2020 Oscar Nominations: The Most Outrageous Snubs

“Congratulations to these men,” Issa Rae said after announcing the list of nominees for Best Director at the 2020 Oscars, which included the names of five male filmmakers. The exclusion of female directors in the category is unforgivable, and indicative of a wider problem with this award season, where women were also snubbed at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs. In a year of excellent, diverse films, the Oscars managed to curate a list of predominately white and predominately male nominations.

As a whole the list of 2020 Oscar nominations is dull and deeply infuriating. Jennifer Lopez was snubbed for Best Actress, where the category is mostly white and unexciting. Adam Sandler didn’t get the acting nomination he so desperately deserved. The same goes for Eddie Murphy and Awkwafina (and The Farewell as a whole, which also should have gotten a directing nomination for Lulu Wang and an acting nomination for Zhao Shuzhen). And sadly, Lupita Nyong’o was also cut out of the very white Best Actress category.

Below see some of the most egregious snubs at the 2020 Oscars:

Greta Gerwig

What can you say that hasn’t already been said? Gerwig’s Little Women was beloved by critics and audiences alike this season. She is one of the industry’s leading voices and most promising talents, and yet, she couldn’t seem to get enough attention to join the boys’ club that is the Best Director category. Her omission continues to ongoing narrative that the Academy is stuck in the past, seemingly refusing to nominate a woman when her work (or that of Lulu Wang or Lorene Scafaria) is more than worthy of recognition.

Awkwafina and The Farewell


This is an insane oversight. After winning Best Actress, Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes, Awkwafina’s powerful performance in The Farewell was overlooked entirely. Actually, The Farewell was snubbed as a whole, leaving Lulu Wang’s poignant story in the dark for film’s biggest night.

Jennifer Lopez

This one is a punch in the face. This Oscars season hasn’t been without its share of interesting narratives, but toward the top of the list was Jennifer Lopez’s near-certain lock for an Oscar nomination. Her turn in Hustlers was one of the year’s most talked about performances, and yet, on nomination morning she was cut short. There’s something extra painful about it, too, knowing that sneak nominees like Florence Pugh and Kathy Bates are appearing late in the game to snag a nod that seemed due for Lopez, considering she was also looked over in 1997 for Selena.

Zhao Shuzhen


Though less shocking than Lopez’s omission, Shuzhen gave a supporting performance more than deserving of an Oscar nomination. Lulu Wang’s The Farewell was one of the most beautifully nuanced films of the year, but among its most powerful assets was Shuzhen, playing Nai Nai, a cancer-stricken grandmother unaware she only has months to live.

“Spirit,” Beyoncé

The lead single from The Lion King didn’t have the star power that Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” but it had more than enough buzz to land a nomination. Included in almost every Best Original Song nominee list until now, Beyoncé failed to nab a spot on the season’s most prestigious playlist.

Adam Sandler and Uncut Gems

The Academy’s refusal to honor Sandler has ventured into absurd territory. Though unlikely to win, his run in Uncut Gems seemed more and more likely to spell Oscar nomination. On Monday’s nomination reveal though, Sandler was nowhere to be found. Then again, the film itself didn’t land in Best Screenplay or Picture either. No love for Uncut Gems at all.

Eddie Murphy

Murphy’s big return in Dolemite Is My Name had the same kind of vibes as Renée Zellweger’s turn in Judy: a beloved actor out of the scene for a while returns for a transformative performance. But unlike Zellweger, Murphy couldn’t lock in a nomination spot in Best Actor.

Robert DeNiro

With every major awards contender, there’s always one performance that can’t quite snag the attention that the rest of the cast does. While The Irishman locked in big nominations in Supporting Actor (twice, actually), Director, Screenplay, and Picture, De Niro couldn’t pull it off for Best Actor.

Taron Egerton

Egerton’s performance as Elton John seemed like a long shot until just recently. Released in May, Egerton had a difficult, months-long road to get to the Oscars. Most performances don’t have the shelf life to keep the Academy’s attention, but after winning Best Actor, Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes, Egerton seemed like a likely nominee for Best Actor. Instead, his Oscar hopes were dashed this year.

Willem Dafoe

Dafoe was always going to be a long shot, but his performance in The Lighthouse alongside Robert Pattinson was an absurd, comedic turn for the actor. Perhaps The Lighthouse was always going to be a bit weird for the Academy, but still. With a double hit from The Irishman and near locks for Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt, Dafoe was always playing for that fifth spot.

Wesley Snipes

Though a lot of attention was on Murphy, Dolemite is My Name also featured an incredible performance for Wesley Snipes. Unfortunately, in a crowded Supporting Actor category, the actor wasn’t able to break through. Considering how much the Academy loves a comeback story, it feels like an big oversight to cut both Murphy and Snipes out of the running this year.

Lupita Nyong’o

Much like Egerton’s performance in Rocketman, Lupita Nyong’o had an uphill battle in order to secure an Oscar nomination. With a March release, Jordan Peele’s Us could have faded in the Academy’s mind, but Nyong’o’s performance as Adelaide was so remarkable that failing to nominate her in the Best Actress category is a bit mind boggling. Playing against herself, Nyong’o carried the bulk of horror film on her shoulders, cementing herself as a critical and box office juggernaut.

Culled from Esquire

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