Tomorrow morning at 5:18AM PST, John Cho and Issa Rae will be reading out the nominees for the 2020 Academy Awards. Now that awards season is well under way, we have more than a good idea about which actors and what films will receive recognition. It’s highly likely that the same usual suspects who have been taking home trophies for the past two months will be making it to the main stage. We’re talking 1917, The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Joker.
The rush of middle-aged white guys seems inevitable, as it does every year. But whose names do we want read aloud tomorrow morning? Here are the top 5 things we want from the Oscar nominations tomorrow:
Lupita Nyong’o Nominated for Us
We’ve always bemoaned the fact that horror film performances never get the awards recognition they deserve (Toni Collette in Hereditary for example). But Lupita Nyong’o’s dual performance in Us is simply without parallel. I’ve discussed why this performance is so essential, and I’m pre-emptively pissed that the Academy will likely ignore her tour de force role. Simply put, people will be talking about her performance in Jordan Peele’s horror film for years to come.
Nominations for Female Directors and Writers
Hollywood loves giving lip service to women and marginalized groups, but that only gets you so far. To not nominate any women for writing and/or directing is especially egregious given the wealth of female-created films that were released in 2019. Greta Gerwig wrote and directed her acclaimed adaptation of Little Women. Lulu Wang broke our hearts with The Farewell. Alma Har’el delivered a stunning look at showbiz parenting with Honeyboy. Lorene Scafaria gave Jennifer Lopez the role of her career in Hustlers. Booksmart was Olivia Wilde’s first movie!
At this point, the problem isn’t the lack of qualified women directors and writers. It’s an Academy that won’t celebrate them.
Nominations for Writers/Directors/Actors of Color
Harriet star Cynthia Erivo made news this weekend when she turned down an invitation to the BAFTAs after people of color were completely shut out of all four acting categories. The Tony Award–winning performer turned down the chance to sing at the awards show, and discussed her reasoning to Extra while walking the red carpet for her new HBO series The Outsider saying “I felt like [the invitation] didn’t represent people of color in the right light … It felt like it was calling on me as an entertainer, as opposed to a person who was a part of the world of film, and I think that it’s important to make it known that it’s not something that you just throw in as a party trick, you know?” Erivo followed up by saying, “I work hard and every single person of color who is working in these films this year has worked really hard, and there are many of them who deserve to be celebrated. And no women directors? It just was like, ‘C’mon.’” Honestly, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
And lastly, the same thing I wanted (and didn’t get) at the Golden Globes. Taylor Swift performing her Cats song while dressed as a cat. I mean, come on guys, we can make this happen, can’t we? Or do we have to ascend to the Heaviside layer?
What do you hope will get nominated at the Oscars? Share your picks in the comments!
(image: Columbia Pictures)
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