Oscar nominees rife with strange choices and poor diversity

Courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Griffin Sendek | Photo Editor


Award season is upon us once again, meaning it is the annual time of the year when everyone bickers over who among the most famous movie stars and entertainers do and don’t win little gold statues.

The Oscars,  as of the last few years, have yet to fail  to be the dumbest and most controversy-filled of all the award shows, but it is impossible to deny that they are given the most importance.

The announcement of Oscar nominations have become an event within itself, almost as exciting as the actual award night. The Academy graced us with the long awaited list of nominees on Monday Jan. 13.

A lot of this year’s decisions followed predicted expectations — despite your opinion on the films, I doubt anyone was surprised to see Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood and Scorsese’s The Irishman popping up in the Best Picture category.  However the 2020 Oscars are not without its share of surprises or questionable choices from the Academy.

Joker, a film that was no stranger to controversy and discourse in the latter half of 2019, came careening back into the public sphere when it was announced Monday that the Todd Phillips film had been nominated not only for best picture but 10 other award categories as well.

Yes, you heard that right; 2019’s Joker has been nominated for 11 Oscars. Earning more nominations of any other film, just ahead of Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, The Irishman and 1917.

Another unfortunate, yet completely unsurprising reality of this year’s Oscars is the continued trend of a lack of women and people of color nominated for awards.

Greta Gerwig, the director Little Women was expected to earn a best directing nomination, only for her name to be noticeably absent. For Best Director, the Academy has nominated entirely men for the second consecutive year. Although this is not surprising knowing that within the Academy awards 92-year history, only five women have ever won for Best Director.

Among the 20 actors and actresses nominated Cynthia Erivo, for the role of Harriet Tubman in Harriet, is the only person of color.

Of course not every film and every actor can be nominated, that’s what makes these award shows special, but every year there are a handful of names and titles that get completely snubbed.

Lupita Nyong’o, for her role in Us, seemed to be a sure shot for a nomination but, she didn’t receive one.

The Farewell by dir. Lulu Wang and the rest of A24 releases, Midsommar, Uncut Gems and The Last Black Man in San Francisco are nowhere to be seen at this years’ Oscars.

The winners and losers of the 2020 Oscars will be announced Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. on ABC.