Every year around the Academy Awards, the talk is typically about what the Academy gets wrong. Whether it’s undeserving victories or people getting snubbed, voters tend to upset the fans. This Sunday, it’s more or less the same as several deserving actors, directors, and film crew got left hanging when the Academy Award news dropped.
Asians Flourish But Black Representation Dwindles
Each year, the Academy seems intent on making a theme for its show. This time, it’s going to be a night for the Asians judging by the Academy Awards predictions. There are record number of Asian nominees and most are expected to bring home the major awards led by Everything Everywhere All at Once. It’s overdue considering how underrepresented the demographic has been.
But did it come at the expense of black actors and directors? They are some of the most conspicuous absences this year. Namely, the lead acting categories have zero nominees who identify as black. It is more noticeable with the Best Actress category as Danielle Deadwyler of Till was left out.
Congratulations to Danielle Deadwyler
for winning Best Actress for her work in ‘Till’. #AAFCA #NissanDiversity pic.twitter.com/XLBzVMxJX3
— Geeks of Color (@GeeksOfColor) March 2, 2023
Deadwyler was a nominee in the recent Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Critics’ Choice awards and even won the Gotham Award with favorites Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh in the running. That was an upset on the online gambling lines and she does not get the chance to pull off another at the Academy Awards.
Similarly, Viola Davis of The Woman King found herself left out. She garnered nominations almost everywhere else: the Golden Globes, SAG, and the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) but got the short end of the stick here.
As far as films, The Woman King is joined by the likes of Nope and Descendant as Black-led films that deserved at least one nomination. Jordan Peele’s Nope could have earned a Best Original Screenplay or Visual Effects nod but got nothing. Descendant deserved a spot on the Best Documentary Feature nominations but missed out.
Several Notable Women Left Out
Female filmmakers and a handful of star celebrities also missed out on the final ballot. The most notable ones are from the Best Director category, an award women won in the last two Oscars. None of Gina Prince-Bythewood of The Woman King, Charlotte Wells of Aftersun and Sarah Polley of Women Talking made the cut.
Polley’s Women Talking is, at least, nominated for Best Picture (albeit as a long shot at 100-1 to win) and is the favorite bet online to win Best Adapted Screenplay at -250.
Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage was also shut out, although this may be due to the sexual assault allegations made against several of its male actors. But as far as being rated as a film, it was featured in the Gotham Awards and BAFTAs.
Taylor Swift is also one of the biggest names absent. The multiple-time Grammy Award winner could have received a nomination for “Carolina” fromr Where The Crawdads Sing. Instead, she’ll have to look on as a spectator as the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna hear their names mentioned as contenders.
Best Pictures Not in the Running
When the Academy increased the Best Picture nominations to feature to 10 films in 2009, it meant more films will get the shine they deserve. But it did not stop Academy Awards news to feature some popular snubs. This year, RRR leads the list of fan favorites to be ignored.
The Indian epic action drama drew rave reviews and was considered one of the 10 best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review. It became only the second non-English film to garner the honor. Additionally, it received nominations from the Golden Globes and won the Best Foreign Language Film from the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards.
But RRR was held to one nomination at the Oscars for Best Original Song (“Naatu Naatu”). Granted, it is the heavy favorite to win in the sportsbook at -425.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also was left out of the Best Picture race while fellow blockbuster films like Avatar: Way of the Water and TopGun: Maverick made it in. The sequel to the heralded Black Panther was good enough to receive a handful of other nominations with Angela Bassett favored to win the Best Supporting Actress.
The decision to leave out Decision to Leave was also a head-scratcher given the theme for this year’s Academy Awards. The film earned Park Chan-wook Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival while receiving a nomination in BAFTA and a top 5 spot in the National Board of Review’s top 5 international films list.