January 23, 2024, marks the date the Academy revealed their final nominations for the 96th Oscars ceremony. But that was not the end. Following the announcement of the list of nominees this year, rose a storm of rage from fans as Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie were snubbed of the nominations for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ respectively.
The movie managed to pull off a stunning set of eight Academy Award nominations. It was surprising how Ryan Gosling received his Oscar Nomination for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for his portrayal of ‘Ken’ in Barbie, however, Margot Robbie who played the titular character did not receive any nomination from the Academy. It is extremely difficult to overlook the irony that Robbie and Gerwig were excluded from the nominations given their roles in the film were all about female empowerment and self-discovery.
However, Margot Robbie did not let the Oscars snub break her spirit. Instead, she went on to say in one of her interviews, “There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed.” But she did express her grief over Greta Gerwig’s exclusion in the ‘Best Director’ race. Gerwig undoubtedly created a masterpiece with Barbie, as Robbie goes on to say that it is “[…]a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing. What she pulled off, it really is. But it’s been an incredible year for all the films.” Barbie has grossed an incredible $1.44 billion, achieving several milestones including becoming the highest-grossing film of 2023 and the 14th highest-grossing film of all time. Despite her being robbed of getting nominated in such a prestigious category, Robbie expresses her gratitude to the Academy for including Barbie in nominations such as ‘Best Picture’, ‘Adapted Screenplay”, ‘Best Supporting Actor Male’, ‘Best Supporting Actress’, ‘Costume Design’. ‘Production Design’ and two other nominations for ‘Best Original Song’.
Barbie was made with a dream to set a turning point in the film industry as well as to create an impact and bring a cultural shift in society. Even though Margot Robbie feels grateful enough to have received such good reactions from the public on such a large scale, her fans do not seem to be content with that. They feel quite disheartened to see her not receiving an Oscar nomination. As a reaction to the lingering sexism in the film industry an X user @yosoymichael tweeted, “Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World.” The tweets are not only limited to the fans, even Ryan Gosling himself took to X releasing his statement regarding his disapproval of the lack of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig nominations. He said, “There is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig & Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film. […] To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”
There is no doubt that the Oscars has completely overlooked the message that the movie has tried to portray, which is just deeply heartbreaking. The movie could easily be described as a groundbreaking work by Gerwig; it is inventive, and funny and provides a subversive cultural statement. It undermines stereotypes about women, especially through Robbie’s character, who is named ‘Stereotypical Barbie’. She is shown wrapped in a buoyant and candy-coloured cloud and unfortunately, the Oscar voters would not or could not look past that surface to see how imaginative and substantial the film actually is. They clearly failed to see how meticulously Greta orchestrated everything in the movie, from the depth each character held and the dialogues they delivered.
Sources say that there were prior hints that Barbie’s originality would be underestimated, even before the Oscar nominations were revealed. The first hint was when the Academy ruled that Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s inspired screenplay belonged in the ‘Adapted Category’ where it did receive a nomination but not in the ‘original’ category. It cannot be derived whether the executive committee of the Academy’s Writer Branch is tone-deaf to the inventiveness of the movie’s script or they are just simply being unreasonably rigid. According to them, Barbie is not an original work of art, it is based on a previously existing character, which is a doll. The second hint was derived from the time Barbie could not win ‘Best Comedy or Musical’ at the Golden Globes, instead walked home with an award in a newly invented category for cinematic box achievement, which almost appeared like a consolation prize for the creators of the movie.
In a recent interview with Access Hollywood at the 66th Grammys Red Carpet, when Billie Eilish was asked about Margot and Greta’s Oscars snub, the ‘What Was I Made For?’ singer, simply replied by saying, “Greta and Margot deserve everything in the world. They are so incredible, I’m just in awe of them.”
It is all the more surprising how there is another side of the internet that considers this outrage over the Oscars snub to be ‘excessive’ and ‘overdramatic’. Several news outlets claim that the creators of Barbie as well as the fans should be satisfied that they received a whooping eight nominations already and the fact that they did not receive nominations for two extra categories, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Actress’ is not a big deal. It is indeed true that the kind of recognition and love Gerwig received as a female filmmaker was huge and highly applaudable. However, several other female directors who also released their works in 2023 such as Priscilla, Saint-Omer, Portrait of a Lady on Fire and many more failed to receive the same recognition that Gerwig obtained. But then again, not all of them could gain as much success as Barbie conquered.
Hence, it can only be hoped, prayed and manifested that in the upcoming times, more female directors will be known for the work they are creating and presenting to the world. Female filmmakers should get more space on the panel for ‘Best Director’ and their work should be celebrated as much as the work of male filmmakers is celebrated. Until then, as the audience we can only keep our fingers crossed and hope that Barbie goes on to win as many Oscars as possible out of their eight nominations. Even though the two empowering female artists were snubbed this year, they will forever be celebrated for Barbie by their fans and the viewers of the movie.
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2 weeks, 3 days ago by amiraliinbox959
2 weeks, 3 days ago by amiraliinbox959
There is no irony cry baby. Margot Robbie was only pretty in the movie and the movie itself was sh*tty af. I'm a trans feminist myself and the product placement that the movie attempted to do was outrageously trashy. So stfu please.
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