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Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


2024 Oscars Nominations Met With Controversy Over Barbie Snubs

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Movie critics were shocked that neither “Barbie’” director, Greta Gerwig, nor lead actress, Margot Robbie, were nominated for an Oscar. Photo: Getty Images.

On Jan. 23, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 96th Oscars. 2023 was a year of prominent movie releases, and many acting and directing records were broken in the process. 

Most notable was the dual release of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” in the summer of 2023. “Barbie” is the highest grossing movie to be completely directed by a woman, and “Oppenheimer” grossed more than 900 million dollars at the box office. Though they garnered less media attention, “Maestro,” “Poor Things,” “Nyad” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” were also lauded for their achievements. 

“Oppenheimer,” released on July 21, 2023, was met with massive success by the end of the summer, with almost every seat sold out in theaters until nearly a month after its release. The film’s achievements were due in part to the combination of Christopher Nolan’s directing and Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography. 

In previous years, the Oscars have typically nominated smaller films, but “Oppenheimer,” grossing close to a billion dollars in the box office, is the most nominated film of 2023. With a total of 13 nominations, fans hope this will be Nolan’s first Academy Award. 

Cillian Murphy, who played J. Robert Oppenheimer, was nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role, while Emily Blunt, who played Katherine Oppenheimer, was nominated as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Nolan also received the nomination for Best Director of the Year. When the nominations were being announced, Nolan told the Associated Press, “watching the nominations was more than our nerves could take so we just had a restless night and slept through.”

Actresses Emma Stone, who plays Bella Baxter in “Poor Things,” and Lily Gladstone, who plays Mollie Burkhart in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” were both nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, while Mark Ruffalo’s Duncan Wedderburn and Robert de Niro’s William Hale were each nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

“Barbie” is up for eight awards, though neither director Greta Gerwig nor leading actress Margot Robbie was recognized in the directing or acting categories. The film was able to top the charts at over 150 million dollars in its opening weekend, making it not only the highest grossing film directed completely by a woman, but also one of the highest grossing movies in the film industry. 

Ryan Gosling expressed frustration for Gerwig and Robbie’s lack of nominations, stating that “there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film.” 

This year was also full of struggles in the film industry, as over 11,000 screenwriters in the Writer’s Guild of America went on strike last May over pay in the industry. In spite of the challenges, a number of groundbreaking and long-awaited movies premiered this year, achieving hoped-for nominations across many categories.

The winners of the Oscar nominations will be announced on March 10, 2024 during the awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Ovation Hollywood.

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