I’m going to say it, the “Barbie” movie was fun. However, just because it made a ton of money does NOT make it a great or Oscar-worthy film. Neither Greta Gerwig, Ryan Gosling, or Margo Robbie achieved that excellence in “Barbie”. The ONLY people that deserve nominations from Barbie are Billie Eilish for the song, the costume designer, and the production designer — all of whom ARE nominated.
The feminist outrage that Greta and Margo were not nominated for work that wasn’t their best —even if if did make lots of money —is greatly misplaced and does not serve us well. As marginalized and underrepresented community members, we need to stop expecting awards just because we come from marginalized and underrepresented communities. Because Hollywood’s tendency to give awards to women and people of color, just to say they did rather than we were allowed to be excellent, is equally racist. In fact, it’s as racist as it gets. And I get it. For women and people of color, Hollywood is so racist and sexist that it takes most of us decades to break through. So sometimes I don’t mind that maybe the award isn’t deserved. It’s an award just for us surviving the racist and sexist La La Land battlegrounds! But, we will only have true gender equality and diversity in Hollywood when we stop allowing the industry to soothe itself by giving women and people of color awards that are little more than participation trophies. We need to be able to freely create excellence. We need to have the same access to the best content, agents, managers,, studio partnerships, casts, and cinematic toys that the white boys have always had in Hollywood.
I also found it very disrespectful to the women that were nominated. The Best Actress race is filled with amazing performances ALL better than Margo’s. I was so so so happy to see Sandra Huller from “Anatomy Of A Fall” was nominated. She was INCREDIBLE but so were Annette Bening and Carey Mulligan, who disappears into every role she plays. Her Felicia Bernstein is unforgettable. Lilly Gladstone will likely win in the Best Actress category, so that the Academy can pat themselves on the back for finally awarding an Indigenous woman. But her performance is the weakest in the category and an example of what I am discussing.
Paul Giamatti, though I love him and DaVine Joy Randolph were ordinary in the horrible “The Holdovers“. NO IDEA why these performances or this film is getting so lauded. It was so boring I fell asleep twice and it took me 2 days to watch it. Plus, there was no growth in the characters, so it didn’t really require any real acting. DaVine’s Mary was just like hundreds of Black women, we know in real life. For Black supporting actresses, I found Myra Lucretia Taylor and Erika Alexander more interesting in “American Fiction.”
People saying Greta Gerwig deserved a nod are clearly not knowledgeable about movie-making and are trying to turn the Oscars into a popularity contest! In no rational mind was Barbie a better directed film than either “Oppenheimer” or “Maestro”. Cord Jefferson should’ve been nominated for directing “American Fiction”. THAT there are only white directors in the Best Director category is the REAL affront! In terms of great direction from a woman this year, Justine Triet was far better than Greta. “Anatomy Of A Fall” is a masterwork in directing, acting, and editing.
Ryan Gosling should also not be being considered this year, especially not with the performances Sterling K Brown and Robert Downey Jr. turned in this year.
And finally, Barbie is not the end all and be all on feminism that many people are making it. “Poor Things” does a far better job on that topic. With Barbie, as a Black woman, I took REAL ISSUE with the whiteness of it all. Just throwing some women of color in key roles doesn’t negate the fact that for most women of color, racism is a bigger even more debilitating issue than patriarchal issues. I would’ve liked if Greta had found some way to make the story a bit deeper and to address, even slightly, the dual oppressors that woman of color have to battle.
My picks are:
Best Actress – Carey Mulligan, Sandra Huller, or Annette Bening, equally
Best Picture – Oppenheimer
Best Director – Christopher Nolan
Best Adapted Screenplay – American Fiction
Best Supporting Actress – Emily Blunt
Best Supporting Actor – Sterling K Brown or Robert Downey, Jr., equally