The nominations for the 92nd annual Academy Awards were just announced and guess what? Straight white men have been nominated across the board!
In its short 91-year existence the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has only ever nominated five women for Best Director, with only one woman honored with the best director trophy (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker back in 2010). The Oscars has repeatedly overlooked women and people of color with 2020 continuing this tradition. Women didn’t even make it close to getting nominated as Best Director despite notable prospects cough Greta Gerwig for Little Women or Lulu Wang for The Farewell.
Movies that appeared to be the Academy’s wet dream didn’t even make the cut. You’re telling me, Hustlers, a gritty film about strippers trying to survive amongst the 2008 market crash centered around the exploration of friendship and family was snubbed? This move is basically like The Wolf of Wall Street but with women, yet when women took the stage it suddenly lost the Academy’s interest? It seems that even with a full arsenal, women fall flat compared to their male counterparts.
Courtesy: Film School Rejects
The biggest snub to me was Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. I paid the full price to see this move emphasis on FULL price. This film follows a Chinese-American family who goes back to China upon learning that their grandmother is sick and have to go about daily life normal knowing that her death may come soon. The film was solidified as an Oscar nominee to me as it’s based on Wang’s experience with her grandmother causing the film to leave a lasting impact on my mind. I believed this movie to be worth my every dollar before even watching it and I left the theater glad I did. It was a film that tapped on the front door of my emotions and decided to take it for a ride. I left the theaters in shambles reminding me of a piece of myself that I needed to appreciate more.
Courtesy: A24 Films
It’s almost as women were in every category and genre of the Oscars and got no representation whether they were directing or starring in it. Jordan Peele has become notorious for his horror films with Us being both a critical and commercial success. The film came out earlier in 2019 and had lost momentum by the time award season came around yet it was still a shock too many to find out that Lupita Nyong’o was snubbed in the Best Actor Category. Nyong’o’s dual performance was delivered with heart as she embodied two separate characters with completely different portrayals – both caught in the middle of something they were unaware of.
The year 2019 was filled with great films. This is not to say that 1917’s one-shot wonder is any less riveting or that Parasite isn’t one of the best foreign films of the year. All I’m saying is that women and people of color play such an integral role in Hollywood and go overlooked more than you’d think. There are so many Oscar categories, why not give love to other films that need it? Support films you are passionate about and what you want to see more of. As Issa Rae said during the Best Director nominations “Congratulations to those men.”