The nominations for the 2020 Oscars have been announced, with movies such as Joker, The Irishman, Parasite, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood all securing multiple nominations. There have been a few surprises amongst the 92nd Academy Awards nominees, such as recognition for Parasite outside of the expected International Film category and the cinematography nomination for The Lighthouse. However, even more surprising are some of the omissions.
Perhaps the highest-profile snub is for Adam Sandler and his role in the crime thriller Uncut Gems. Sandler has been highly acclaimed for his performance as New York jeweller Howard Ratner, and many thought he would score his first Oscar nomination for the role. In fact, Sandler himself stated that he would deliberately make a terrible movie if he didn’t get a nod. Sadly for him–and possibly us–that nomination didn’t happen.
The comedy-drama The Farewell has proved to be one of 2019’s biggest independent successes but was entirely absent from the nominations. Star Awkwafina’s omission is particularly surprising given she won a Golden Globe for the movie earlier this month, and writer/director Lulu Wang was also snubbed.
Awkwafina is not the only actress to deliver a much-praised performance in 2019 and then be ignored by the Academy. Jennifer Lopez won the best reviews of her acting career for the crime drama Hustlers but has had no awards recognition at all. Similarly, Lupita Nyong’o’s astonishing dual role in Jordan Peele’s horror hit Us was also snubbed. In an earlier decade, it wouldn’t perhaps be surprising that a horror movie is ignored by the Academy, but Peele’s Get Out was an Oscar-winner in 2018, and Nyong’o herself won Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave in 2013.
Another high-profile omission was director Greta Gerwig, for her adaptation of Little Women. The movie itself has been nominated five times–including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay–but Gerwig was not recognized as director. This was also the case at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month, leading to criticism about the exclusion of female filmmakers from the Best Director category.
Of course, every year throws up surprises and snubs, and it’s worth remembering that the Oscar nominations are voted on by thousands of Academy members. But some of this year’s omissions do seems more glaring than in previous years, especially given the number of notable female and non-white contenders that were not on the nominee list. The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 9.