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by Mick the Ram
The Oscar nominations always prompt a reaction, but the release of this year’s has really caused some outrage.
It centres around the snubbing of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig from the Best Actress and Best Director categories from the box office smash hit summer movie – Barbie.
Ryan Gosling has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor section, but he released a statement slamming the decision to overlook his co-star and director, pointing out that the movie would not exist were it not for those two women.
Others in Hollywood including the likes of Bette Midler, Sharon Stone, and Mandy Moore joined in with their opinions all along the same theme of strong critisism.
The film, which was released in July 2023 raked in a record-breaking $1.45 billion globally, has received a total of eight nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Director co-wrote screenplay
The film itself is bracketed as a fantasy comedy and adapted from a screenplay written by the director, Greta Gerwig, together with her husband Noah Baumbach and is based on the popular fashion doll first introduced in the late 1950’s.
Margot Robbie plays the title character with Ryan Gosling taking the part of her boyfriend, Ken. It was a massive hit, actually setting a record for any film that was not a sequel, remake or superhero property.
Critics split on message
The movie split opinions, with some congratulating it for addressing the brand maker’s past portrayal of women, and others calling it a representation of a growing reappraisal of mainstream femininity.
Critics remarked that it is movie that seems muddled with its message about the sexual revolution and which direction feminism should be heading. Either way, it got people talking and many believed the nominations would have been deserved and it seems the snub has very much hit a nerve.
Actor’s bittersweet honour
Gosling released a statement backing the two overlooked women, and said: “No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.”
He went on to say that a feeling of disappointment was an understatement and whilst being ecstatic at being nominated himself, he felt his performance was only so well received because of the work the two women.
Continuing, he said that made the honour of being nominated “bittersweet”, although he did congratulate another co-star, America Ferrera, for her nomination as Best Supporting Actress in what he referred to as “such a ground-breaking film”.
Frustration in Hollywood
Some believed that he had not gone far enough and if he felt so strongly he should withdraw his own nomination in protest and as a demonstration of his support.
In Hollywood it certainly sparked some fury, with among others Bet Midler expressing her anger with a barbed social media comment: “This movie not only resonated deeply but also grossed a billion dollars. Yet, in a twist of irony, it was Ken who received the Oscar nomination.”
She then advised everyone to immediately re-watch the movie, suggesting many had not gotten the message it was getting across.
Irony of the snub
Sharon Stone reposted a comment that compared life as an imitation of art, with the two ladies being snubbed yet the male star of the movie receives a nomination. She added that it was ironic as that was in actual fact the plot of the film.
This Is Us actress Mandy Moore spoke out asking the question: “What does a woman have to do?” and actress-model Brooklyn Decker expressed her frustration with the situation, calling Gerwig: “the Director who SAVED the cinema”.
She went further when also reposting a comment this time going deeper into gender inequality, which read: “It is literally impossible to be a woman. The problem in the industry is if it’s not serious it’s not taken seriously.”
Not heard the last
With still some six weeks before the actual ceremony, the feeling is this argument will run all the way up to the show, and it is almost guaranteed that the “issue” will be mentioned in several acceptance speeches on the night.