The most shocking snubs and surprises of the 2020 Oscar nominations
The 2020 Oscar nominations are finally in, and as is tradition, there were a number of surprise twists.
John Cho and Issa Rae announced the nods bright and early Monday morning, and presumed frontrunners The Irishman, 1917, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood all predictably staked their claim in the race. However, there were also a number of pleasant inclusions and shocking omissions.
Below, EW breaks down some of the biggest snubs and surprises of this year’s Oscar nominations list.
SNUB: Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers)
After receiving nominations at key precursors such as the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, J.Lo looked poised to repeat here. Unfortunately, she was skipped over, despite strong awards campaigning throughout the year (she’s doing the Super Bowl Halftime show, what more do you want?) and an excellent performance in the film. Presumably, her spot went to Richard Jewell‘s Kathy Bates, who was more on the bubble going into Monday’s announcement. Sadly, Lorene Scafaria’s drama about strippers who con Wall Street men was completely snubbed.
Save for a Best Original Song nomination for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman didn’t show up anywhere. Pundits thought the film had a decent shot at a Best Costume Design nomination, or at the very least a nod for star Taron Egerton, who was previously nominated at the SAG Awards, the BAFTAs, and the Golden Globes (where he won for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical).
SURPRISE: Best Supporting Actress – Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)
She was a surprise nominee when the Golden Globes announced their picks for Best Supporting Actress, and she surprised again on Oscar noms morning. Clint Eastwood’s true-life story about the man who found a bomb during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics didn’t show up anywhere else, but Bates, who is no stranger to the Academy (she had two nominations and one win prior to today), showed up thanks to an affecting, emotional turn as Richard Jewell’s mom, whose life is upended when her son (wrongly) becomes the center of the investigation into the bombing.
SNUB: Best Original Song – Beyoncé’s “Spirit” (The Lion King)
You’re going to miss the chance to have Queen Bey perform at the 92nd Academy Awards? What a missed opportunity. Instead, the Academy went with “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough and “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4. This sounds shocking, until you consider that the former was written by 11-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren and the latter by 20-time nominee and two-time winner Randy Newman. But still, you’re gonna snub Beyoncé?!
The thinking going into today goes like this: If Parasite is to have a shot at winning Best Picture to become the first foreign language film to do so, it needed to overperform. Meaning, in addition to International Feature Film and Best Picture, Bong Joon Ho’s dark South Korean thriller needed to nab some other key nominations. Although it sadly did not show up in any of the acting races (Song Kang-ho was the presumed candidate most likely to receive a nod), it did show up in Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Production Design in addition to the aforementioned categories. Overall, not a bad day for the film.
SURPRISE: The Two Popes
The Two Popes popping up in Best Adapted Screenplay was pretty close to a foregone conclusion. It getting both of its actors in, however, was far less certain. Jonathan Pryce, who plays Pope Francis, and Anthony Hopkins, who plays his predecessor Pope Benedict, both received nominations for their work in the Netflix dramedy — the former for Best Actor and the latter for Best Supporting Actor. Unlike the majority of the actors nominated in their respective categories, Pryce’s and Hopkins’ roads to the Oscars have been more shaky. Both of them received noms at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, but were snubbed at the more predictive SAG Awards. The fact that both of them got in at the Oscars is a bit of a surprise for Netflix.
SNUB: Best Animated Feature – Frozen 2
One of the most shocking omissions Monday morning was Disney juggernaut Frozen 2. Fresh off the heels of its coronation as the most successful animated film ever at the box office, the film was completely left out in the cold, save for a Best Original Song nod for “Into the Unknown.” Two other sequels to major franchises — Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — managed to get in, but at the end of the day, the Academy chose three newcomers to finish out the category: Klaus, I Lost My Body, and Missing Link (which shockingly won the equivalent Golden Globe).
SNUB: Best Director – Greta Gerwig
The Academy went for Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation in a big way, with nods in Best Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Adapted Screenplay (Gerwig), Best Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran), Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and Best Picture, but it wasn’t enough to get Gerwig into the Best Director lineup, which like so many other years in Oscar history, features no women. This year (like any year) saw bravura turns at the helm by a number of women — Alma Har’el for Honey Boy, Lorene Scafaria for Hustlers, Olivia Wilde for Booksmart, and Lulu Wang for The Farewell, just to name a few — but they were left out in favor of an all-male lineup that included Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite). Phillips, who was the only one of this group that didn’t receive a corresponding DGA nod, likely took that fifth slot. (Conversely, Jojo Rabbit writer-director Taika Waititi was nominated at the DGAs, but was also snubbed in the Oscar’s Best Director category.)
SNUB: The Farewell
It’s the end of the road for Lulu Wang’s little dramedy that could, which follows a family who hides their grandma’s cancer diagnosis from her. Hailed as one of the best films of the year by critics since its debut at Sundance last January, it nabbed Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Critics’ Choice nods, but it didn’t receive a single nomination on Monday morning. Admittedly, the best chance the film had was for lead actress Awkwafina, but she too was sadly snubbed.
SURPRISE: Best Picture – Ford v Ferrari
James Mangold’s car racing thriller was always sort of on the bubble here, especially after it racked up a very indicative PGA nomination, but without any nods in acting (even SAG and Globe nominee Christian Bale), directing, or screenplay, it showing up in Best Picture was far from a given. In total, the film, which also stars Matt Damon, Tracy Letts, and Caitriona Balfe, received four nominations: two for its sound, one in editing, and one for Best Picture.
SNUB: Dolemite Is My Name
It was a great day for Netflix overall, who had the most nominations of any studio with 24 nods, but it was a bad day for the streamer’s Dolemite Is My Name. The raucous comedy didn’t receive any nominations, despite being a strong possibility in both Best Actor and Best Costume Design. Eddie Murphy, who turned in some of the best work of his lengthy career in a hilarious lead performance, didn’t make the cut in Best Actor, and acclaimed costume designer Ruth E. Carter was snubbed in Best Costume Design.
SNUB: Best Actor – Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)
Sandler has never been nominated for an Oscar, and his streak didn’t improve today. The category this year was insanely crowded, with Sandler, Jonathan Pryce, Eddie Murphy, and Taron Egerton all battling it out for a spot against presumed frontrunners Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker). In the end, the Academy chose Pryce for his work in The Two Popes, and Uncut Gems went home nomination-less.
SNUB: Best Actress – Lupita Nyong’o (Us)
The Academy historically is not a fan of horror films, but its embracing of Jordan Peele’s first feature, Get Out, led many to believe that his follow-up film, Us, which was also incredibly well received by the industry and critics alike, would be too. Although she was similarly snubbed at this year’s Globes, Nyong’o, who previously won Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave, was nominated at the SAG Awards, which tend to be very predictive in this category. Nyong’o pulled double duty for her roles as Red and Adelaide in a set of truly stunning, physical performances. What more does she have to do? #JusticeForLupita