Steven Spielberg has been nominated in the Best Director category at the Oscars seven times and 12 times for Best Picture. Though his latest film, The Post, is nominated for Best Picture, he did not pick up a directing nod.

And that’s a great thing. 

Often times it seems the Academy nominates people based on name and not so much on performance or achievement. They not only do it when it comes to directors, but also for actors.

Consider Meryl Streep. She is the most nominated woman in the history of the Academy. She has been nominated for an Oscar a whopping 21 times, including this year for her performance in The Post. Now, don’t get me wrong, Streep is a great actress, but she is great in everything.

Why recognize people who deliver amazing performances every time? At some point, the system gets diluted, and it feels like they are being recognized because of who they are and not what they bring to the trade.

The Academy has gotten better when it comes to bringing fresh faces to the categories. Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for his role in Get Out. Greta Gerwig could become only the second woman to win for Best Director. And Margot Robbie picked up her first nod for I, Tonya.

But still, there are still some patterns in the nominees. Octavia Spencer became a back-to-back nominee for her role in The Shape of Water. Denzel Washington received a nomination for Roman J. Israel, Esq. — a film I had not heard of until his name appeared on the nominee list. Then there’s Meryl Streep, whose performance in The Post was good, but was it up to the standard of some other women in the acting industry?

Nominating the same people year in and year out is like giving a student an A on a paper or exam before examining the work they did. There’s no thought that goes into it — it’s just recognizing the name and assuming it’s up to par with their other work. 

Not nominating Spielberg was a step in the right direction for the Academy. It showed that, in some cases, they aren’t just looking at the name and checking a box.

Georgia Davis is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you think Spielberg should have been nominated for an Oscar? Tell Georgia by tweeting her at @georgiadee35.

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