Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 30 October 2020

Adam Sandler, Greta Gerwig and 'Gully Boy': seven of the biggest Oscar snubs

There were many pleasant surprises from the 2020 Oscars nominees announcement, but these performances and projects needed more recognition

Complaining about who did and did not receive an Oscars nod is a long-standing tradition among film fans. Every year, people dispute the nominees and whether their place on the hopefuls' list is deserved. Here are our choices for the biggest snubs from this year's Academy Awards nominations.

Adam Sandler for Best Actor

Many people will argue against nominating a comedian whose films include classics such as Jack & Jill, The Ridiculous 6 and Pixels. But those people probably haven't seen Adam Sandler's career-defining performance in Uncut Gems. The film, about a jewel merchant and a compulsive gambler in New York, is directed by Benny and Josh Safdie, who also directed the underrated Good Time starring Robert Pattinson. Sandler, who portrays the protagonist, allowed himself to get completely absorbed by the role. And that's what makes his performance in Uncut Gems so memorable. He gives it his all. There is not one scene where he's out of character, leading many respected actors and directors to come out in praise of the film and more, specifically, of Sandler’s performance. So why didn't he get nominated?

Faisal Salah, social media journalist

Song Kang-ho for Best Actor

It was a pleasant surprise to see South Korean film Parasite on this year’s list - the first in the history of the Oscars - with no fewer than six nominations for various categories. While it’s great that a Korean film and Korean cinema as a whole can achieve this level of recognition all at once, skipping any nominations for the actors involved is an oversight. Most of the cast deserves to be recognised for their stellar performances, but none more than screen veteran Song Kang-ho, whosereputation has skyrocketed since Parasite. There is no reason why such a popular film shouldn't have had any of its cast nominated, and it’s a shame that, at the very least, Song's breakout performance was not acknowledged.

Faisal Salah, social media journalist

'Gully Boy' for Best International Feature Film

Apna Time Aayega is the name of a popular song from India’s submission for the Best International Film category, Gully Boy. It roughly translates to, “my time will come”. Sadly, at least according to the Academy, that notion proved premature . The movie tells a simple story about a Mumbai street rapper’s ascent in an extraordinary way. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, the film weaves in themes of inequality, vindication, love and loss, all while incorporating brilliant music and cinematography. The story itself could have easily been banal on the big screen, but it soars and inspires. That’s why it’s such a triumph and should have been deserving of an Oscar nomination.

Cody Combs. Social media journalist

Awkwafina for Best Actress

Snubbing Awkwafina just further shows the Academy’s conflict with diversity. In The Farewell, she plays a Chinese-American writer who learns that her grandmother is dying from terminal cancer and goes to China to say goodbye under the guise of attending a family wedding. The fact she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress, but wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar seems like an injustice. Perhaps more annoyingly than her absence is that Scarlett Johansson was nominated not once but twice in two acting categories. Not that she wasn’t deserving, but why not pass around the glory?

Evelyn Lau, assistant features editor

Greta Gerwig for Best Director

Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women picked up an impressive six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay – yet she was noticeably absent from the Best Director category. The classic tale by Louisa May Alcott tells the story of the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – and traces their journey from childhood to adulthood. It’s hard to imagine why a film that was successful in scoring so many nods received no credit for its director. If a film is nominated for Best Picture, surely that means its director played a big role?

Evelyn Lau, assistant features editor

Lupita Nyong’o for Best Actress

Maybe two Oscars aren’t meant to be (yet) for Lupita Nyong’o, but she still deserved a nomination for her role in Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed horror film Us. Nyong'o stars as Adelaide and (minor spoiler alert) plays not one, but two characters. The film follows Adelaide and her family as a group of doppelgangers attacks them, and they fight for survival. Even though Us didn’t receive any nominations from the Academy, Nyong’o’s snub undermines her best performance to date.

Evelyn Lau, assistant features editor

Eddie Murphy for Best Actor

Eddie Murphy made his long-awaited comeback in Dolemite Is My Name. Arguably, his last great film was 2006's Dream Girls, which was nominated for eight Oscars. After a decade of rather forgettable films, we got the Murphy we know and love with Dolemite. In the film he takes on the role of pioneering comedian Rudy Ray Moore, who became a 1970s blaxploitation phenomenon with his hilarious kung fu-fighting alter ego. Murphy was as hilarious and riotous as the subject he portrayed. His being overlooked for an Academy Award is definitely a notable snub.

Razmig Bedirian, features writer

Updated: January 14, 2020 07:51 PM

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