Oscar Snubs 2019

With typically only five nominees per category, someone is always bound to be left by the wayside when the Oscar nominations arrive. 2020 is no different. But with the snubs also come the surprises – the films, filmmakers, and actors who no one expected to land a nomination suddenly find themselves invited to the biggest awards ceremony Hollywood has to offer.

We’ve combed through this morning’s nominations and have put together a list of the biggest snubs and surprises from the latest batch of nominations. How much outrage you decide to bring to this list is up to you.

greta gerwig quentin tarantino

Snub: Greta Gerwig for Directing Little Women

Perhaps Greta Gerwig’s great “sin” as a filmmaker is that her choices behind the camera serve character and story first – displays of extreme, macho style aren’t in her repertoire. Little Women is a perfect film, served by Gerwig’s sublime, subtle direction. The camera is always where it needs to be the best tell the story. Period. In the all-male Best Director category, her inclusion would’ve been a welcome change of pace. And the right choice. (Jacob Hall)

Jennifer Lopez career

Snub: Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers

Jennifer Lopez gave the best performance of her entire career In Hustlers, so of course, it was overlooked. As super-stripper Ramona, Lopez burns up the screen with confidence and charm, creating a fully-realized character that seems wholly believable. Everything about the character – be it her command of the stripper pole, her big dream to launch her own line of swimwear, or her idea to cook up some drugs in her kitchen oven – gives the character life, and there was a real chance a lesser performer could’ve gone too broad and too over-the-top here. Lopez nails it. Where’s her nomination? (Chris Evangelista)

Marriage Story - Laura Dern

Surprise: Laura Dern for Marriage Story

On one level, it’s not that surprising that Laura Dern scored an Oscar nomination here. You’d be hard-pressed to find another thespian more beloved by her peers (well, Meryl Streep may have her beat). Still, her quietly strong work in Marriage Story is often the kind of performance that gets overlooked. Her divorce attorney, simultaneously a sympathetic shoulder to cry on and one of the film’s chief “villains,” stands out in a crowded year. (Jacob Hall)

Parasite floor

Snub: Song Kang-ho for Parasite

Parasite received a solid amount of Oscar nominations this year, but if there’s one performance that should have been singled out by the Academy, it’s Song Kang-ho as the family patriarch Kim Ki-taek. Not only does the character have the most complete arc in the film, but Kang-ho’s performance is one of subtle pain and desperation. The character puts up with so much throughout his time spent as the driver for a rich Korean family until he can’t take it anymore. It’s a shame we couldn’t have swapped out Jonathan Pryce for Song Kang-ho. (Ethan Anderton)

apollo 11 trailer

Snub: Apollo 11 for Best Documentary

Apollo 11 was one of the year’s most talked-about documentary so it’s shocking to see it completely overlooked. Rather than use talking heads or recreations, this doc repurposes actual footage shot at NASA during the time of the moon landing, beautifully restored, to tell the story of just what went down behind-the-scenes. There’s no narration – the footage speaks for itself, and it’s been meticulously edited to tell a complete narrative. How can you ignore that? (Chris Evangelista)

little women review

Surprise: Florence Pugh for Little Women

Florence Pugh has lovely small feet, the best in the family, and the Oscars surprisingly acknowledged that. Through most of the awards season, Little Women had been getting little recognition from awarding bodies, apart from Saoirse Ronan’s stellar lead performance. But Greta Gerwig’s classic adaptation came in strong with main category nods, including one for Florence Pugh as Best Supporting Actress. As Amy March, Pugh’s sensitive, unapologetic, and hilarious performance that changed many a longtime fan’s mind about the long-hated character and even threatened to take some of the attention away from Ronan. Pugh has had a banner year, and her scene-stealing performance in Little Women was just the capper to it. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Snub: Wild Rose for Best Original Song

The final song performed by Jessie Buckley in Wild Rose has an incredible story behind it involving Mary Steenburgen and a strange post-surgery psychological condition that made the actress experience the world as music. But the unusual making of “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” is not the reason it is the best original song in a film this year. Buckley’s aspiring country singer has tattooed on her arm “three chords and the truth,” a phrase that rings true for this simple, quiet film and the intensely moving song that Buckley sings at the end. “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” brings all the intimate moments of the film to a crescendo through a simple and beautiful song that moves you to tears with its honesty. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Snub: Robert De Niro for The Irishman

Look, Robert De Niro has been slacking a bit in the last few…decades. Once hailed as the best actor of his generation, De Niro has spent the last few years in forgettable or downright terrible fare. But his work in The Irishman is not only a return to form – it’s one of his very best performances. The stuttery, unsure way his Frank Sheeran delivers his lines has De Niro turn his contract killer into a fascinating, flawed individual. The scene where De Niro, as Frank, calls up the wife of one of his victims and awkwardly tries to comfort her is so shattering that that moment alone should’ve ensured a nom for the actor. (Chris Evangelista)

Parasite

Surprise: Parasite Landing Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Director

We all knew that Parasite was going to nab the Best International Film nomination. It’s the frontrunner in that category. But in perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the entire morning, Bong Joon-ho’s instant classic collected six nods, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and more. Combine this with the surprisingly strong box office and the universal critical acclaim and you have something rare: a foreign language film that has truly taken Hollywood by storm. (Jacob Hall)

Snub: Lupita Nyong’o for Us

Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in Us is so damn good that she should have gotten two separate nominations for playing two different characters. Obviously, the more standout performance is her turn as Red, with that croaky, creepy voice that she puts on. Even beyond the voice, there’s a physical presence in Red that Nyong’o perfectly inhabits, moving in an extremely unsettling and calculated fashion. But Nyongo’s turn as Adelaide Wilson is no slouch at either, as her world keeps getting turned upside down. (Ethan Anderton)

Us family

Snub: Us for…Anything, Really

Jordan Peele followed up his debut phenomenon Get Out with an immensely more ambitious and labyrinthine film that touched on economic justice and class disparity. And he got nothing for it. Peele made history as the first black person to win the award for Best Original Screenplay — and for a horror film, no less — but Us received none of the love that the filmmaker enjoyed just two years ago. It may not have been as tight-knit a story as Get Out, but Us should have been recognized in at least a few categories like Screenplay for its challenging nature and pop culture impact. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Jojo Rabbit - Taika Waititi

Snub: Taika Waititi for Best Director

Obviously not all the Best Picture nominees can have their respective directors get a nomination in the smaller category of Best Director, but Taika Waititi certainly deserves it. The filmmaker does a spectacular high wire balancing act as he shifts between comedy and drama, almost causing whiplash in a couple scenes throughout Jojo Rabbit. Neither the comedy nor the drama is hurt by the presence of the other, and on top of that, Waititi kept all of this straight while playing a goofy imaginary version of Hitler. That’s truly remarkable. (Ethan Anderton)

the two popes trailer new

Surprise: More Two Popes Love Than Expected

The Two Popes is a lot of fun! But I honestly didn’t see it garnering any awards love. First of all, it’s not that great. It’s a well-made character piece with two strong performances – nothing more, nothing less. Second of all, even though Jonathan Pryce is a superb actor he spends a large chunk of the film lip-synching the part when his character, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is required to speak Spanish. Pryce uses his own voice when his character speaks Italian or Latin, but, presumably, the actor didn’t feel comfortable enough speaking Spanish, and was dubbed – and it’s glaringly obvious. (Chris Evangelista)

Dolemite Is My Name Trailer

Snub: Eddie Murphy for Dolemite is My Name

Eddie Murphy enjoyed quite a comeback last year, and it’s largely thanks to his acclaimed performance in Dolemite Is My Name. Unfortunately for him, it’s rather difficult for a comedy to land Oscar nominations, even when that movie is about the power of filmmaking and representation. Eddie Murphy was fantastic as comedian Rudy Ray Moore as he tried to make himself a star, and it was easily one of the best performances he’s ever given, so the Academy ignoring him is a real bummer. (Ethan Anderton)

uncut gems trailer final

Snub: Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems

Critics may have thrown Adam Sandler every accolade they could find for his astonishing work in Uncut Gems, but the Academy clearly wasn’t ready to forgive him for his many crimes against cinema. Maybe the film itself is too edgy or unpleasant (certainly more so than Joker). Maybe the nominating bodies simply thought the star of Jack and Jill didn’t deserve to be honored in any way. There has to be some kind of internal politicking going on here, because Sandler gave one of the five best performances of 2019. Unquestionably. (Jacob Hall)

the farewell best of

Snub: The Farewell for Anything at All

C’mon. I try not to get too bent out of shape about Oscar snubs, because the Academy is gonna Academy. But overlooking The Farewell, a wonderful, heart-felt indie, is, to be blunt, bullshit. At the very least Awkwafina should’ve earned a nod for Best Actress, as the comedian-rapper-performer proves here she has a range that I don’t think anyone expected. (Chris Evangelista)

ford v ferrari review

Surprise: Ford v Ferrari Lands a Best Picture Nomination

James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari is a dependable, sturdy crowd-pleaser that earned strong reviews and did well at the box office. Still, it was never really part of the awards conversation. But it is now. Despite not landing an acting nominations, the film has officially entered the Best Picture race. It still feels like an outlier – it’s never going to win – but its inclusion is certainly a pleasant surprise. (Jacob Hall)

weathering with you trailer

Snub: Weathering With You for Best Animated Film

Makoto Shinkai’s 2016 film Your Name became a global phenomenon, earning acclaim and awards love across the world. His highly anticipated follow-up Weathering With You was just as critically loved, so much that Japan pulled a major gamble by submitting the anime film for its Best International Film slot — the first time the country has nominated an anime film in that category since Princess Mononoke in 1997. But despite Weathering With You making an awards bid with an Oscar-qualifying run in 2019, Shinkai’s beautiful supernatural romance was completely shut out not only of Best International Film but Best Animated Film. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Snub: Portrait of a Lady on Fire for…Also Anything at All

Celine Sciamma directed one of the best films of the year, but Portrait of a Lady on Fire‘s Oscar chances were stunted as soon as France nominated Les Miserables for its International Film slot. But that shouldn’t Sciamma’s ravishing LGBT romance from scoring other nods — the Best Director slot was waiting right there for a woman to break up the sausage fest. The artful cinematography by Claire Mathon far and away deserved a nod. And what of Costume Design? Set this whole award ceremony on fire. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

rocketman trailer

Snub: Taron Egerton for Rocketman

After winning the Golden Globe for playing Elton John, one would have though that Taron Egerton deserved an Oscar nomination as well. But the Golden Globes aren’t the best predictors of Oscar nominations, and apparently the Academy just didn’t think his turn measured up to the rest of the performances for Best Actor. Again, we can’t help but notice that Jonathan Pryce seems a little out of place among the nominees, and we would have much rather seen Taron Egerton’s legitimate musical turn land there instead, especially since Rami Malek earned a nomination last year and didn’t even do his own singing. (Ethan Anderton)

live-action Lion King shot

Snub: Beyonce for Best Original Song

Since its live-action remakes became a cash machine, Disney has eyed the prestige of awards recognition as well. With each live-action Disney remake, the House of Mouse has included at least one original song, usually composed by an oft-rewarded composer or by a celebrity. With The Lion King, Disney enlisted superstar Beyoncé to both star in and compose the original song for the CG-animated film, “Spirit.” Beyoncé even went above and beyond and released an entire album themed to The Lion King. But alas, despite all expectations that Disney would dominate at least this category, the Queen Bey was snubbed. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Frozen 2 Soundtrack

Snub: Frozen II for Best Animated Feature

It seems like Disney really struck out when it comes to Oscar nominations this year. After Frozen won the Best Animated Film category in 2014, the sequel didn’t even land a nomination in the category this year. Granted, Disney did get a nomination with Toy Story 4, but it’s a shame that Frozen II isn’t among the pack. Personally, I think the sequel is better than the original, and that includes the overall quality of the soundtrack, but apparently not enough people in the Academy thought the same. (Ethan Anderton)

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