Oscar nominations highlight award show contradictions

The 92nd Academy Awards demonstrates the incongruities between various shows.

It’s award season yet again, and like the past few years the announcement of the nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards was met with numerous complaints and a multitude of accusations regarding the lack of diverse representation. Some of the most notable snubs include Greta Gerwig for her directing of “Little Women” and “The Farewell” for literally anything.

This year’s Academy Award nominations also sparked some surprise and confusion, as the nominees didn’t correlate as much to the winners of the 77th Golden Globe Awards, as is often the case. Again, “The Farewell” must be mentioned, as Awkwafina won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and was not even nominated for the Academy Awards. An explanation for this sort of situation has consistently been that while the Golden Globes essentially splits movies into two categories, Drama and Musical or Comedy, the Academy Awards does not, thereby halving the number of nominees in each category.

Another surprise for this year’s nomination announcement was “Joker” leading the race with a whopping 11 nominations, followed by “The Irishman,” “1917” and “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” right behind with 10 nominations apiece.

This past week, Stephen King has perhaps unintentionally stepped into the spotlight with his controversial comments as to what is important within the film industry and how filmmakers and movie-goers alike seem to have lost sight of such things. King tweeted, “I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to be that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

Cynthia Erivo, nominated for best actress for her role of Harriet Tubman and soon to be starring in the HBO adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Outsiders” responded to King’s assertion by saying that it is the job of people in power to create a system of better representation. The notion of representation in Hollywood has become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, talking points for the film industry for the last several years.

I think one of my biggest complaints about the film industry is that the overall quality of movies being made has seemed to exponentially decrease over the last decade or so. I’m hopeful that the recognition of foreign films have started to receive beyond their delegated category is signaling a shift in the types of movies that will be made and hopefully be successful in the box office.

The fact that “Parasite” set a new precedent by being the first foreign film to win the SAG for best ensemble cast, as well as the commentary from director Bong Joon-ho during his Golden Globes acceptance speech, which encourages movie-goers to get past the one inch boundary of subtitles, seems to be indicative of a more appreciative look at films that I feel often get neglected by the Hollywood Foreign Press and other governing film bodies.

I am immensely curious to see how the Oscars shake out on Feb. 9. There are some awards that seem to be pretty definite — Joaquin Phoenix has swept the best actor category across the board — while other categories seem to have less clear front-runners. I think Best Picture at this point is anyone’s game; though “1917” brought home the Best Drama win at the Globes, it’s come under some criticism for its beautifully inventive cinematography but lack of original take on the classic war film. Meanwhile, “Parasite” could continue its winning trend and take home two best picture awards at the Academy Awards.

Post Author: Tori Gellman