The Oscar Nominations Are In, but Nothing Seems to Have Changed 

Dalia Aldu explains how the Oscars is yet again not diversified enough.

By Dalia Aldu

Two years ago, when #OscarsSoWhite was trending on social media, the Academy made a clear effort to diversify their list of nominations, culminating in a half-White half-Black win for the acting categories. However, the Academy seems to have forgotten about every non-White-male person working in the film-industry again this year, raising the question of whether these awards have become out-dated and remain to be a significant indication of commendable film-making talent. 

Women were significantly snubbed from the Director category, despite considerable feats from Little Women’s Greta Gerwig, Hustlers’ Lorene Scafaria, The Farewell’s Lulu Wang and The Souvenir’s Joanna Hogg, among others such as Marielle Heller and Alma Har’el. The industry is positively brimming with strong and highly commendable films directed by women, but Kathryn Bigelow remains the only woman to ever win the award in 92 years of Academy Awards. 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino’s latest pride and joy, seemed to steal the show, being nominated in almost every major category and making a clear example of what is and isn’t commended within nepotistic Hollywood. And throughout all four acting categories, Cynthia Erivo stands as the solitary non-White actor (Lack of diversity in the film industry? Nonsense, we nominated one black actress!). Good job, Oscars. 

Moving on from social diversity issues, the Oscars left out many other majorly strong contenders, leaving the same handful of pretty average films to be nominated countless times, such as Joker and Once Upon a Time. Even The Irishman, a brilliant film no doubt, took up space in almost every category, leaving no space for the acknowledgement of many other talked-about films. The Oscars caused a certain uproar when it snubbed the truly brilliant Uncut Gems, with Adam Sandler’s career-best performance. And despite winning a Golden Globe for best actress, The Farewell received no recognition. 

In typical fashion, non-English films seemed to be left out of sight such as the Italian Happy as Lazarro and the French Portrait of a Lady on Fire, whilst the Oscars did receive a little praise for including Korean Parasite in its Best Picture category. J-Lo’s work on Hustlers, and indie Bait, which Mark Kermode called “one of the defining British films of the decade”, were both also notably missing from the Academy’s acknowledgement.

However, film buffs will be pleased to see 1917’s Roger Deakins receive the nod for his valiant cinematographic efforts. Adam Driver’s unassuming and heart-wrenching performance in Baumbach’s Marriage Story, alongside Laura Dern’s brilliant ball-kicking divorce lawyer, were two more well-deserved nominations, demonstrating the Oscar’s can at least hit the mark on some occasions. And to our relief, Gerwig, Waititi and McCarten’s adapted screenplays for Little Women, Jojo Rabbit and The Two Popes respectively, received the recognition they sought out to achieve. 

Here are the 2020 Oscar nominations in only the major categories:

Best Picture:

“Ford v Ferrari”

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”


“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”


Lead Actor:

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”

Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

Lead Actress:

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”

Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”

Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Supporting Actor:

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”

Al Pacino, “The Irishman”

Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Supporting Actress:

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”

Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”

Florence Pugh, “Little Women”

Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”


Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”

Todd Phillips, “Joker”

Sam Mendes, “1917”

Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Adapted Screenplay:

“The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian

“Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi

“Joker,” Todd Phillips, Scott Silver

“Little Women,” Greta Gerwig

“The Two Popes,” Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay:

“Knives Out,” Rian Johnson

“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach

“1917,” Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino

“Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han


“The Irishman,” Rodrigo Prieto

“Joker,” Lawrence Sher

“The Lighthouse,” Jarin Blaschke

“1917,” Roger Deakins

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Robert Richardson

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Dalia Aldu explains how the Oscars is yet again not diversified enough.