Oscar Nominations: Who was snubbed?


Zachary Nicholas

2020 was full of great films, and unfortunately, many are left out come awards season.

David Cease, Segments Editor

With every award season, there comes a series of snubs and the Oscars are no different. There were a number of great films released in 2020, despite the fact that the year was spent in a pandemic. This year’s rejects are in good company. In recent years, the Academy has omitted films like “Uncut Gems,” “Booksmart,” “Midsommar,” and “The Farewell.” 

And although I can wholeheartedly say that many of the nominees this year are excellent choices by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, there were some deserving recipients that were completely rejected.

“Palm Springs”

Starting off the list is “Palm Springs,” which earned two Golden Globes nominations this year, one for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and another for Andy Samberg in the Best Actor Motion Picture Comedy or Musical category. Reviewers thought it was a touching and brilliant reinvention of “Groundhog Day.” Although comedies aren’t often the Academy’s first choice, some thought that this one might break through in the screenplay category, but it seems heavyweight contenders like Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” caused it to be overlooked. 

“The Invisible Man”

“The Invisible Man” was one of this year’s highest-grossing movies.  The film received rave reviews for Elisabeth Moss’ lead performance, but Whannell’s filmmaking was also buzz-worthy. The director made the film an unbearably tense experience that used the fear of the unknown to make the entire thing exhilarating. It was Oscar-worthy in the eyes of many critics and viewers alike. 

“His House”

Remi Weekes’ thrilling directorial feature debut “His House” offers the immigrant experience through a horror lens as two Sudanese asylum-seekers arrive in Britain with their demons in tow. A critical favorite when it was released in October, the movie has riveting performances from Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku that ground Weekes’ supernatural leanings in trauma and emotions that feel far too real. 

“First Cow”

Perhaps one of the prominent critics’ favorites of 2020 was Kaley Reichardt’s “First Cow,” which won New York Film Critics Circle prize for Best Feature after landing four Gotham Award nominations and three Indie Spirit Awards nominations. “First Cow” is a satisfying minimalist period drama. 

“The Assistant”

Kitty Green’s narrative feature directorial debut “The Assistant” opened in January 2020, making it one of the foremost deserving Oscar contenders of the 2020-21 awards season. Garner’s lead performance was so well-calibrated that she deserved serious Oscar contention for Best Actress in its small, uncertain gestures. Fortunately, Garner was not completely shut out of the season as she earned Best Actress nominations at the Indie Spirit Awards and the Gotham Awards.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

One of the biggest snubs this year was the shutout of Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” Kaufman, a three-time Oscar nominee for his screenplays and one-time winner for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” crafted one of his poetic, confusing, but ultimately rewarding creations with this adaptation of Iain Reid’s novel of the same name. While the film was bound to be too polarizing and cerebral to emerge as an across-the-board awards season contender, the limited Best Actress buzz for Jessie Buckley’s performance is criminal. The Gotham Award nomination was the only notable award season moment for Buckley.