Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

No Best Director, Actress for ‘Barbie’

Isabel Velazquez

Leading up to the Oscar nominations being revealed, you could see accounts on social media site X campaigning for the actors, actresses, directors and films  they saw fit to receive a nomination from the highly esteemed Academy. However, outrage struck as many were disappointed with the news that Margot Robbie was not nominated for Best Actress and Greta Gerwig was not nominated for Best Director. 

If you scrolled on social media that anticipated Tuesday, you would have been met with posts from angry “Barbie” fans releasing their frustration. 

Although there is no denying the global phenomenon that is “Barbie,” I found it quite ridiculous people held it up to the standard they did. In my opinion, “Barbie” was a fun and silly movie that had undertones of face-value feminism. Nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen or heard before.

Before watching the movie, I saw review after review expressing how so many women walked out of theaters in tears after America Ferrera’s monologue. As the most sensitive person on Earth, I just found it to be reminiscent of the digestible feminist posts I would read as a preteen, which is fine, but not as revolutionary as many considered it.

I still found it enjoyable, but not enough to justify a nomination among some of the strongest performances of the year. While its box-office success was impressive, it doesn’t equate to having the best performance. 

Amid all the Barbie-backing, many failed to notice the amazing women who were nominated across the Oscars. Lily Gladstone became the first Native American actor to be nominated for a lead performance. Justine Triet is the only woman nominated this year for Best Director and the eighth woman ever. And Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Danielle Brooks and America Ferrera are all first-time Oscar nominees in their respective roles for Best Supporting Actress.

“Barbie,” “Anatomy of a Fall” and “Past Lives,” all of which are female-directed, were nominated for Best Picture.

There is so much to celebrate following these monumental and historical nominations, yet I can’t help but feel that it was overshadowed by rants and spews about how Robbie and Gerwig “deserved better.” 

In terms of my takes on who was snubbed, or rather “deserved better,” I feel as though the attention and outrage expressed on behalf of Gerwig and Robbie should have been given to Greta Lee and Celine Song for their respective work in “Past Lives.”

 “Past Lives” was one of the best movies I saw in 2023, and it left me in absolute shambles. 

Another snub many may agree with is Zac Efron not being nominated for his performance in “The Iron Claw.” The movie not only hits home due to its proximity to Dallas, but it also hits the heart. Efron delivered one of the best performances of his lifetime, further solidifying him as an actor who can adapt to whatever script he is given.

Lastly, I would like to give a nod to newcomer Dominic Sessa, who made his debut in “The Holdovers,” a movie that has easily become a new essential for my holiday movie rotation. Sessa gives a solid first impression to the audience through his character Angus, a schoolboy who shares a ubiquitous tale of grief and loneliness many can relate to, especially during the holiday season. 

If the Oscars follow in the steps of the award shows that have already announced their winners, I have a feeling we will see many similar faces picking up Academy Awards. Oppenheimer’s cast and crew, in my opinion, are likely to have the biggest sweep.

I have my eyes on Lily Gladstone earning her well-deserved Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

After watching “The Zone of Interest,” I am hoping they score the Oscar for Best Sound Design for the eerie and evocative use of sound in the movie that leaves you speechless in your seat.

Although Robert Downey Jr. has been sweeping the awards for supporting actor, my pick is Mark Ruffalo for his electrifying performance in “Poor Things.” 

Other categories to watch are Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and both writing categories as all the nominees are rightfully deserving of their nominations. 

Lots of great movies and performances were introduced to us in 2023, and it is great to have so much love for cinema and to see the artistry of acting be so appreciated.

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