This year’s Oscar nominations are in and – truth be told, there are a lot of not-so-pleasant surprises.
Let’s get the biggest sigh out first: no female directors are on the ballot for the Best Director category. Not one. Those left out are “Little Women” director Greta Gerwig (previously nominated in this category for 2018’s “Lady Bird”), Céline Sciamma for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” Lulu Wang, who directed the highly critically-acclaimed “The Farewell,” Lorene Scafaria for “Hustlers,” Marielle Heller for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and Joanna Hogg for the beautifully intricate, “The Souvenir,” to name just a few.
Considering the fact that this year had such a viable female film-making force that could’ve contended with the likes of Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”) and the other fellas included in the list of nominees, this is truly disappointing. To put things in perspective, in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards, the category for Best Director included a woman – wait for it – a total of five times. Only one – Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) – has won the award.
Left out in the cold, nomination-less reality is “Frozen II” for the Best Animated Film. Quite a surprise, considering the fact the original “Frozen” won that prize in 2013, in addition to the Best Song. The sequel did snag a nomination for the film’s top anthem, “Into the Unknown,” seemingly pushing out Beyoncé’s song from “The Lion King.”
Despite a powerful buzz, considerable acclaim – including several industry-garnered awards and a no-holds-barred personal crusade for what was to be a huge deal for the multi-hyphenate superstar, Jennifer Lopez did not get nominated for her work in “Hustlers.”
We didn’t expect this either. Granted, J. Lo will be fine – she has that Super Bowl halftime show to focus her efforts on – it’s still a tough pill to swallow. Mostly because this nomination was well, well deserved as Lopez, 50, truly overshadowed her mega-stardom hoo-ha with an all-in devotion to a role (it’s still difficult to wrap our minds around the fact that she didn’t require a double for that legendary pole scene!) and championed the film itself like nothing else in her longstanding career.
Also, if she doesn’t attend the ceremony at all, the red carpet will suffer greatly. Just saying.
The 92nd Academy Awards will air live, Sunday, February 9 at 8 pm EST on ABC and will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.