There’s been a new Oscar tradition in recent years: once nominations are announced, in comes the social media backlash. And coming into the 2020 Academy Awards, once again plenty of snubs have been notably pointed out by moviegoers. For example, people have talked about Jennifer Lopez’s role in Hustlers, Awkwafina’s turn to drama in The Farewell, Eddie Murphy’s comeback for Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name and the buzziest of them all: Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. So, why was he shut out of the Best Actor nominees? Some voters think they know.
Some might chalk it up to 2019 being a particularly competitive year in film. Yet, it’s tough to argue with a performance like Adam Sandler’s in the Safdie Brothers' relentless drama. It should be noted that the Academy has a very particular taste and Uncut Gems didn’t fix in that lane. In a recent interview touching base with Oscar voters, this has been made clear.
One voter noted that Adam Sandler gave a “tour de force” performance in the record-breaking indie film, but it’s still not enough to allow him to forget his overall body of work including “cheesy” and “dumb” Netflix comedies. The Academy member admitted that the brand of an actor does have an affect on how they vote and Sandler’s brand doesn’t match up whereas Leonardo DiCaprio’s might.
One Oscar voter told the New York Post if Adam Sandler pulled out another performance as impressive as Uncut Gems he might have a shot in the future – also citing Eddie Murphy’s performance in Dolemite Is My Name as being in the same category. Fans of Sandler will instantly gravitate back to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, which was also famously snubbed back in 2003. So actually it’s been a long time coming, Academy!
Another thing that might have deterred voters from getting on Adam Sandler’s side during Oscar voting this year is one memorable comment the comedian made to Howard Stern while promoting Uncut Gems. Check it out:
If I don’t get it, I’m going to fucking come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That’s how I get them.
Sandler was having a bit of fun – playing with the juxtposition of his comedy career with Uncut Gems. He was clearly joking, but one Oscar voter felt this showed “arrogance” and “a lack of respect” from Adam Sandler toward the Academy that was not appreciated. The Academy has historically been unimpressed with the Murder Mystery actor, too. In 2013, when he was invited to be an Academy member, some voters felt he was “unworthy."
According to the insider, truthfully some voters may not have even watched movies such as Uncut Gems or The Farewell due to the busy awards season...
This is certainly indicative of how political the voting of the body can get. It’s not always about awarding the best performance when it comes to the Best Actor categories. There’s a lot of factors that Oscar voters are looking at when they cast their votes and it’s not always about the actual performance itself.