It’s a rare year when the majority of Oscar nomination surprises are positive, but 2020 was also a rare year for filmgoing and award promotions. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Netflix, the most popular streaming service, received the most nominations in a year where we watched all from our couches. However, there were a few surprises on Monday morning.
The snubs and surprises in the 93rd Academy Award nominations are listed below.
THEIR TIME HAS COME FOR FEMALE DIRECTORS.
Just five women had ever been nominated for best director in the 92 Academy Awards, and never more than one in the same year. Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” are the two nominees this year. This is not shocking because of their quality, but because female directors have a long history of being ignored by the academy. And there’s still room for improvement. There has never been a Black woman nominated for best director (although Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” would have been a deserving first), and only one woman has ever won: Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2009. Maybe by April 25th, the number would have doubled.
FAN FEVER CAN BE USEFUL AT TIMES.
And you felt you were alone in your respect for Maria Bakalova and Paul Raci? This year’s “Sound of Metal” was a Cinderella tale, but no matter how many positive reviews it received, Oscar pundits and moviegoers seemed resigned to the fact that Raci’s breakthrough role as a deaf counselor to Riz Ahmed’s character would be ignored when it came time for Oscar nominations. Bakalova of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” seemed to be an out-of-the-box option for a supporting nomination at first. Oscar voters, after all, have eyes and, more often than not, taste.
WHERE DOES THE LEAD IN ‘JUDAS’ COME FROM?
Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya were both nominated for supporting actor in Warner Bros.’ “Judas and the Black Messiah,” despite the fact that neither Judas nor the Black Messiah was the main character. In the Shaka King film, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Kaluuya played Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton, and Stanfield played an FBI informant who infiltrated the group in the late 1960s.
Near Earned A RAZZIE AND AN OSCAR NOMINATION
It’s not unusual for Oscar nominees to also receive a Razzie nomination in the same year (think Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side” and “All About Steve”), but it’s rare for the same performance. Glenn Close receives the dubious award this year for her depiction of Mamaw in Ron Howard’s adaptation of J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy.” The Netflix film was widely panned by critics (it currently has a dismal 25% on Rotten Tomatoes), but Close seemed to get away with her no-nonsense, baggy t-shirt wearing grandmother relatively unscathed. Despite being nominated eight times, the 73-year-old has never received an Academy Award.
MISSED BY TOM HANKS
What went wrong for Tom Hanks? He gave one of his best performances in years as a Civil War veteran attempting to reunite a young German girl raised by Native Americans with her distant family in Paul Greengrass’ Western odyssey “News of the World.” With six nominations to his credit, Tom Hanks is one of the most nominated actors of all time, and his back-to-back wins for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump” made history. Despite being nominated for an Academy Award last year for his role as Fred Rogers, he has failed to make an impact. To be a true snub, one of the best actor candidates (Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, and Steven Yeun) will have to be dropped, and I’m not sure any of them should be. Maybe it was just an especially difficult year.
Lift your glass to ‘ANOTHER ROUND.’
Thomas Vinterberg of Denmark snatched one of the coveted five best director awards this year for his film “Another Round,” in which four friends participate in a social experiment to see how their lives would be if they were constantly “buzzed.” The film, which starred Mads Mikkelsen, was well received, but it seemed to be a long shot for the major Oscar categories. In reality, when the directing category was revealed on Monday, Vinterberg said he wasn’t even paying attention. Vinterberg said, “It was a total surprise.” ”Of course, we never saw that coming, which added to the sense of ecstasy and increased the aspect of celebration dramatically.” It was also nominated for best foreign film.
WHERE ARE THE ‘DA 5 BLOODS’?
Maybe Netflix already had too many legitimate Oscar candidates this year, or maybe it came out too early in 2020, but Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” seems to have gotten lost in the mix for no apparent reason. Despite positive reviews, the film about Black Vietnam veterans was completely ignored by the Golden Globes, and it now has only one Oscar nomination: for Terence Blanchard’s score. Delroy Lindo, the film’s lead star, has been overlooked for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations.