Oscar nominations 2024 Barbie39s snubs and five other talking points

Oscar nominations 2024: Barbie's snubs and five other talking points – BBC.com

  • By Steven McIntosh
  • Entertainment reporter

January 24, 2024, 12:33 GMT

Updated 1 hour ago

Image source: Getty Images

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Gerwig (left) missed out on a best director nomination, while Margot Robbie missed out on a best actress nomination

When the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, there was the usual mix of snubs and surprises – but Barbie's absence from some of the major categories sparked the most controversy.

Oppenheimer led the way with 13 nominations, followed by “Poor Things” and “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Although Barbie received eight nominations, Greta Gerwig missed out on the Best Director award, while Margot Robbie did not receive a Best Actress nomination.

Here are five talking points from the nominations and more on Barbie's perceived snubs:

1. Golda and Maestro's “Jewface” controversy

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Golda, starring Dame Helen Mirren and Maestro, has been the subject of debate over Jewish representation on screen

Golda wasn't a big star at the Oscars, but she did show up in the Best Makeup and Hairstyling category.

This is controversial in itself. In the film, Dame Helen Mirren played Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir – sparking debate about the role of a non-Jewish actress in a Jewish role.

It wasn't the only film to be the subject of debate – Maestro sparked a similar row over Bradley Cooper's performance, in which his nose was enlarged for his portrayal of Jewish composer Leonard Bernstein.

Author and broadcaster David Baddiel tweeted: “I see that the Academy has shortlisted Golda and Maestro in the *Hair and Makeup* category. Literally: Oscar nominations for Jewface.”

2. An LGBT dataset

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Colman Domingo was recognized for his performance as Bayard Rustin

Colman Domingo's Best Actor nomination for Rustin and Jodie Foster's Best Supporting Actress nomination for Nyad made Oscar history.

It's the first time two openly LGBT actors have been nominated for portraying LGBT characters – Domingo for civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and Foster for swimming coach Bonnie Stoll.

Previously, Sir Ian McKellen was the only nominee to fit this category when he won for his role in 1998's Gods and Monsters.

Domingo was one of 10 actors nominated for the first time this year, alongside Emily Blunt, Jeffrey Wright, Danielle Brooks, Sterling K Brown, America Ferrera, Lily Gladstone, Sandra Hülser, Cillian Murphy and Da'Vine Joy Randolph.

3. Saltburn is burned by the academy

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Saltburn, starring Barry Keoghan, was excluded from the Oscars despite a strong performance at Bafta

There was no love for Saltburn at the Oscars, even though it became a cult hit, a social media sensation and received recognition at other awards shows.

Emerald Fennell's controversial film about a student who infiltrates a rich family was nominated for the Golden Globes and received five Bafta nominations last week.

However, the Baftas are Saltburn's home. It's a British film with a British director and starring mostly British and Irish actors.

For the more conservative voters in the US academy, however, the disgusting scenes with bathtubs and cemeteries seemed a bit too exaggerated.

4. Slow “revolution” for female directors

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The inclusion of Justine Triet in Anatomy of a Fall meant that the cast of top directors wasn't all men

Because Gerwig wasn't on the shortlist for best director, Frenchwoman Justine Triet, who directed “Anatomy of a Fall,” was the only woman in the category this year – the eighth in Oscars history.

Speaking to BBC culture editor Katie Razzall afterwards about whether things are changing in the film industry, Triet said the past few years had been “the start of a huge revolution for women”.

She said: “I’m obviously so proud to be in this category. That means a lot to me. I'm 45, I'm not 20, so I lived in a previous world, and now I get to watch.” Things change for women.

This year's nominations marked the first time in Oscars history that three films directed by women were nominated for best picture.

5. Will Lily Gladstone fulfill the yearbook prediction?

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Another record that could be broken is that Killers of the Flower Moon star Lily Gladstone became the first Native American actress to win an Oscar.

Gladstone plays a woman from an Osage tribe who is gradually murdered by white settlers in order to make money from the oil on her land.

The film was directed by Martin Scorsese, who at 81 was the oldest person ever nominated for best director.

To mark her nomination, an old high school yearbook picture of Gladstone resurfaced – revealing that she was voted by her classmates as “most likely to win an Oscar.”

We certainly wouldn't bet against them.

6. Barbie's big snubs

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America Ferrera's more serious role in Barbie was acknowledged, but Robbie's performance was more comedic

Many film fans were quick to make the obvious point on social media – that the Academy recognized Ryan Gosling but not Margot Robbie was ironic for a film about feminism and the patriarchy.

Gerwig was nominated for her screenplay and Robbie was nominated as a producer, but her criticism of best director and actress left a sour taste in the mouths of fans.

But experts who closely follow the awards race were less surprised.

Robbie's nomination was anything but certain. In the Best Actress category, four of the five slots appeared to be dead – Sandra Huller (“Anatomy of a Fall”), Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”) and Emma Stone ( “Poor Things”). These four were actually nominated that day.

But fifth place was seen as a three-way battle between Robbie, Past Lives' Greta Lee and Nyad's Annette Bening – and Bening emerged with the nomination.

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Gosling said he was “disappointed” that Robbie and Gerwig didn't receive nominations

History gives some clues as to why the Oscars were chosen for her. The Academy leans more towards serious performances than comedic ones, which leading comedy personalities have often noted and arguably put Robbie at a disadvantage.

This also explains why her co-star Ferrera was recognized in the supporting actress category. The former “Ugly Betty” actress delivers one of the film's few serious moments – a stirring monologue about what it means to be a woman and the daily struggles they face.

Deadline's Pete Hammond noted that Ferrera “was very visible on the campaign trail, where her jaw-dropping monologue – the film's most serious moment – was played prominently.”

It's also a little easier to get a supporting nomination than a leading actress – and in a year where there was no shortage of heavy roles for women, the five real actresses were finally nominated.

Post on X, A fan wrote: “[It’s] Objectively funny that leading actresses from two excellent films in Anatomy of a Fall and Killers of the Flower Moon (as well as a female director for the former) were nominated, but because Mattel's two-hour commercial wasn't, we had to pretend it's a big one Injustice.

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Watch: Which films are the favorites for the Oscars?

Gerwig's projected placement in the Best Director category had been similarly shaky. This was a highly competitive category this year, with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan in the running.

Although Gerwig wasn't ultimately nominated for Best Director, she made history by becoming the first woman to direct three films nominated for the top prize, Best Picture (Lady Bird, Little Women and Barbie).

Earlier this month, the Golden Globes cleverly sidestepped the question of how to recognize Barbie by introducing a new category to recognize box office success – which ensured that Gerwig and Robbie were able to pick up at least one award on the night.

The Oscars will take place on March 10th in Los Angeles.