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Oscar nominations: five fun facts

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Los Angeles (AFP)

The Oscar nominations were unveiled Monday, with "Joker" earning the most nods (11) ahead of favorites "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," "1917" and "The Irishman."

Here are five fun facts from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' announcement:

- Scarlett, Saoirse make history -

Female directors may have been shut out, but two actresses had particular reason to celebrate Monday.

Scarlett Johansson had never been nominated for an Oscar before, but picked up two nods on the same morning.

She will compete in the best actress slot for her starring role in divorce drama "Marriage Story," and for supporting actress as a young mother who hides a Jewish girl in her attic during World War II in "Jojo Rabbit."

Meanwhile, Saoirse Ronan picked up an astonishing fourth Oscar nomination at the age of 25. She is the second-youngest woman to achieve the feat, after Jennifer Lawrence.

- South Korean record -

"Parasite," the critical smash hit from Bong Joon-ho, becomes the first South Korean film to be nominated for both best foreign-language film and best picture.

It is the sixth non-English language film to achieve the historic double, following from last year's "Roma."

None of those previous five have managed to win best picture, however.

Can Bong's black comedy about class division do so? At the Globes, the director called on audiences to "overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles."

Pundits will be watching closely to see if Academy voters take heed.

- Netflix breaks through -

It has been a bumpy award season so far for Netflix.

After leading the Golden Globes nominations by a huge margin, the streaming giant walked away with just two awards -- one for Laura Dern in "Marriage Story," and another for Olivia Colman in television's "The Crown."

Nonetheless Netflix -- which has spent billions to lure the industry's top filmmaking talent and fund lavish awards season campaigns -- bagged an impressive 24 Oscar nominations Monday.

- Williams eyes Walt's record -

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" did not fare well with the critics, but another nomination for legendary composer John Williams's score was always a safe bet.

And he succeeded Monday in earning his 52nd Oscars nod -- edging him closer to Walt Disney's individual record of 59 nominations.

The film itself, which concluded the decades-spanning "Skywalker Saga," bagged two other nominations, for sound editing and visual effects.

- J-Lo, De Niro snubbed -

Two of the biggest stars expected to land acting nominations were overlooked on Monday.

Jennifer Lopez has never received an Oscar nod before, but her performance as a wily stripper in "Hustlers" generated significant awards buzz.

Nonetheless, she missed out -- as did double-Oscar winner Robert De Niro.

De Niro, who last won for 1980's "Raging Bull" and has failed to convert three nominations since, failed to win over the Academy for his turn as a union henchman in "The Irishman."

He had to settle for a co-producer nomination in the best picture category.

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