Oscar Snubs: Not Again!


Calvin Step, Editor-in-Chief

Another year, another awards season has come and gone. Parasite took home the (very well deserved) Best Picture trophy, and many good films took home big awards. But as always, there are still many major snubs for very high profile movies. We’ll be looking back at movies and people that, even if they couldn’t win, at least deserved the honor of a nomination:

Best Picture – Knives Out

Knives Out received stellar reviews ever since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September, and it has been an audience favorite since it went wide in November. The movie is a very entertaining and very smart mystery that is able to play to and subvert expectations in all the right ways. This snub is made all the more infuriating because the rules state that up to ten films can be nominated, but only nine were nominated for Best Picture this year. The Academy needs to return to the system for forcing its members to choose ten nominees to allow movies like Knives Out to be nominated.

Best Director – Marielle Heller

A biopic about Mr. Rogers could’ve been the cheesiest, most sentimental movie possible. But Marielle Heller was able to utilize him to maximum effect in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by making him a supporting character and showing us the impact he has on the main characters around him. It also uses a fun and clever framing device that has the story unfold within an episode of Mr. Rogers’ show. The movie itself is brilliant, and Marielle Heller deserves a lot of credit for how great it is and how she makes something new out of the biopic.

Best Actor – Roman Griffin Davis

Child acting is always dangerous. A lot of times, children cannot act. But sometimes, they are brilliant, and luckily for Jojo Rabbit, Roman Griffin Davis was more than up for the task. The movie had a tough tone to land, having to be a satire that is both funny and very sad when it needs to be. A large credit for the success in navigating that tone goes to the actors. Scarlett Johansson got the buzz, but Davis is the reason the movie works. He communicates Jojo’s experience of realizing that everything he believed in is wrong and moving forward from there in an earnest, believable way.

Best Actress – Lupita Nyong’o & Awkwafina

This is a tie, as both were horrendously snubbed for a nomination. Nyong’o had a dual role in Us and gave each character its own distinctive, terrifying personality that made the final twist all the more satisfying. It’s also an incredibly physical performance that shows her dedication to her craft. Awkwafina is far more subtle in The Farewell, but that subtlety is a key to her character. She has to depict all the conflicting emotion that comes with the lie she is living while also trying to spend the last moments she can with her grandmother. The scene where she tells Nai Nai goodbye is one of the best of the year. Both of these actresses deserved more recognition for their work.

Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lopez

This was one of the most surprising snubs of the year, as J. Lo is just that good as the mama bear of a group of dancers trying to get even. She becomes less and less redeemable as the movie goes along, but Lopez never resolves to making her a cliché villain. She explores all of Ramona’s layers, and the multi-dimensional performance deserved recognition.