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Oscars 2020: Biggest Snubs and Predictions

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

With the Academy Awards approaching next week, let’s review the shoo-ins, the underdogs, and the biggest snubs of the year. 

Best Picture

Prediction: The two biggest contenders for Best Picture are Parasite and 1917. Bong Joon-ho’s genre-bending masterpiece has become a fan favorite among Academy voters—and the world. While most films have positive and negative reviews, no one has a bad word to say about Parasite. Although, that is the film that should and deserves to win, it won’t be completely surprising if 1917 comes out on top, given its recent Golden Globes win and the Academy’s history with awarding foreign language films the top prize. 

Snubs: Some of the best films of 2019 were completely locked out of awards season, which isn’t surprising considering the industry’s criteria of what an “Oscar-worthy” film is. However, for this category, the Academy is allowed to nominate up to ten films but chose only to nominate nine. Here’s a couple films that deserved that final spot: Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems, and Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, just to name a few.

Best Director

Prediction: Despite big names like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, the Best Director race is between Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) and Sam Mendes (1917). Mendes won this award back in 2000 for American Beauty and he does have the upper hand of winning the Golden Globes for directing a couple weeks ago. However, a win for Bong Joon-ho would be celebrating his entire breadth of work, recognizing not only Korean cinema, but also the best film I’ve seen in recent years.
Snubs: WOMEN! I guess the Academy’s never heard of them. In the Oscars’ 92 years, there has only been five female directing nominees and one winner. ONE! Although Little Women has been nominated for Best Picture, Greta Gerwig was looked over for a less-deserving male nominee. I won’t name names… Besides Gerwig, there were so many incredible female-directed films in 2019 that deserved more recognition including Lulu Wang, Alma Har’el, Lorene Scafaria, Olivia Wilde, Marielle Heller, Céline Sciamma… the list goes on.

Best Actor

Prediction: Joaquin Phoenix, no doubt. His performance as Arthur Fleck, the self-pitying, self-loathing, and all-around toxic white man, was undeniably powerful, as is everything that he does. Phoenix was fully committed to the role, losing over fifty pounds and completely immersing himself into the character. However, I really despise the fact that this is the role that Phoenix is being awarded with, considering the harmful implications of the film and his other incredible work.
Snubs: Adam Sandler gave one of the best performances of his career as flawed jeweler Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems. Taron Egerton was mesmerizing in Rocketman, even taking home a Golden Globe. However, considering Rami Malek’s win for playing Freddie Mercury, Academy voters might consider it a repeat performance—which it most definitely wasn’t. Robert De Niro is the glue that holds The Irishman together. Eddie Murphy gave an electrifying comeback as the legendary Rudy Ray Moore.

Best Actress

Prediction: After years hiding from the public eye, Renée Zellweger makes a fiery comeback as Judy Garland in Judy. She’s been on a hot streak, taking Best Actress wins at the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and so much more. There’s nothing stopping her from taking home the Academy Award as well. 

Snubs: The Academy’s missed a chance to make history and nominate a more than deserving actress with Awkwafina’s snub. In The Farewell, Awkwafina gave a poignant, realistic, emotional performance as Billi, a young woman returning to China to say goodbye to her dying grandmother. Never have I connected with a character more. Never have I felt prouder to see someone on stage. Despite being the first woman of Asian descent to win a lead actress Golden Globe, the Academy decided there could only be one person of color among their nominees.

Best Supporting Actor

Prediction: Despite legends like Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, it seems that the win will go to Brad Pitt for his run as Cliff Booth, an aging stuntman in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Snubs: One of the best performances of the year was Song Kang Ho as the patriarch of the Kim family in Parasite. Song is one of the most talented, respected actors in South Korea, but the Academy has failed to recognize the acting talent in Parasite, calling it largely a “director’s film.” The ensemble’s historic Screen Actor’s Guild win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture proves otherwise.

Best Supporting Actress

Prediction: Until you see Laura Dern as a feisty Los Angeles divorce attorney, you haven’t truly lived. In Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, Dern embodies the character so accurately. She is the best part of the film, in my opinion. 

Snubs: Did Scarlett Johansson really need to be nominated twice? I haven’t heard rave reviews for her performance in Jojo Rabbit, yet she was given a nomination—one that could’ve gone to an actor of color. Jennifer Lopez proved that it was her year with the dynamic Hustlers, but got no Academy love. Zhao Shuzhen made the whole world fall in love with her as the unknowing grandma in The Farewell. And the women of Parasite, Park So-dam, Cho Yeo-jeong, Lee Jung-eun, and Cho Yeo-jeong, all gave scene-stealing performances. 

Tune in to the Academy Awards Sunday night (Feb. 9th) on ABC to see if your predictions come true! Who knows, maybe there will be another La La Land fiasco, or maybe even something better…

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Sannah is a freshman at BU studying Film + TV in the College of Communication. Most of her writing is inspired by her interests in film, fashion, and activism. Other than that, you can find her working at coffee shops, watching (and rewatching) random films, and quoting Taylor Swift lyrics.
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.