The full list of Academy Awards nominations has been revealed for 2020, sparking another yearly cinematic tradition: a discussion about how, and why, very worthy pictures and personnel were overlooked for the industry’s top honours.
With the critically so-so Joker leading the race with eleven nominations, ordinary punters and hardcore cinephiles have asked why their favourites couldn’t squeeze in.
Take, for example, The Farewell. Lulu Wang‘s flick, which delivers a compelling cross-cultural story and heralds Awkwafina as a bona fide dramatic force, is missing from the roster entirely.
I’m legitimately mad how for how completely shut out THE FAREWELL was. Like damned furious. As far as 2019 movies go, it was one of the most absolutely timeless stories that brought everyone together with incredible performances to boot. At least the Golden Globes saw them. Wtf.
— Rendy Jones (@rendy_jones) January 13, 2020
looking for THE FAREWELL’s missing oscar nominations pic.twitter.com/YLnm4Z2trD
— karen han (@karenyhan) January 13, 2020
Similarly, punters are mad that both Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lopez were snubbed for their roles in Us and Hustlers, respectively.
Much of the speculation rests on the kinds of film which houses those performances. Nyong’o lead Jordan Peele‘s horror flick, which rarely scoop top honours, while Lopez’ turn as a criminal stripper in Lorene Scafaria was perhaps too outré for the Academy.
But, in a world in which superhero flicks (Joker is a DC movie, after all) dominate an ever-growing portion of our cinematic spaces, why not focus on genre pictures and the genuinely compelling performances hidden in commercial smashes?
wearing a nude glossy lip in honor of jennifer lopez and her stolen oscar nomination
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) January 13, 2020
If you’re sensing a theme here, consider Little Women director Greta Gerwig. Her film did notch six nominations, but Gerwig missed the chance to challenge for Best Director (she was nominated in 2018 for Lady Bird, but lost out to Guillermo del Toro for fish-fondling romance The Shape Of Water).
While Gerwig thanked her illustrious cast and crew for their work after the nominations were revealed, the picture’s stars Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh were none too pleased.
“I feel like if you’ve been nominated for Best Picture, you have essentially been nominated for Best Director,” Ronan told Deadline.
Like Little Women‘s incendiary force Amy March, Pugh was a bit more direct. “I think everybody’s angry and quite rightly so,” she said.
Midsommar, in which Pugh delivered another full-force performance, was also unacknowledged.
Elsewhere, hype for Adam Sandler and Uncut Gems as dark horse contenders was, well, cut.
Hey @TheAcademy, pic.twitter.com/4vKxqrdHMZ
— Eric Allen Hatch (@ericallenhatch) January 13, 2020
Touchingly, even Kathy Bates, who was nominated for her supporting role in Richard Jewell, gave props to the Sandman.
Again, the nominations list raises questions about what, exactly, keeps the Academy’s voting members from recognising unique and compelling performances work from folks who aren’t Martin Scorsese or his antecedents.
If anything, the backlash demonstrates the current of criticism which propelled #OscarsSoWhite is yet to subside.
One final thing: doesn’t seem like anybody has mourned the omission of Cats from the list. Curious, that.
Is anyone else getting old tweets (I think this one is from 1997) in their timeline? https://t.co/qyutuRMdyS
— Alex Burns (@alexanderburns) January 13, 2020