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5 Women Who Deserved Oscar Nominations At The 92nd Academy Awards

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5 Women Who Deserved Oscar Nominations At The 92nd Academy Awards

Referring to the lack of diverse female recognition in the 2020 Oscar nominations as "a simple oversight" would be … generous. As anyone familiar with film history will tell you, the fight for acceptance in Hollywood has been an uphill battle for women.

However, in the past year, movie theaters have been completely stacked with film narratives about and created by diverse groups of women.

Nonetheless, the 92nd Academy Awards failed to represent exactly how many of these movies were received, and whose efforts led these films to success. In response, Hollywood was heated over the snubbed female directors — actress Natalie Portman went so far as to wear a cape embroidered with their names down the red carpet.

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Also upset about the lack of female representation in the Oscar nominations, Executive Director of Women in Film, Kirsten Schaffer, explained that "The Academy has made efforts to balance its voting bodies, but gender equality and diversity do not just happen." She added that without a systemic change in the film industry, "this bleak trend will continue." 

So, without further ado, we've included the list of women below who you can thank for your favorite movie-going experiences last year:

1. Greta Gerwig for "Best Director" (Little Women)

Little Women is not a new story, but it is a timeless one, and 2019’s adaptation certainly proved the original story’s endurance. Greta Gerwig had her directorial debut with the also well-received movie Ladybird, which starred Saoirse Ronan. The two teamed up once again for Little Women, one of the countless adaptations of the novel by the same name by Louisa May Alcott.

Little Women is something of a period drama, but rather than focusing on the limitations of women in the 19th century, it is more a story of resourcefulness and solidarity. Gerwig’s take on the story comes from her own screenplay, and it was called “an independent and inventive piece of contemporary popular culture” in its New York Times review.

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2. Lupita Nyong'o for "Best Actress" (Us)

When it was released last March, Us was an instant hit. Jordan Peele is now a household name in horror, but the movie’s leading actress put on an absolutely insane performance. I won’t spill it here, but the unexpected ending is truly only made possible by Lupita Nyong’o’s acting chops. She had to play two characters who appeared within the same frame several times within this movie, and her versions of the characters were completely individualized.

That’s not to mention, Nyong’o literally went to a speech therapist to learn her own take on spasmodic dysphonia. She took this voice condition she took as inspiration for the voice of the thriller’s most unsettling character, Red.

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3. Park So-dam for "Best Supporting Actress" (Parasite)

It’s true that Parasite already has some Oscar buzz, and it deserves all of the recognition it’s already gotten. Still, let’s give it some more. Writer and director Bong Joon-ho has already been nominated in the “Best Director” category, but actress Park So-dam’s performance was one of the major highlights of this movie. In this politically-charged flick, Park plays Kim Ki-jung, the sister of Kim Ki-woo, and a member of the conning Kim family. Park plays a character who is, in turn, playing another character, and makes the portrayal as bizarre as it is persuasive.

Parasite didn’t win any acting nominations at all, but if anyone within the ensemble cast were to receive a nomination, Park’s performance is unsurpassable.

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4. Lulu Wang for "Best Original Screenplay" (The Farewell)

The Farewell has been getting a lot of press since its release last year, most of it due to the movie’s star, Awkwafina. Be that as it may, the writer and director of The Farewell, Lulu Wang, is the mastermind behind the entire production.

This movie is actually based on a true story; it’s based on Wang’s own life. The concept of capturing two cultures through a camera lens, and doing so authentically, is something of a feat. In The Guardian’s review of the film, Wang is characterized as creating “playful, visually layered frames” and as “constantly juggling clashes” in a painless way.

5. Jennifer Lopez for "Best Supporting Actress" (Hustlers)

Okay, a movie about a group of women unapologetically committing financial crimes against wealthy (mainly white) men? The divine retribution this film radiates is unreal. But with an ensemble cast made up of well-known actresses, the one who has garnered the most interest is Jennifer Lopez.

Variety published an article about Lopez’s snub, claiming that Hustlers is her “career-best performance”, and it was obvious that Hustlers was indeed a career-defining role for this year's unstoppable 50-year-old Superbowl Halftime performer. Hustlers was a major box-office sensation with intuitive story-telling, carried out greatly by Lopez, who trained with Johanna Sapakie - a veteran Cirque du Soleil performer - for two months to prepare for filming. The role in itself required a huge amount of physical stamina, which you can understand more fully when you watch this behind the scenes documentary of everything it took for Lopez to master the part.

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Vanessa Wolosz is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion, and relationship topics.