It's been one of the most competitive years in a while for movies. There were several top-tier films competing for limited space on the Oscars shortlist, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their nominees for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards on Monday morning. As is the case every year, there were a few surprises among the nominee list and, of course, several deserving names that weren't called.
Netflix succeeded in coming out on top in terms of nominations — a whopping 24 for the streaming service. Many of those were thanks to the nominations racked up by Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood also landed several nominations. However, it seems that films directed by women, especially if they were also about women, got the short end of the stick in this year's celebrated films.
Here are TV Guide's snubs and surprises from the list.
Female directors, again: Greta Gerwig was poised to make history with this year's nominations list if she made it into the Best Director category for the second time — something no other woman has ever done. While Gerwig has been applauded for her emotional and sweeping take on Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, and received a nomination for Adapted Screenplay, only male directors were nominated this year. Again. In addition to Gerwig, Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), and Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers) were also overlooked for this category.
Awkwafina (The Farewell): Another woman who was expected to make history with her nomination was Awkwafina, whose performance in The Farewell earned her a Golden Globe and made her the first woman of Asian descent to win in the Lead Actress in a Comedy category. If she'd been nominated for Best Actress, it would've marked the first time in 85 years that a woman of Asian descent has been included in the list, following Merle Oberon's 1935 nod. Without her name, there's just one woman of color who was nominated this year: Cynthia Erivo for Harriet.
Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers): Despite offering up one of the most surprising and multifaceted performances of the year, Jennifer Lopez was not nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Hustlers. It was a role that demanded a physical prowess and for Lopez to switch between comedy to drama, often within the same scene. It was the best work of her career so far and should have been recognized by the Academy.
Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems): Those who follow the awards chatter know that Adam Sandler and gained serious buzz for his dramatic turn as gangster Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems. And even if it seemed a little ludicrous to imagine Adam Sandler's name next to the words "Oscar nominee" once upon a time, his turn in the Safdie Brothers' picture had many convinced his name would be read out on Monday morning. Alas.
Taron Egerton (Rocketman): Taron Egerton gave a head-turning, powerful performance as Elton John in Rocketman, but many worried that the film's early May release date would make it difficult for the actor to gain the traction he needed among award voters, despite his Golden Globes win. And it looks like they were right, as he and the film were largely overlooked by the Academy, earning just a single nomination for Original Song.
Lupita Nyong'o (Us): Oscar fans are going to miss out on Lupita Nyong'o's amazing red carpet style this year, as she was somehow overlooked for a Best Actress nod, despite delivering a searing performance — actually, make that two performances — in Jordan Peele's Us.
Dolemite Is My Name: Netflix probably won't complain about the lack of love the Academy had for its originals, but Dolemite Is My Name was a refreshing take on a piece of Hollywood history, featured a layered and exciting performance from Eddie Murphy, and seemed like a shoo-in for at least some recognition.
Parasite's cast: Bong Joon Ho's stunning picture has been widely touted as one of the best movies of 2019, and it was rightly recognized in several categories, including Best Picture, Directing, Original Screenplay, Film Editing, International Feature Film, and Production Design. But the fact that its cast, which carried the film's compelling narrative, was overlooked is certainly an egregious oversight.
Beyoncé (The Lion King): If you need more proof that The Academy are die-hard Pixar acolytes, check out the Best Song category where "Spirit" from The Lion King was completely overlooked. It's bad enough to put this level of disrespect on Queen Bey's name, but it's even worse realizing we have to watch this award show knowing she could have been performing at it. To quote Adele, what does Beyoncé have to do?!
Lee Smith (1917): Look, no one's going to argue that 1917 isn't getting its due with the Oscars this year. The film has been heavily recognized by the Academy for its filmmaking and technical prowess. However, the fact that Lee Smith's incredible work editing the pic wasn't a part of the 1917 nominations wash is a bit surprising, considering the movie might not even be what it is without that important element of construction.
Frozen II: The House of Mouse still had a presence in the Best Animated Feature category with Toy Story 4, but to see the lack of Frozen II love was a shock to the system. The sequel to one of the biggest animated films of all time, which many critics agreed was an elevated effort over the original, failed to garner enough votes to make the cutoff. The Academy must not be into water horses, and that's sad.
Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell): It's no secret that the Academy loves Kathy Bates, but seeing her name on the Best Actress nominations list this year was a bit unexpected, especially given the controversy surrounding Richard Jewell and the fact that Bates wasn't getting quite as much buzz as, say, Lupita Nyong'o and Jennifer Lopez ahead of the nominations.
Ford v. Ferrari: It's not a far stretch that Ford v. Ferrari made it into the Best Picture category as it's been circling the pre-cursor nomination lists all awards season. The surprise is that it edged out films like The Farewell as well as Rian Johnson's rousing whodunnit Knives Out, which had to settle for a Best Original Screenplay nod instead.
The Lighthouse: There's no doubt that Robert Eggers' psychological horror film had cinephiles talking about the styling, the storyline, and, of course, the pair of riveting performances turned in by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. But after the Globes gave the pic absolutely no attention, it was still (pleasantly) surprising to see cinematographer Jarin Blaschke scoop up a deserved nod at the Oscars.
Netflix's takeover: Netflix amassed two dozen (!!!) nominations for The Irishman, Marriage Story, The Two Popes, and its animated pictures Klaus and I Lost My Body. While it's not surprising to see the streaming service's movies feature in this year's awards season, the fact that it has such a heavy presence — when just a few years back, it was hotly debated if it should even be allowed to — is a bit of a shock.
The 92nd Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.
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