In what has turned out to be a year of very few surprises, Joker is leading the pack at this year’s Oscar nominations, where it has landed an impressive 11 nominations.
Let’s be honest, though, it’s often the case that we care just as much about who hasn’t made the cut as who has, and this year there are more than a few glaring omissions on the list of nominees.
These are the biggest snubs – and shocking additions – starting with the most obvious...
SNUB: Every single female director
Listen, we don’t have much to say on this subject other than it’s a complete joke that, after so many women made intelligent and thought-provoking and fantastic films in 2019, not a single one of them has been recognised in the Best Director category.
We’ve already seen this complete oversight at the Golden Globes and the Baftas, and here we are again. In all honesty, it’s just not good enough.
Lulu Wang and Greta Gerwig are probably the women who’ve been most repeatedly tipped for Best Director this year (Greta was previously nominated for Lady Bird), but the list truly does go on: Lorene Scafaria, Alma Har’el, Olivia Wilde and even Frozen II co-director Jennifer Lee all did great work in the last 12 months, and their films deserve recognition just as much as their more-hyped male peers.
If this unfortunate trend is going to continue – which, regrettably, it looks like it is – something is going to have to be done to ensure women’s work receives the same accolades and recognition as their male counterparts.
SNUB: Frozen II
Best Animated Film
A Disney sequel is perhaps a bit of a weird one to be keeping an eye out for on an Oscars shortlist, but by the same token, it’s also a weird one to have been omitted in the Best Animated Film category.
In fact, of all of the individual snubs on this list, Frozen II’s absence feels like the most deliberate, particularly considering that other animated follow-ups like Toy Story 4 and even a How To Train Your Dragon sequel have made the cut.
It’s true that Frozen II hasn’t quite made the same impact as its predecessor, but it was received well enough upon its release that being snubbed does feel noteworthy.
Still, it’s not all bad news, as Into The Unknown is up for Best Original Song, meaning we can look forward to another Idina Menzel performance (let’s just hope John Travolta isn’t doing the introduction this time).
SNUB: Jennifer Lopez
Best Supporting Actress
Remember that brief period back in 2019 when it really looked as though Jennifer Lopez – the former star of Monster-In-Law, The Wedding Planner and *shudders* Gigli – was actually going to be nominated for an Oscar?
Good times, those, weren’t they?
They weren’t just people joking around, either. Jenny From The Block’s performance in Hustlers might not have been a total stretch for the actress, but she did a brilliant job with the role, which was critically acclaimed by both and critics audiences.
So, it’s a shame to see her absent from this list – although at least it’s a relief that her portrayal of Ramona in Hustlers might be enough to help her land a few more credible roles in the future.
SURPRISE: Kathy Bates
Best Supporting Actress
Now, listen. We’re big fans of Kathy Bates here at HuffPost, OK? Misery? Loved it. American Horror Story? Brilliant stuff. Titanic? All over it (even if there was room on that door for two people).
Anyway, what we’re about to say is not to discredit or disrespect this fantastic, celebrated and acclaimed actor who has been excelling for decades. But was anyone else just... not aware that Richard Jewell existed?
Congratulations to her, obviously, we haven’t seen the film, but she more than likely deserves the nomination. She is, after all, extremely talented. But we won’t deny that we were a little surprised to see Kathy’s name on the shortlist, particularly in the absence of, for example, Zhao Shuzhen and J-Lo.
SNUB: Lupita Nyong’o
Academy Award-winning star Lupita Nyong’o didn’t just play a character that put us through our emotional paces in Jordan Peele’s Us... she played two.
Right from the word “go”, Lupita was getting Oscar buzz around her two performances in the horror film, so it’s a real shame that this hasn’t translated into a nomination – particularly as her two roles were so markedly different.
Us was also one of our favourites from last year, so it’s a shame the entire thing has been paid dust, but we know that horror has always been a hard sell around awards season (which is also why Ari Aster is going his second year without any Oscar noms, despite a two-for-two track record).
SNUB: The Farewell
Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay
Do you see that list above of categories we think The Farewell should have nominated in? That was us being restrained. We truly could have gone on and on.
The Farewell was probably the best film released in 2019, and while Lulu Wang and Zhao Shuzhen were always long-shots regarding whether the Academy would nominate them, we’re truly disappointed to see its leading star Awkwafina missed off the list completely – especially considering she just won Best Actress at the Golden Globes.
Still, with a Rising Star nomination at the upcoming Baftas (though, tellingly, no Best Actress nod), we’re positive she has a bright future. And if you haven’t seen The Farewell yet... please watch it.
SNUB: The Lion King
Best Original Song
Despite being touted as another of Disney’s “live-action remakes”, The Lion King was actually totally CGI, so it’s interesting that, like Frozen II, Disney declined to submit it for Best Animated Feature list (weirdly, it was previously nominated in that category at the Golden Globes).
Still, even more shockingly is that Beyoncé’s contribution to the soundtrack, Spirit, has not made the cut on the Best Original Song list, despite that being – we can only assume – half of the allure of her taking on the project in the first place.
However, with rumours claiming Bey is in line to take on the next James Bond theme, 2021 could well be her year...
SURPRISE: Florence Pugh
Between female directors being completely overlooked and so many of our faves getting snubbed, there’s a lot to pick apart on this year’s Oscars shortlist, so we’re happy to see one of our faves getting the recognition she deserved.
We’ve been stanning Florence Pugh since around 2017, and loved her performance in Midsommar last year, so it feels amazing to be kicking off 2020 seeing her get an Oscar nomination to her name.
Plus, Little Women was just lovely, so if Greta Gerwig isn’t going to get nominated for Best Director, we’re at least pleased to see two members of the cast have made the cut.
SNUB: Uncut Gems
Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Score
Another snub for production company A24 – last year you couldn’t move for glowing reviews for Uncut Gems, signalling it as Adam Sandler’s big Oscars vehicle.
And yet, now the Netflix offering is here, and both the film and its star have been totally left out of the Oscars shortlist.
SNUB: Taron Egerton
Had Bohemian Rhapsody not performed so well at the Oscars last year (where leading man Rami Malek scooped Best Actor, no less), we probably wouldn’t have tipped Taron Egerton for such big things in what would be Dexter Fletcher’s follow-up biopic, Rocketman.
That being said, he just picked up Best Actor at the Golden Globes, which he’s also been nominated for at the Baftas, so it’s unusual to see he’s been left off the list at the Oscars.
SNUB: Taylor Swift
Best Original Song
We obviously weren’t expecting big things for Cats at the Oscars after watching it. But when we read that Universal had reportedly pulled their plans for it to be considered at the Oscars, we assumed that didn’t include Taylor Swift’s new contribution to the soundtrack, Beautiful Ghosts, which she co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Like the aforementioned Beyoncé, we can only guess that the promise of a Best Original Song nod was the big draw for Taylor to be associated with Cats, so we can only hope that her recent Golden Globe nomination made those scathing reviews worth it...
The 2020 Oscars will take place on Sunday 9 February.
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