Award Show Season is in full swing, which means that I am living my best life. The Academy Awards, aka The Oscars, are my favorite awards ceremony, the nominations were announced on January 13th, and I have some thoughts and feelings. While I am ecstatic about some of the work recognized, there were a few people or films I was surprised did not make the list, and it seems I am not alone in this. Here are just a few films and individuals I feel were snubbed.
Greta Gerwig (and every other woman): Best Director
This is probably the one I am most upset about. Greta Gerwig is a gosh darn genius, and the fact that her beautiful rendition of Little Women in the direction category was unrecognized is a crime. Her interpretation of this classic story has made its way into my top five favorite films of all time, so I feel, in a weird way, personally attacked for her not being nominated. Not only does she deserve recognition, it would’ve also been an historic nomination, as she would’ve been the first woman to be nominated twice in this category. It’s also upsetting that no other women were nominated for Best Director this year, especially with a year full of Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), and Loraine Scafaria (Hustlers), among others. Only five women have been nominated for Best Director in the 92 years of the Academy Awards, and only one woman has actually won, which was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for her direction of The Hurt Locker. It’s 2020. It’s time that women start being recognized for the work they are doing, as well as being given more opportunities to be in the director position to begin with.
Awkwafina: Best Leading Actress
While Awkwafina is usually known for her comedic work, she took a dramatic turn for her role this year in the film The Farewell. This snub is mostly surprising mainly because Awkwafina won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and usually the nominations are similar, especially if an actor has already won. It is quite shocking that she was left off this list, especially due to the fact that her performance was fantastic representation for the Chinese-American community.
Jennifer Lopez: Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lopez has had Oscar buzz surrounding her since Hustlers premiered in September, so while it was no surprise that she was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actress category, it was a shock when her name was missing from the Academy Award nominations, especially after receiving so much buzz and praise from the film community.
Frozen II: Best Animated Feature
Usually, Disney films sweep the Best Animated Feature category, and when you take into consideration that it is the highest grossing animated film of all time (not to mention just a beautiful and wonderful film), Frozen II seemed like an easy bet for both a nomination, and a win. However, the $1 billion earner was left of the nominations in this category, but was still recognized in the Best Original Song category for “Into the Unknown”, aka “Let it Go” 2.0.
Lupita Nyong’o: Best Actress
In my opinion, Lupita Nyong’o gave one of the best performances this year in her role(s) in Jordan Peele’s Us. It was bone-chilling, raw, creepy, and just breathtaking in every way. She beautifully balanced the juxtaposing roles of Adelaide and Red, and was truly terrifying. Lupita deserves some recognition for this film, and it’s disappointing that the Academy didn’t give her a nod.
Taron Egerton: Best Actor
Another example of a Golden Globe winner who didn’t receive a nomination from the Academy. Taron Egerton, who won for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of the iconic Elton John in Rocketman, was left off the nomination list for Best Actor at this year’s Academy Awards. Egerton embodied the legendary singer in a part musical-part documentary based on Elton John’s life and career, and even did all of the singing in the film. The snub could be a result of the Academy not wanting to repeat itself, as Rami Malek took home the trophy for Best Actor for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody last year (although I’d debate that Egerton’s performance was better). If the Academy didn’t want to repeat itself, it could have switched up other categories, like maybe nominating a woman in Best Director.
There are plenty of other snubs from this year’s nominations, but these are the ones I am most passionate about. There will always be snubs, as it’s literally impossible to recognize all the great talent behind the films we love, but there are some opinions on snubs that seem universally shared. However, while I do have disappointments with some nominations, I am still thrilled about a lot of nominations, and will still watch the ceremony (including the hours of pre-show coverage), as well as take my picks for all the winners. I truly believe that we are living in a time with such an array of films, filled to the brim with talented and creative directors, writers, actors, costume designers, sound mixers, and every other career in between. I’m so lucky to get to witness such beautiful works each and every year, and the Oscars are a great way to celebrate.