It’s Oscar-nomination morning, and while we’ll be spending plenty of time in the next few weeks talking about the big winners — wow, those voters really liked “Joker,” which led the pack with 11 nominations — let’s devote a bit of time to that most delightful Oscars tradition: complaining about the snubs.
— And let’s start right off with the directing category, where Greta Gerwig was not nominated — despite her film, “Little Women,” getting nods for writing, acting and best picture. (The Academy has long been reluctant to recognize women in this category; only five women directors have been nominated in its history). Likewise, Noah Baumbach wasn’t nominated for “Marriage Story,” despite a strong showing for the film. The Gerwig-Baumbach household (they’re partners off-screen) must be a place of mixed emotions this morning.
— In the lead acting categories, apparently the Academy members have short memories. In Best Actress, not enough of them recalled one of the most remarkable performances of the year: Lupita Nyong’o in “Us,” which opened back in March. Also disappointed, surely, was Awkwafina (who won a Golden Globe for her work in “The Farewell,” a film entirely snubbed this morning). In lead actor was a surprising snub for a veteran: Robert DeNiro wasn’t nominated in “The Irishman,” despite seven previous nominations. Other acclaimed work that wasn’t recognized in that category included Eddie Murphy in “Dolomite Is My Name,” Christian Bale in “Ford v Ferrari” and Taron Egerton in “Rocketman” (the latter, a Golden Globe winner, campaigned heavily for a nomination — which apparently doesn’t always work).
— Don’t look for Jennifer Lopez to make a fashion statement on Oscar night; she wasn’t nominated for supporting actress, despite strong reviews for her work in “Hustlers.” Also missing from that list: Meryl Streep in “Little Women,” Nicole Kidman in “Bombshell” (despite her two co-stars, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie, being nominated), and Zhao Shuzhen in “The Farewell.” And despite a strong showing for “Parasite” (six nominations, including best picture and director), none of its cast were nominated — a particularly egregious snub in the supporting actor category, where Song Kang Ho, who played the inventive working-class father in the film, was left off. (If you’re seeing a bit of a pattern here, yes: The Academy needs to continue to make progress in recognizing the performances of actors of color.)
— The Best Picture roster had nine films on it (out of a possible 10). What film was on the cusp and missed making the list? Maybe Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain & Glory,” maybe Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” maybe Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” maybe Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” (for my money, the year’s most enchanting journey).
— Other miscellaneous snubs: Where was Anna Robbins’ nomination for the glorious costumes of “Downton Abbey”? Or Jess Gonchor’s, for the gorgeous production design of “Little Women”? Or Jorg Wilmer, for the breathtaking cinematography of “A Hidden Life”?
The Academy Award ceremony will place — host-less, as it was last year — on Sunday, February 9, by which time we’ll all have moved on to talking about who will win, not who wasn’t nominated. But for now, let’s raise a glass (or, considering the hour, a coffee cup), for those who didn’t hear their names called.