Awards season 2020: The highs and lows

Just like every year, the mystifying cabal of voters have given us reasons both to celebrate and to scratch our heads this awards season…

You already know there is a huge problem in the film industry when Noah Baumbach’s sappy, melodramatic Marriage Story is receiving so much recognition. Granted, it is technically both well-directed and well-written, with Laura Dern definitely deserving of her success with Best Supporting Actress; but with Olivia Wilde’s dazzling directorial debut Booksmart being completely snubbed, there are some issues clearly in need of addressing.

The Souvenir is a beautiful coming-of-age film that was released last year and received widespread critical but has precisely zero nominations, even at the (increasingly-Americanised) BAFTAs. The film takes its title from the painting of the same name by Jean-Honoré Fragonard and depicts a young woman who enters a toxic relationship with an older, charismatic man. This film currently holds an average score of 92 on Metacritic and is directed by a woman (Joanna Hogg). The fact that it received no nominations speaks volumes.

It also seems to be that Andrew “Rapman” Onwubolu’s directorial debut Blue Story, seemed to have also failed to capture anyone’s attention – or at least positive attention – which was, at least once shortlisted in the producing, writing and directing category, but still failed to make it onto any category.

However, there have been some great directors, actors and more that have started to get the recognition they deserve, so here are some milestone achievements.

We saw a nomination for Jennifer Lopez in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role as Ramona in the film Hustlers, at the Golden Globe Awards. Whilst reviews for the film were highly positive, Jennifer herself was singled out for praise for the performance of her character.  

The last time Jennifer Lopez received this much praise was back in 1998 for her role as Selena, in the biographical film of the same name.

Eddie Murphy was finally praised in his role as Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name, receiving a nominations for Best Actor at both the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, while composer Hildur Guònadóttir became the first solo woman and only the second overall to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for her work on Joker.

Elsewhere, Awkwafina became the first Asian-American to win the Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) category for her performance in The Farewell. Awkwafina, has also appeared in the news recently as her new programme Awkwafina is Nora From Queens, premiered on Comedy Central on 22nd January this year to positive reviews and was renewed for a second season before the first even premiered.

Everybody seemed to be disappointed when it was pointed out that Beyoncé had failed to gain a nomination for her song Spirit on the Lion King album at the 92nd Academy Awards (which air on Sunday 9th February), however, she was nominated in the same category at both the Golden Globes and the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, which is nothing short of an achievement anyways.

Beyoncé also started the year off well, landing on the cover of ELLE Magazine, photographed by Melina Matsoukas, a two-time Grammy winner who also directed Beyoncé’s Formation music video. Matsoukas is also in the spotlight as her directorial debut Queen and Slim, which has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike and is in cinemas now.

By Zach Omitowoju

Feature image credit: Vox

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