Well, the nominees for all of the categories at the 92nd Academy Awardswere announced on Monday morning in Los Angeles, and, as you might expect from a post-Green Book Academy, the picks were both divisive and still somehow very, very bland. 2019 was a damn good year for cinema, and yet we wound up with Todd Phillips’ Joker leading the pack with 11 nominations, all of which it might cleanly sweep. Now, we didn’t hate Joker or anything, but good lord.
The only reasonably good thing we can say about this is that it’s nice that the Academy is finally showing its true colors — they’re more impressed by Box Office numbers than they care to admit — if they’re going to totally snub movies like Uncut Gems, The Farewell and others. Speaking of those two films, A24 was, somehow, totally shut out of nominations beyond a cinematography nod for The Lighthouse.
It’s also very frustrating that women were, once again, totally absent from the Best Director nominees, even in a year where a film like Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is doing wonderfully with both critics and audiences. We’re not going to quibble with the very deserving nods for four out of the five directors, but we are starting to warm up to the idea that women should have their own separate category for director — it’s crystal clear that the Academy isn’t going to change this on their own, and the trickle-down effect that this new category might have on the down-ballot nominations has been understated by its opponents. Again, the acting categories are dominated by white faces, which is a tremendous bummer — how the hell do you snub Lupita Nyong’o but nominate Scarlett Johannson twice?
This list once again reinforces our belief that the Oscars should only be seen as a money-making opportunity for those degenerate gamblers out there, not as an objective statement about what the year’s best films are. Still, it’s hard not to be pissed off about this dumb list. What a way to start the day and the decade.