Oscar snubs lead to controversy

Annika Bereny, Centerfold Editor

With the Oscars just days away and with imminent shocks and surprises, here is The Oracle’s list of the most noteworthy Oscar snubs.

Perhaps the most spoken about snub was the lack of female directors in the Best Director category. In a year where there was a plethora of talented female directors to choose from, such as Alma Har’el for “Honey Boy,” Lulu Wang for “the Farewell,” Olivia Wilde for “Booksmart,” Céline Sciamma for “Portrait of Lady on Fire” or Greta Gerwig for “Little Women,” none of them were nominated. Some of these female directors, like Har’el, were certainly long shots, but others like Gerwig and Sciamma had racked up lots of critical acclaim.

Some of the most egregious snubs were found in the Best Actress and Supporting Actress categories. Jennifer Lopez was almost a shoo-in to win the latter, much less have a spot in the category, but was snubbed because ofthe movie she was in (“Hustlers”). Awkafina, who won Best Actress at the Golden Globes, wasn’t even affordeda spot in the category, though Taron Egerton, who won Best Actor at the Golden Globes was also snubbed for his performance as Elton John in “Rocketman.” Lupita Nyong’o, who gave one of the best performances of the year in “Us” was snubbed, despite playing two drastically different characters in one film, a role that displayed her acting prowess to all who watched it. Park So-dam failed to receive a nomination for her work in “Parasite,” despite her strong performance and the movie being called “actor-led” by its director Bong Joon-ho. Cynthia Erivo, however, seemed to fill the one person minority quota that the Oscars had set, receiving a nomination for her role as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet.”

Furthermore, Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” was disqualified from being nominated for the Best Foreign Feature film because of its English dialogue. However, English is the official language of Nigeria. The category was recently renamed to Best International Feature Film. The name was changed in an attempt to move forward with the times, but just makes the lack of “Lionheart” even more pointless. Hopefully, in the future, the Oscars can make strides towards the change they speak so fondly of.

One of the biggest causes behind the constant snubbing of genuinely good movies is the question, “what isan Oscar movie?” Often, an Oscar movie is characterized by a melancholy atmosphere and emotional acting from the leads, as popularized by “Oscar bait” films, that have everything the Oscars could ever want. But this state of mind means that genuinely good movies, like “Hustlers,” can be omitted from the nominations, simply because they don’t fit into this stereotype. Lopez, who plays a stripper in “Hustlers,” gives one of the best performances of the year. The same goes with horror films, with “Us”being excluded from the awards this year. The Oscars are about the best performances of the year, and if those happen to be in a horror movie or in a movie about strippers, so be it. Gatekeeping the Oscars so that only the most depressing stories are considered worthy of a nomination will lead to a decline in films that are actually fun to watch. The elitism of hating having a good time at the movies is going to kill the business eventually.

There were many other snubs this year, from “Frozen II” in Best Animated Feature to “Dolemite is my Name” and “Rocketman” in Best Costume Design. While these are merely the nominations, the Academy Awards will surely have many upsets as well, perhaps even more egregious than its snubs.