The Barbie Oscar Snubs Say A Lot About What The Academy Thinks Of “Girl Movies”

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
How many billion-dollar movies do you have to make to be noticed by the Academy Awards? Apparently if you’re a woman, one isn’t enough. 
The 96th Academy Award nominations are officially out, and two major names were notably absent from the coveted lineup.
While critics-favourite Oppenheimer took the top spot with 13 nominations, its box-office counterpart Barbie — the other half of Barbenheimer — received fewer honours, with both Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig missing out on nominations for Best Actress and Best Director, respectively.
Instead, the blockbuster feminist comedy (which has grossed $1.4 billion USD to date) received eight nominations, including Ryan Gosling for Best Supporting Actor, America Ferrera for Best Supporting Actress, and two Best Original Song noms for “I’m Just Ken” and Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell’s “What Was I Made For?”. This puts the record-breaking film at spot number four on this year’s top nominations list, behind both Poor Things and Killers Of The Flower Moon.  
Though it’s true that Gerwig or Robbie winning for their respective categories was unlikely (due to the presence of such fierce competition), the lack of inclusion feels disappointing to say the least. Six years on from the #MeToo movement, when awards shows promised to show more of the female gaze, the Oscars are proving that not that much has changed.
The snubs connect to an ongoing conversation around Barbie, which questions how the film’s critical praise somehow became centred around a man’s performance. For a film that actively critiques the patriarchy in between crowd-pleasing musical numbers — and unapologetically loves a pink palette — the fact that neither Robbie or Gerwig are getting their flowers feels like a prime example of how hard women have to work to be recognised. Yes, they may have produced, directed, and starred in one of modern cinema’s biggest financial successes, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be treated like it. 
At this year’s Golden Globes, there was an attempt to rectify this situation, with a new Box Office Achievement award dedicated to films that audiences saw en masse. Though it was criticised by cinephiles for feeling contrived, the creation of these types of categories stand as one of the few spaces where audience opinion (read: women) can be seen and heard, allowing Barbie to finally get its moment in the spotlight.  
Of course, Barbie wasn’t the only snub for women-led stories, with Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore both missing out for the morally questionable May December and Greta Lee receiving no nomination for diaspora drama Past Lives. Though Gerwig and Celine Song were left out of the highly anticipated directing category, both received nominations for screenplay categories and the Oscars did at least favour one woman in the director cohort: Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall (with the film also nominated for Best Picture). 
To see exactly which films have been nominated for the 96th Academy Awards, read on below.

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening in Nyad
Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller in Anatomy of a Fall
Carey Mulligan in Maestro
Emma Stone in Poor Things

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Emily Blunt in Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks in The Color Purple
America Ferrera in Barbie
Jodie Foster in Nyad
Da'Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper in Maestro
Colman Domingo in Rustin
Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Sterling K Brown in American Fiction
Robert De Niro in Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey Jr in Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling in Barbie
Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things

Best Motion Picture of the Year

American Fiction (Ben LeClair, Nikos Karamigios, Cord Jefferson and Jermaine Johnson, producers)
Anatomy of a Fall (Marie-Ange Luciani and David Thion, producers)
Barbie (David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner, producers)
The Holdovers (Mark Johnson, producer)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Martin Scorsese and Daniel Lupi, producers)
Maestro (Bradley Cooper, Steven Spielberg, Fred Berner, Amy Durning and Kristie Macosko Krieger, producers)
Oppenheimer (Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan, producers)
Past Lives (David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, producers)
Poor Things (Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone, producers)
The Zone of Interest (James Wilson, producer)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

The Boy and the Heron (Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki)
Elemental (Peter Sohn and Denise Ream)
Nimona (Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Karen Ryan and Julie Zackary)
Robot Dreams (Pablo Berger, Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé and Sandra Tapia Díaz)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Kemp Powers, Justin K Thompson, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Amy Pascal)

Achievement in Cinematography

El Conde (Edward Lachman)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Rodrigo Prieto)
Maestro (Matthew Libatique)
Oppenheimer (Hoyte van Hoytema)
Poor Things (Robbie Ryan)

Achievement in Costume Design

Barbie (Jacqueline Durran)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Jacqueline West)
Napoleon (Janty Yates and Dave Crossman)
Oppenheimer (Ellen Mirojnick)
Poor Things (Holly Waddington)

Achievement in Directing

Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Triet)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese)
Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan)
Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos)
The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer)

Best Documentary Feature Film

Bobi Wine: The People’s President (Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp and John Battsek)
The Eternal Memory (nominees to be determined)
Four Daughters (Kaouther Ben Hania and Nadim Cheikhrouha)
To Kill a Tiger (Nisha Pahuja, Cornelia Principe and David Oppenheim)
20 Days in Mariupol (Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner and Raney Aronson-Rath)

Achievement in Film Editing

Anatomy of a Fall (Laurent Sénéchal)
The Holdovers (Kevin Tent)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Thelma Schoonmaker)
Oppenheimer (Jennifer Lame)
Poor Things (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)

Best International Feature Film of the Year

Io Capitano (Italy)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Society of the Snow (Spain)
The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany)
The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom)

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Golda (Karen Hartley Thomas, Suzi Battersby and Ashra Kelly-Blue)
Maestro (Kazu Hiro, Kay Georgiou and Lori McCoy-Bell)
Oppenheimer (Luisa Abel)
Poor Things (Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston)
Society of the Snow (Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí and Montse Ribé)

Achievement in Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Score)

American Fiction (Laura Karpman)
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (John Williams)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Robbie Robertson)
Oppenheimer (Ludwig Göransson)
Poor Things (Jerskin Fendrix)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

“The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot (music and lyrics by Diane Warren)
“I’m Just Ken” from Barbie (music and lyrics by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt)
“It Never Went Away” from American Symphony (music and lyrics by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson)
“Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon (music and lyrics by Scott George)
“What Was I Made For?” from Barbie (music and lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell)

Adapted Screenplay

American Fiction written for the screen by Cord Jefferson
Barbie written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach
Oppenheimer written for the screen by Christopher Nolan
Poor Things screenplay by Tony McNamara
The Zone of Interest written by Jonathan Glazer

Original Screenplay

Anatomy of a Fall screenplay by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari
The Holdovers written by David Hemingson
Maestro written by Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer
May December screenplay by Samy Burch; story by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik
Past Lives written by Celine Song
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