2020 Oscar nominations: The biggest snubs and surprises, from Greta Gerwig to Beyoncé

Katie Rosseinsky

The awards race just stepped up a gear with the announcement of this year's Oscar nominations.

The Academy's latest shortlists have already sparked discussion thanks to an all-male Best Director line-up (repeating a precedent set by the Golden Globes and the Baftas) and a lack of diversity in many major categories.

Here are some of the biggest omissions and surprises ahead of the biggest night in Hollywood...

SNUB: Greta Gerwig for Best Director (Little Women)

Issa Rae said it all when she followed up the all-male Best Director slate with “Congratulations to those men.” Gerwig, who previously received a directing nomination for 2018’s Lady Bird, is just one of the talented women directors who have been locked out of the awards conversation this year (you could replace her name with Lulu Wang, Lorene Scafaria, Marielle Heller, Melina Matsoukas). She has, however, picked up a nod in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.

SNUB: Jennifer Lopez for Best Supporting Actress (Hustlers)

(Courtesy of STXfilms)

This was meant to be J. Lo’s year, but despite picking up a slew of critics’ awards (and inspiring fervent social media support) for her turn as stripper Ramona in Hustlers - giving what is surely a career-best performance - the buzz has failed to translate into major nominations, her Golden Globe nod aside. The Supporting Actress statuette is now surely Laura Dern’s for the taking.

SNUB: Spirit by Beyonce for Best Original Song

(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Just a few months back, film fans were predicting a seriously star-studded Best Original Song category featuring the likes of Sir Elton, Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats song(ah, we were so innocent then) and Beyonce.

However, despite being a highlight of the rebooted film, Queen B’s new track for The Lion King failed to win over the Academy. Oscars voters are surely the real losers here, though, as they’ve missed out on the chance to have Beyonce perform at the ceremony.

SNUB: Frozen II for Best Animated Film

(DISNEY)

Frozen II managed to do the unthinkable and surpass the much-loved original at the box office, but despite its runaway success, it won’t follow in the awards footsteps of its predecessor, which won Best Animated Feature in 2014. Instead, the category features more unexpected inclusions like Netflix’s I Lost My Body and Klaus.

There’s still good news for Disney though.The mega-studio has picked up a nomination for Toy Story 4, as well as a slew of visual effects nominations (for The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and sound and score nominations for Star Wars.

SNUB: Awkwafina for The Farewell

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After a historic Golden Globes win, it seemed that Awkwafina (real name Nora Lum) was on track to land a Best Actress nomination from the Academy. However, The Farewell hasn’t picked up a single mention (Zhao Shuzhen, who plays Awkwafina’s on-screen grandmother, was also a mainstay of Oscar predictions).

SNUB: Taron Egerton for Rocketman

(AP)

Bohemian Rhapsody swept the Oscars last year, proving that the musical biopic formula is certainly a winning one for Academy voters. Egerton received critical acclaim for his all-singing turn as Sir Elton John (unlike last year’s Best Actor winner Rami Malek, he re-recorded versions of Sir Elton’s hits for the film, too) and his awards season campaign seemed to be gaining momentum with a Golden Globes win and a BAFTA nomination.

However, he didn’t manage to edge into the crowded Best Actor category - and Rocketman has been pretty much sidelined by the Oscars overall. The film has picked up just one nomination - and Sir Elton is a favourite to win Best Original Song - with Costume Design another serious snub.

SURPRISE: Florence Pugh for Best Supporting Actress (Little Women)

Florence Pugh will star in Little Women ()

There are many brilliant things about Gerwig’s intricately wrought adaptation of Little Women (which makes her Best Director snub so frustrating), but 24-year-old Pugh - who brings new depth and warmth to the often maligned Amy March - is undoubtedly one of its biggest draws. After missing out on Golden Globe and SAG nominations, it seemed like Pugh’s performance might be overlooked in favour of a bigger name - so it’s a very good surprise indeed to see her name crop up.

SURPRISE: Ford v Ferrari for Best Picture

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When was the last time you heard someone wax lyrical about Ford v Ferrari (or Le Mans 1966, as it’s called on this side of the Atlantic)? Yes, this dad movie par excellence (Matt Damon! Christian Bale! Cars!) has generated solid reviews since its release last year, but it’s barely made a dent in the awards conversation - until now, that is. Its inclusion on the nine-strong Best Picture line-up feels like a very “industry” choice - and many film fans are less than impressed to see it take a slot that could have gone to the Safdie Brothers’ kinetic Uncut Gems.

SURPRISE: Scarlett Johansson’s double nomination

She pulled off a double Bafta nomination earlier this month, and Johansson has now repeated the same feat with the Academy, appearing in the Best Actress category for Marriage Story and in Best Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit.

Statistically speaking, it’s rare to see the same star nominated in two categories in the same Oscar year - Johansson follows Cate Blanchett, who was nominated for I’m Not There and for Elizabeth: The Golden Age back in 2007. Throw in the fact that Johansson has never previously been nominated for an Oscar and it becomes even more of a shock.

SURPRISE: Jonathan Pryce for Best Actor (The Two Popes)

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In terms of Oscar maths, Pryce’s Screen Actors Guild snub implied that he could be the one to drop out of the crowded Best Actor category (if you crunch the numbers, it’s pretty rare to have one without the other). However, it seems that Academy voters didn’t take any notice of SAG’s omission, and the 72-year-old star has received his very first Oscar nomination. His Two Popes co-star Anthony Hopkins will also compete for Best Supporting Actor.

The Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on February 9.