fire for lack of diversity.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman follow closely behind Joker with 10 each, with Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood’s stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie all recognised in the acting categories, and the movie also up for best film and best director.

The Irishman is also nominated for best film and best director, with Al Pacino and Joe Pesci both in the running for best supporting actor. However, as with the Golden Globes, star Robert De Niro is a notable omission in the best actor category.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Image: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are both nominated

Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. Pic: Netflix
Image: The Irishman is up for 10 awards – but there’s no best actor nod for Robert De Niro. Pic: Netflix

And this year’s nods have again led to awards ceremony criticism over lack of diversity; all the nominated actors are white – leading to the #BaftasSoWhite hashtag appearing on Twitter – and there are no women filmmakers shortlisted for best director or best film.

BAFTA faced similar criticism in 2017, and last year pledged to do more to achieve “seismic” changes.

BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry said it was “disappointing” and that the organisation is “not going to stop pushing”, while Marc Samuelson, chair of the charity’s film committee, said it was “infuriating” but pointed out that female nominations are “rising every year”.

Batman spin-off and origin story Joker’s nods include best film, best actor for star Joaquin Phoenix and best director for Todd Phillips.

More from Bafta

Making up the best film shortlist are war epic 1917 and South Korean black comedy Parasite, with critically acclaimed Netflix divorce drama Marriage Story left out.

However, the film did score nominations for its stars, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.

In the leading actress category, Johansson is up against Jessie Buckley for Wild Rose, Saoirse Ronan for Little Women, Charlize Theron for Bombshell and Golden Globe winner Renee Zellweger for Judy.

Bong Joon-ho's Parasite
Image: Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is up for best film and best director

Margot Robbie posted an image of her as Sharon Tate. Pic: @margotrobbie
Image: Margot Robbie is up twice in the best supporting actress category, for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (pictured) and Bombshell

In the supporting actress category, Robbie scored two nominations – with one for her role in #MeToo drama Bombshell as well as Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood. As well as herself, she will be up against Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Florence Pugh (Little Women) and Johansson, who also earns her second BAFTA 2020 nod for her performance in Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit.

Following his Golden Globe win, there is a nomination for British star Taron Egerton for his performance as Sir Elton John in Rocketman. As well as DiCaprio and Phoenix, he will be up against Driver (Marriage Story) and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes).

Sam Mendes' 1917. Pic: eOne
Image: Sam Mendes’ 1917 us up for best film, best director and outstanding British film. Pic: eOne

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story. Pic: Netflix
Image: Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are both nominated for Marriage Story. Pic: Netflix

Alongside Pacino, Pesci and Pitt, the supporting actor nominees are Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and Sir Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes.

And in the best director category, Phillips, Scorsese and Tarantino are up against Sam Mendes for 1917 and Bong Joon-Ho for Parasite – meaning that once again, as with the Globes, contender Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and other female directors have been left out.

Mendes’ 1917 is also nominated in the outstanding British film category, up against Rocketman, Bait, Sorry We Missed You and The Two Popes.

The industry has come under fire in recent years over lack of diversity, with the Oscars facing a backlash in 2016.

BAFTA deputy chair Krishnendu Majumdar said the lack of female nominees in the best director category is an “industry-wide problem” and that BAFTA is “fiercely doing something about it”, adding that women have been nominated in other categories, such as animated and non-English language films.

“I think the best film category and the best director category are extremely fiercely fought this year,” he said. “I mean, Greta Gerwig – she’s been been nominated this year for adapted screenplay, but that doesn’t disguise the fact there are no female directors in the directors category.

“But I think it’s worth pointing out there are 13 female directors nominated across all our nominations, including Lulu Wang for The Farewell and also the director for Frozen 2.”

Still of Awkwafina, Shuzhen Zhao and Hong Lu in The Farewell (12-Sep-2019)
Image: Awkwafina won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, but has missed out on a BAFTA nod

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen in Greta Gerwig's Little Women
Image: While Little Women stars Florence Pugh and Saoirse Ronan are nominated, director Greta Gerwig has missed out

Mr Samuelson said “there are some good signs” and that nominations are “up to about 36% female”, which had “pretty much doubled over the last couple of years”.

He continued: “Keep going on that and maybe in another couple of years we are over 40% and are heading towards parity, which would be great.

“It doesn’t take anything away from the issue in the acting categories but nonetheless it’s something and things are moving.”

This year’s BAFTA ceremony will be hosted by Graham Norton on Sunday 2 February.

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