The 92nd Academy Awards have come and gone, without a trace or a whimper of some of the year’s most influential and compelling films. The most important night in film ended up overlooking a few dozen of the most exciting, daring movies of the season, and unfortunately, this is hardly a surprising turn of events.
From Awkwafina’s occasionally hilarious but always heartwarming drama The Farewell, to Jennifer Lopez’s stylish Hustlers, there were a veritable multitude of works that were nearly or completely shut out from their respective categories. It was another year that, despite featuring films directed by women, the Oscars ended up snubbing female directors in the Best Director category. Similarly, there were few female-centric films in the running for many of the major categories, despite it being a year where there were plenty to choose from.
The Academy has been called out for having disproportionately white and male nominees and winners over the years, and 2020’s celebration was hardly any different, though this year’s majority winner, Parasite, ended up taking viewers by surprise as it diversified the “favorites” keyed up to take major categories like Joker and 1917.
Parasite actually made history for director Bong Joon-ho as well as its cast and crew by becoming the first foreign-language film ever to win Best Picture, defying expectations left and right and making for a major win for Korean representation at the show and for diversity in general. But correcting one misstep doesn’t overshadow years’ worth of missteps. Now that the Oscars have come and gone, marking the end of another awards season full of snubs, it’s time to take a look back on some of the biggest faux pas of the latest film cycle – in the hopes that these choices might very well color next year’s choices.
One of the most shocking omissions from Oscars consideration was Jennifer Lopez in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers. Despite receiving nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globes, and Critics Choice Awards, Lopez (and Hustlers) were shut out for any Oscars nominations, leaving yet another female director out of the running. This was, perhaps, one of the most baffling omissions from the Academy’s “approved” list of contenders, especially as the film featured a strong, female-centric cast headed by an all-female staff, and positioned that way on purpose by Lopez herself.