I’m not too estactic with the 2020 Oscar nominations. While most to all nominees are deserving of credit in their respective category, The Academy could have very easily diversified the noms with the incredible year of film they were tasked in recognizing. I use the term diverse not only in suggestion to the identities of the noms but also as a means to push for less reoccurring names throughout categories. Joker, Jo Jo Rabbit, The Irishman, Ford v Ferrari, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and 1917 dominate the entire awards—Joker for example leads the charge with 11 nominations. There is plenty of space for the snubs I list below and even for Robert DeNiro who was snubbed for being the eponymous character in The Irishman! This quick snubs list points to artists whose work may have been lost amongst 2019’s amazing catalog of films, or simply didn’t catch The Academy’s eye. We begin this list with perhaps this year’s Oscars biggest snub,
snubbed for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor(s)
There isn’t a film of last year with technical achievements comparable to Robert Eggers’ experimental project. It is neorealist cinema lost, found again and remastered for the modern eye more so than it is resemblant to several post WWII European film movements. The Lighthouse not only transports viewers to another time but to a whole entire cinematic moment. Few scripts of this era parallel just how polished and unique Eggers’ is. He manipulates language and story temporality to further thrust viewers into the chaotic and surreal world of our protagonists. Although both Dafoe and Pattinson are deserving of nominations, only one would realistically earn a nod for their unworldly performances. Dafoe alone is deserving of recognition from a single monoluge where his eye’s and 1890s curses pierce into audience’s souls. The direction and acting of The Lighthouse collaborate to create a body of work which is Bergman-esque, more like Persona than anything, in its masterful atmospheric tension. It is cinema of the truest form which will go completely unrecognized at the 2020 Oscars despite a much earned best cinematography award.
snubbed for Best Actress
Jordan Peele’s Us may have faded from recent memory but its a crime to have forgotten the outstanding performance by lead actress Lupita Nyong’o’. All of the central characters in the film play two versions of themselves, but Nyong’o’s portrayal of Adelaide/Red warranted the most demanding performance. She’s both the hero and the villain. The human voice and something unworldly at once.
snubbed for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress
Lulu Wang effortlessly employs her own unique style and voice in her debut film The Farewell. Wang’s narrative is linear but at the same time unconventional in how it doesn’t care to arrange sequences of causes and effects but rather peer into a private moment between to family members, or capture a sweet moment between Awkafina’s Billie and her Nai Nai. At the same time, Awkwafina commands the screen and confidently carries much of the films emotional weight. Both Wang and Awkwafina’s natural ability to dictate the screen in their respective craft is much deserving, as is the film, of a nod.
snubbed for Best Actress(es)
While Jennifer Lopez has garnered the most awards buzz amongst her co-stars, it’s Constance Wu’s portrayal Destiny which is perhaps more deserving of an Oscar nomination. Destiny begins the film as a lower tier and financially struggling dancer, soon becomes one of the most valuable “assets” to her club, transforms into a leading mastermind in a great con-scheme, and ends up similar to how she started as a vulnerable worker. Wu adds seamless transformation into each of Destiny’s identity’s is nuanced
snubbed for Best Actor
Song Kang-Ho is a force on screen whose work, at least in the West, is not widely acknowledged. He is frequently tasked with being the emotional heart of this film but at the same time the comic relief, the loving family man, and the working class individual who is reminded of his economic standing more than any of his family members. Perhaps his Kang-Ho’s snub is credited to how Parasite is more so viewed as a director’s film and not one brimming with shinning performances from its entire cast.