Welcome to the Oscars 2020! Unless you're a Netflix executive or an incel, your fave got snubbed.
Despite annual avowals to do better, 2020's Oscar nominations reflect the tastes of aging boomer dads. In the last four years the Academy has doubled their POC and female membership, but remains 68 percent male and 84 percent white. Joker dominated the nominations with eleven nods, followed by 1917, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, and The Irishman, which all received ten a piece. The four films about, starring and created by white men make up nearly the entire Best Director slate and half the Best Picture candidates.
The acting categories are entirely white — just like the the BAFTAs — except for Cynthia Erivo's lead actress nod for Harriet. (Films about slavery continue to be the Oscars' preferred way to highlight Black talent). The slate of nominees ignores performances like those by Park So-Dam in Parasite, Awkwafina in The Farewell, Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, Lupita Nyongo in Us, and Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name.
Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson was nominated for both best lead and supporting actress for Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit respectively and The Irishman is double nominated for best supporting actor thanks to Joe Pesci and Al Pascino. Thankfully, Saoirse Ronan and rising star Florence Pugh did get their Little Women nods.
For the second year in a row, a grand total of zero women were nominated in the Best Director category. The list is a slap in the face to fans of Greta Gerwig, who would've been the first woman to be nominated twice for Best Director (she made the list for 2017's Lady Bird). Less surprising, though no less disappointing, were the snubs of directors Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and Alma Har'el (Honey Boy).
The Farewell, Honey Boy and Hustlers, a rare critically and popularly beloved film that stars two women of color over thirty and passes the Bechdel test, were all shut out completely. Given that Kathy Bates snagged a Supporting Actress nod for the little-seen Richard Jewell, Lopez' snub is a particular bummer.
Parasite's Bong Joon-Ho got his much-deserved Best Director nod, however the Academy appears to be pulling a Moonlight: in which a radical POC-led film gets one weighty nomination but sees its actors ignored. We can probably expect Parasite to be ultimately overlooked, but given Best Foreign Film as a condolence.
When it comes to networks, Netflix (Marriage Story,The Irishman) cleaned up with 24 nominations. Indie darling factory A24 (Moonlight, Lady Bird) was shut out, despite producing the internet's favorite movie of the year Uncut Gems and Adam Sandler's career-highlight performance. A24 saw no love last year for Eighth Grade or First Reformed, both similarly beloved by fans and critics but ignored by the academy.
We say it every year: the Oscars don't actually matter! But this year's list really doesn't give fans much reason to mark February 24 on their calendars.
Photo via Getty