Oscar nominations 2020: the biggest shocks, snubs and surprises

Justice for J-Lo

This year’s Oscar nominations are finally out, and as usual, there’s plenty to digest. Joker leads the way with 11 nods, while 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Irishman follow behind closely with 10 nominations each. As with every year, there were a number of big snubs – as well as a few surprise inclusions too.

First up, here are some of the biggest talking points from the announcement:

Jennifer Lopez missed out

At the start of the season, J-Lo was seen as a strong contender for the Best Supporting Actress gong, having already been recognised at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Alas, it seems the Academy didn’t take to Hustlers in the same way everyone else did – her name was missed off the shortlist.

Awkwafina was snubbed


Despite garnering acclaim from literally all corners, including a Golden Globe to boot, Awkwafina was completely ignored by the Academy for her performance in comedy-drama The Farewell. The film itself was also ignored. What gives?

Awkwafina speaks onstage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations announcement. Credit: Getty

Taron Egerton left out

Another Golden Globe winner whose success hasn’t translated into an Oscar nod, Taron Egerton, saw his turn as Elton John in Rocketman left off the shortlist. Given the Academy’s love of British musical biopics – as evidenced by Bohemian Rhapsody‘s success last year – many had expected Egerton to be a shoo-in. Alas, it seems Joaquin Phoenix’s chances of that Oscar win may have now shot up significantly.

Adam Sandler may go back to making bad movies

The universally acclaimed Uncut Gems proved (again) that Adam Sandler could be good, though it seems the Academy didn’t get that memo with the movie receiving zero nominations. Sandler himself vowed to make a movie “so bad on purpose just to make you all pay” on Howard Stern last month if he got no Oscar love. So it seems we’ll have to brace ourselves for Grown Ups 3 after all. Thanks, Oscars.

Greta Gerwig passed over, again

Many had hoped that the Little Women director would get a nod for her work on the acclaimed movie, but the total number of female Best Director nominees is set to remain at five, Gerwig herself being the last nominee two years ago. Must do better.

Frozen 2… frozen out


Widely expected to at least take a slot in the Best Animated Feature category, Frozen 2 only managed Best Original Song. But we’ll let it go (sorry, not sorry).

'Frozen 2'
‘Frozen 2’. Credit: Disney

Scarlett Johansson goes for the double

Until today, Scarlett Johansson had never scored an Oscar nomination. The actress was surprisingly recognised for her work in both Marriage Story (Leading) and Jojo Rabbit (Supporting) – although, like Margot Robbie getting a double BAFTA nod, the news only serves to highlight the lack of diversity this year.

Kathy Bates sneaks into contention

The Oscars usually throw in a curveball or two in the acting nominations each year, and one of the big ones this year was Kathy Bates, who scored a Supporting Actress nod for Clint Eastwood’s controversial drama Richard Jewell.

Kathy Bates on the red carpet. Credit: Getty

Jonathan Pryce gets a nod

Another big surprise was Jonathan Pryce, who received his first-ever Oscar nomination for The Two Popes after decades spent on our screens. Hard work does pay off… eventually.

Many Hollywood icons make their return after decades away

Some Oscar veterans landed nominations after a huge gap, particularly in the Supporting Actor category. Tom Hanks got his last nod 19 years ago (Cast Away), Anthony Hopkins 22 years ago (Armistad), Al Pacino 27 years ago (Scent of a Woman) and Joe Pesci 29 years ago (Goodfellas). On top of that, Leading Actress nominees Renée Zellweger and Charlize Theron were last nominated 16 (Cold Mountain) and 14 years ago (North Country).