The lack of diversity is still present


The nominations for the 92nd Oscars have been plagued by controversy and criticism. Once again, the Oscars failed to nominate on diverse grounds. Numerous actors of color and female directors were spurned in the 2020 Oscars categories.

This year was full of surprises. A foreign motion picture reached a new achievement with the nomination for best picture. The most divisive movie of the year, “Joker,” also became the most nominated film with 11 nominations. 

Jennifer Lopez, who was nominated for her role in “Hustlers” for a Golden Globe and a SAG award, failed to grab the best actress in a supporting role nomination for the Oscars. People also took to Twitter to issue their disagreement with the fact that Lupita Nyong’o was snubbed of a best actress nomination for her role in “Us.” 

Some critics pointed out that it’s not the movies that are lacking in diversity, but the Academy voters who ultimately get the final say. 

“Even long-running, well-reviewed hits like ‘The Farewell’ and ‘Hustlers’ didn’t resonate with enough Academy voters, accessible as they were,”  pointed out Anne Thompson in an Indie Wire article. “It reminds us of who these industry insiders are: Mostly white males over 60, many of whom — like writing branch member Stephen King — vote with their own taste rather than consider what they might be missing.”

Meanwhile, Scarlett Johanson was nominated twice for best actress and supporting actress categories in the movies “Marriage Story” and “JoJo Rabbit.” However, not a single woman was nominated for best director. 

The foreign feature category had a breakthrough with the movie “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, which was nominated not only for best foreign film, but also for six other categories including best picture. This was a historic moment, as the movie became the first major Korean feature to be nominated in multiple categories. 

In other news:

The animation nominees were also shocked to see “Frozen 2” left out of the mix. The category included Netflix original “Klaus,” Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden Work,” Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” and a French animated film, “I Lost My Body,” which was well received at the Cannes festival. Critics believe that the front runner for this category is “Toy Story 4.”

The most nominated movie this year was the controversial “Joker,” garnering a total of 11 nominations. The film, which was directed by Todd Phillips, has been a subject of criticism for its depiction of violence and its call for viewers to sympathize with a criminal. However, Joaquin Phoenix’s nomination for his portrayal of the Joker shows the popularity of the film overall and the power the anti-hero genre has over an audience. 

Three films received a total of 10 nominations from the Academy. “1917” is a World War I motion picture centered around the crisis of two British soldiers delivering a message that could save thousands of lives. The cinematography in the film is best noted for its one sequence feel. 

Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” was also nominated in 10 categories, including best picture and best screenplay. Tarantino was criticized in 2019 when he debuted his film at Cannes for the lack of screen time devoted to Margott Robbie. Tarantino defended the role he chose for Robbie, telling Indie Wire, “It’s not her story, it’s Rick’s story. It’s not even Cliff’s. And she is an angelic presence throughout the movie, she’s an angelic ghost on earth, to some degree, she’s not in the movie, she’s in our hearts.”

“The Irishman” was the third film to be nominated 10 times. The Netflix movie by Martin Scorsese depicts the life of Italian mobster hitman Frank Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro. The film is based on true characters. Al Pacino and Joe Pesci round out the main cast. 

The Oscars will air on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. on ABC. Once again, they will not have a host. ABC entertainment president, Karey Burke told reporters, “There was a lot of conversation about which way to go and there may be a day when we decide to have a host again, but the focus has been on the most entertaining show and not on the host.”