Oscars So What

The 2020 Academy Awards Nominations were announced this morning, and the overwhelming feeling I got from them was … Oscars, so … what? Why do we still care so much about this cultural accolade that continually disappoints and refuses to reflect the majority opinion? If #OscarsSoWhite made so little impact on The Academy, maybe we could just start a revolution of #OscarsSoWhat and … quit bothering?

“Here Are the All-Male Nominees”

This Natalie Portman quote is evergreen. The biggest snub of the 2020 Oscars has to be the complete lack of female nominees in the directing category.

And look, dudebros, it’s not a plea to simply nominate women for the sake of it. Women directed over 10% of the 100 top-grossing films this year, including notable ones that are nominated multiple times in other categories: Little Women (Greta Gerwig), Harriet (Kasi Lemmons), and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller). Olivia Wilde killed it with Booksmart. Lorene Scafaria gave us a resurgence of JLo feels in Hustlers. Anna Boden (Captain Marvel) and Jennifer Lee (Frozen II) brought us massive box office hits. Women BEEN directing. 

The snub on Greta Gerwig for Little Women feels particularly egregious when faced with the acting, writing, costume design, score, and best picture nominations. How does one film succeed in all those categories but the director doesn’t? Nominated for her performance in Little Women, Florence Pugh said it best:

Best Pictures

I used to be very on top of Best Picture nominees. I saw every movie from 1995-2005 unless it had 007 in the title. But since I had kids and with the onset of streaming, I go to the theater less and less. This year, though, somehow, I saw most of these movies.

… and I came away excited about very few of them. The ones that deserve this nom? The aforementioned Little Women, Parasite, and JoJo Rabbit. Those movies feel fresh and unique and worth their accolades. Everything else on this list is, at best, derivative, and at worst, a self-congratulatory circle jerk.

The Ladies

I don’t know why anyone nominated anything from Bombshell when everyone hated that movie and the subject matter. Yes, Charlize looked creepily amazing. Yes, it was a good impression. There are good impressions on SNL every week.

And are we really ignoring Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers? She was trending for weeks following the release of that movie. Not to mention Constance Wu’s performance. Did they even SEE Lupita Nyong’o in US?

The Dudes

With the exception of Adam Driver, who was still in high school in 1997 and dreaming of being a marine, every single lead and supporting actor nomination looks like something out of the 20th century. It. Is. Infuriating.

The Rest

Since I’m super annoyed that The Incel The Joker and Todd Phillips got so many nominations, I want to focus on Parasite getting a Best Production Design award. The feel of the Park family house changes with each scene. It is warm and #housegoals in one moment, creepy and terrifying the next. Parasite is the kind of movie that sticks with you long after you see it, kind of like Annihilation. I can’t stop thinking about it. – Amy

I’d also like to say that movies like Ford vs Ferrari are the reason that Sound Mixing awards exist. You know that little Dolby Surround Sound clip that your theater shows before every movie to prove to you that the movie is “all … around … you …”? FvF is the best your theater is every going to sound.

Likewise, John Williams deserves Original Score for The Rise of Skywalker for no other reason than it’s the swan song of the trilogy of trilogies. But also because The Force is With You makes me sob.

How in the world The Lighthouse didn’t get a Screenplay nomination, I will never understand (especially since the laughably bad dialogue in The Joker continues to baffle English-language speakers and yet the weird cadence of The Lighthouse is part and parcel why it’s so compelling). But I will tear the house down if it doesn’t win its Cinematography award. The aspect-ratio on this black and white hellscape film is a character all on its own.

What are your Oscars So What feelings and predictions? Should we even care anymore?

Featured Image credit:Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S. John Cho (left) and Issa Rae announce the nominees for the 92nd Annual Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, on Monday, January 13, 2020.

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