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Why weren’t Barbie’s director and lead actress Kenough for Oscar nominations? | CBC Information Categorical Occasions

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“Did this movie direct itself?”

When a female-directed movie that acquired crucial acclaim and box-office success was nominated in a number of Oscar classes — together with finest image, however not finest director — that was the query that had individuals buzzing.

However this wasn’t Barbie, and the director wasn’t Greta Gerwig. This was 1992, when Barbra Streisand’s directorial snub for The Prince of Tides was seen as so controversial that Billy Crystal known as it out in his opening music on the sixty fourth annual Academy Awards, crooning, “Seven nominations on the shelf/Did this movie direct itself?”

WATCH | Billy Crystal criticizes Barbra Streisand’s Oscars snub:

Greater than 30 years later, many are asking the identical query after Gerwig’s Barbie, the undisputed box-office chief for 2023, acquired eight nominations Tuesday however was handed over for finest director, in addition to finest lead actress for Barbie herself (Margot Robbie). Rubbing salt within the wound for followers of the movie that skewered the patriarchy was the truth that Ryan Gosling was nominated for finest supporting actor for taking part in Ken.

Memes and reactions rapidly made their means across the web, lots of them calling out the snub for being a little too on-the-nose. Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton even chimed in Wednesday.

“Greta & Margot, Whereas it will possibly sting to win the field workplace however not take dwelling the gold, your thousands and thousands of followers love you. You are each a lot greater than Kenough,” Clinton wrote on X, formally referred to as Twitter.

Gosling launched a press release expressing his disappointment that Gerwig and Robbie weren’t nominated of their respective classes, noting “there isn’t a Ken with out Barbie, and there’s no Barbie film with out Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the 2 individuals most answerable for this history-making, globally celebrated movie.”

Because the reactions, and the reactions to the reactions, hold flooding on-line, some are questioning: if Barbie could not shatter the patriarchy, what can?

“A lady might do every little thing proper however the patriarchy will discover one thing improper,” wrote one particular person in a TikTok video reacting to the snub that racked up greater than 2.4 million views.

“They’ve misplaced your complete plot,” wrote one other particular person in a video with 1.1 million likes.

Margot Robbie, centre, Ryan Gosling, proper, and Simu Liu, left, in a scene from Barbie. Gosling was nominated for finest supporting actor, however Robbie was not nominated for her efficiency within the main position. (Warner Bros.)

Not severe sufficient?

Because the Oscars’ inception in 1929, solely three girls have ever taken dwelling the award for finest director: Kathryn Bigelow for The Damage Locker in 2009, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland in 2020, and Jane Campion for The Energy of the Canine in 2021.

And whereas this yr’s nominations embody a feminine director — Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall — she’s considered one of solely eight to ever be nominated. Amongst that quick listing of feminine nominees is Gerwig — once more, not for Barbie, however for Woman Fowl in 2018.

The distinction with Barbie, says Lisa Coulthard, a professor of cinema and media research within the division of theatre and movie on the College of British Columbia, could possibly be the identical downside Barbie herself encounters within the movie: it isn’t thought-about “severe” sufficient.

“Business success does not essentially translate into Oscar nominations and Barbie is the form of film usually snubbed as not ‘severe’ sufficient for the Oscars,” Coulthard advised CBC Information. 

“However the best way ‘severe’ is decided is extremely gendered and this, I believe, is a significant instance of that.”

WATCH | Barbie’s huge second: 

ST DSJ BARBIE MARKETING clean.jpg?crop=1

Barbie is having a cultural — and advertising and marketing — second

From social influencers to garments to meals, even rugs, Barbie film advertising and marketing and merchandise are all over the place as individuals money in on this model behemoth’s cultural second.

Coulthard factors to Poor Issues for instance. The film a couple of younger girl introduced again to life by an unorthodox scientist acquired 11 nominations, together with finest image, finest actress (Emma Stone) and finest director (Yorgos Lanthimos).

Poor Issues and Barbie are the identical film in some methods — a feminine automaton comes into consciousness and acknowledges patriarchy for what it’s. So it isn’t that Barbie is not severe once we take into account it that means,” she mentioned.

As Rolling Stone put it, perhaps Barbie was “too girly to be thought-about a severe directorial effort.”

Previous boys’ community

In 1992, when Streisand was snubbed for The Prince of Tides, Harriet Silverman, govt director of the advocacy group Girls in Movie, advised the Los Angeles Occasions “the previous boys’ community is alive and effectively in Hollywood.”

“Right here individuals are lauding [Oscar-nominated lead actor] Nick Nolte’s work, however he did not direct himself. How can they probably rave about her star and never credit score her?”

Thirty-two years later, the advocacy group posted on Instagram that it had “no phrases,” whereas sharing a number of articles about Gerwig and Robbie’s snubs. On X, Women in Film wrote “regardless of at present’s Oscar snubs, do not forget to congratulate the ladies which can be nonetheless making historical past.”

A wide shot of a woman standing on top of a building looking out into a vast pink city.
The Barbie film grew to become a cultural phenomenon final summer time, however one movie and media researcher advised CBC Information it might have been seen as not ‘severe’ sufficient for the Oscars. (Warner Bros.)

However is there nonetheless an previous boys’ community? Many have argued so. The Academy Award for steering is chosen by the academy’s administrators’ department, which, because the New York Occasions factors out, is about 75 per cent male, a “intellectual” group “the almost definitely to reject mainstream studio fare.”

In 2020, a yr wherein not one feminine director was included among the many nominations, Time wrote that “range could also be rising within the Academy as an entire, however the administrators’ department hasn’t essentially reached parity.”

And a brand new report from San Diego State College known as The Celluloid Ceiling, which has tracked girls’s employment in movie for 26 years, notes that girls accounted for simply 14 per cent of the administrators engaged on the 100 top-grossing movies in 2023, and simply 16 per cent of the highest 250.

“Whereas Greta Gerwig’s Barbie reigned supreme because the primary field workplace movie, girls remained dramatically underrepresented as administrators,” the report mentioned.

“Greta Gerwig’s well-deserved triumph belied the gender inequality that pervades the mainstream movie trade.”  

That inequality is, maybe, why so many followers and critics aren’t simply baffled by Gerwig’s exclusion from finest director, however Gosling’s nod for finest supporting actor.

“Ken getting nominated and Barbie not is actually what the movie is about,” Coulthard advised CBC Information.

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