Not only is Joker up for best picture, but it's also been nominated for the achievement in directing, film editing, costume design, cinematography, makeup and hairstyling, sound editing, and sound mixing awards.
Five works were selected in the category formerly known as best foreign film - renamed this year "international feature film": Corpus Christi (Jan Komasa, Poland), Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov, North Macedonia), Les Miserables (Ladj Ly, France), Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodovar, Spain) and Parasite (Bong Joon Ho, South Korea).
Little Women is the only film directed by a woman among the best picture contenders. Instead, Renée Zellweger was nominated for her role in "Judy", Charlize Theron for "Bombshell", Scarlett Johansson for "Marriage Story", Saoirse Ronan for "Little Women" and Cynthia Erivo for "Harriet". The late William Wyler was nominated for best director 12 times. "I think best Oscar, people thought this was not possible in our lifetime".
In the history of the Oscars, only five women have ever been nominated for best director - including Gerwig, for 2017's "Lady Bird". It's a unusual trend in how these ceremonies have gone, as Little Women is being recognized, but Gerwig is not.
In announcing the nominees for best director, actress Issa Rae said with a deadpan expression: "Congratulations to those men". One actress who's notably left out of the Best Actress category is Lupita Nyong'o and the people of Twitter were not happy.
Cynthia Erivo's well-deserved Best Actress nod for "Harriet" takes her a major step closer to EGOT status, the cluster of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tonys wins that is so rare it nearly qualifies for unicorn status. "Frozen 2" wasn't nominated for animated feature.
Last year Netflix headed into the Oscars with 15 nominations but walked away from a victor only once.
And the Academy pointed to a record number of female nominees overall, at 62. "The Farewell" star Awkwafina, who recently became the first Asian woman to win Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes, and "Farewell" directorLulu Wang were not included in the nominations.
"The Irishman" helped Netflix to 24 nominations - the first time it has ever topped the studio count.
Nominations have been announced in eight categories so far, with the remaining 16 shortlists to follow shortly.
"It's the kind of story we don't see often enough and it's exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve", tweeted former president Barack Obama, adding he was "glad" to see the nomination.
"Congrats to the incredible filmmakers and entire team!" he wrote.
The Academy can't control how its 9,000-odd members cast their ballots, as much as it may wish it could.