Saturday, February 15, 2020

A look into the 92nd Academy Awards

By Melissa Scrivani

The 92nd Academy Awards will premiere Sunday, February 2nd on ABC. @theacademy

The 92nd annual Academy Awards are right around the corner, and with it comes a night of glam, prestige and, in recent years, a lot of controversy.

Every year, Hollywood’s most elite gather to celebrate film. Every aspect of film, from acting and directing to original score and costume, is recognized throughout the night. Many of 2019’s most talked-about and acclaimed movies are nominated, including “Joker,” “Parasite,” “Little Women” and “The Irishman.” “Joker” has the most nominations, with 11 in total.

For Best Picture, nominations are “1917,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and “Parasite.”

Nominations for Best Director are Sam Mendes for “1917,” Martin Scorsese for “The Irishman,” Todd Phillips for “Joker,” Quentin Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite.”

For Best Actor, Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker,” Antonio Banderas in “Pain and Glory,” Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver in “Marriage Story” and Jonathan Pryce in “The Two Popes” are nominated.

For Best Actress, nominations include RenĂ©e Zellweger in “Judy,” Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet,” Scarlett Johansson in “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women” and Charlize Theron in “Bombshell.”

Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which earned six nominations, is making history as the first South Korean film to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best International Feature Film. Joon is the second Asian director, after Ang Lee, to earn a Best Picture nomination.

Unfortunately, the achievements in representation and inclusion seem to end there. Despite “Parasite” receiving six nominations, none of the actors of the film received a nomination. In fact, Cynthia Erivo is the only person of color nominated in the four acting categories. No women were nominated for Best Director, despite films like “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Hustlers,” “Little Women” and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” — all directed by women — impressing audiences this past year.

The lack of diversity in nominations is part of a bigger, more systemic problem. As much as I love the awards season, it is discouraging to see little improvement year after year. Hollywood seems to be more diverse than ever, but it certainly isn’t reflected in these nominations.

"In a year that saw a wealth of talent from marginalized communities, both in front of and behind the camera, it is disappointing to see the Academy, and other bodies like the BAFTAs [British Academy of Film and Television Arts] and the HFPA [Hollywood Foreign Press Association], not recognize their work," April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag from 2015, told CNN Business. "[The Academy's] voting membership is still overwhelmingly white and male. So one can't be surprised when the nominations aren't as representative as we'd like."

For the second year in a row, the Oscars will have no host. Presenters include Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Natalie Portman, Regina King, Salma Hayak, Mindy Kaling, Chris Rock and more. Billie Eilish, Elton John and Idina Menzel will all be performing.

The Oscars premiere Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at 

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