WWI Drama ‘1917’ Leads All Military Movies With 10 Oscar Nominations

(Universal Pictures)

The 2020 Oscar nominations are out, and World War I drama "1917" racked up 10 nods after a huge $36.5 million box office haul on its first weekend of wide release.

Other movies with military connections made a strong showing. "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" and "The Irishman" also got 10 nominations each, and World War II satire "JoJo Rabbit" scored six.

A Marine veteran is up for Best Actor, and a former president's production company got a nomination in the Best Documentary category, where it will compete with two documentaries about the conflict in Syria.

Check out our full breakdown below.


Director Sam Mendes surprised Hollywood when he quit his job making James Bond movies to take on a story about the Great War. That bet has paid off, since "1917" has been both a critical and now a box office success.

Filmed to appear as if it's a single long take, the movie follows two young soldiers who must deliver a message to the front lines to prevent their fellow British troops from walking into a German ambush.

"1917" is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup and Hair.

The legendary Roger Deakins seems like a lock to win for Best Cinematography, but the rest is harder to predict. If the movie starts a sweep in the technical categories early in the evening, we might be looking at a Best Picture win at the end of the night.

"1917" is now in theaters.

"The Irishman"

Martin Scorsese's epic gangster movie has been racking up an incredible number of nominations from all the guilds but hasn't won as many awards as might have been expected from its rapturous initial reception.

The canary in the coal mine here is the Academy's failure to nominate Robert De Niro's performance as WWII-vet-turned-hitman Frank Sheeran for Best Actor. Sure, there were a ton of digital effects required to make him look younger in the early days of the story, but De Niro gave one of his greatest performances and his work is truly what holds the movie together.

"The Irishman" is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Joe Pesci, Best Supporting Actor for Al Pacino, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design.

Don't be surprised if "The Irishman" wins no Oscars. But it's equally possible that the movie catches fire with the voters, and Scorsese wins another Best Director award and the movie takes home Best Picture.

"The Irishman" is streaming on Netflix.

"Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood"

Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood, and Quentin Tarantino delivered a massively successful film about the relationship between a fading star (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his stuntman/sidekick (Brad Pitt).

Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth has a dark reputation in Hollywood. The World War II veteran is prone to kicking ass, and the local gossip insists that the harpoon accident that killed his wife wasn't really an accident. In Tarantino's alternate history, Cliff changes the outcome of one of the '60s most horrifying moments and suggests an alternate history of the last 50 years.

"Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Leonardo Di Caprio, Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.

Brad Pitt seems close to a lock for Best Supporting Actor, and Tarantino might just win another Best Original Screenplay award. "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" could be set up for a sweep. Academy members still haven't broken through and given the big awards to Netflix movies like "The Irishman" and "Marriage Story," so the Sony-distributed Tarantino movie could have an inside track.

"Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" is out now on home video.

"JoJo Rabbit"

Director Taika Waititi (best known for "Thor: Ragnarok") also wrote and stars as Adolf Hitler in this World War II satire about a young German boy who has the Führer as his imaginary friend as he tries to process what all this Nazi ideology means to him.

"JoJo Rabbit" is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Scarlett Johansson, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.

The "JoJo Rabbit" team should probably content itself with the idea that "it's just an honor to be nominated." If the movie starts winning early, it's going to be a weird night.

"JoJo Rabbit" is still in a few theaters and will be released on home video in February.

"Marriage Story"

Marine veteran Adam Driver may have been earning a living as Kylo Ren in the "Star Wars" movies over the past few years, but he's used that paycheck to allow himself to take roles in some of the most adventurous movies made over the past decade.

He gets a Best Actor nomination this time for his performance as divorcing dad Charlie Barber, following up his Best Supporting Actor nod last year for "BlacKkKlansman."

Writer/director Noah Baumbach based the movie on his own divorce from Jennifer-Jason Leigh and earned nominations for Best Picture as the movie's producer and Best Original Screenplay. Scarlett Johannsson gets a second nomination as Best Actress and Laura Dern is up for Best Supporting Actress.

Could Adam Driver win Best Actor? It's possible, but everyone seems to be in love with Joaquin Phoenix in "Joker," so much so that his outrageous performance dragged the movie to 11 nominations this year.

"Marriage Story" is streaming on Netflix.

Best Documentary

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama decided to get into show business after they left the White House, and their Higher Ground Productions is the company behind "American Factory," nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

The movie follows American workers as Chinese company Fuyao takes over a shuttered General Motors plant in Ohio and hires them to make automobile glass.

The Obamas don't get the nomination or the award. That will go to producers Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert.

"American Factory" is now streaming on Netflix.

Competing in the same category are two movies about the conflict in Syria.

In "For Sama," Waad al-Kateab documented the brutal bombing destruction of Aleppo as she lived through the chaos.

"The Cave" is a sequel to Feras Fayyad's 2017 documentary "Last Men in Aleppo." The new film follows Amani Ballour, a female doctor who's forced to operate on the wounded in a cave during the Syrian Civil War.

In the Best Documentary Short category, "Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)" profiles the young girls who are learning to read, write and skate at "Skateistan," a nonprofit that aims to educate young women in Afghanistan, a country that has traditionally refused to give them access to learning.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 9. As usual, the show will be broadcast on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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