Oscar shocker: ‘Barbie’ director, star snubbed in nominations

In what is now shaping up to be a major controversy in the lead-up to Oscars 2024, the Academy nominations unveiled on 23 January had two prominent names missing: Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig — the star and director, respectively, of the highest-grossing film of 2023, Barbie.

Despite Barbie’s critical plaudits and billion-dollar-plus earnings, which, as CBN News put it, made Gerwig “the first woman in Hollywood history to hold the sole directing credit on a billion-dollar film,” Academy voters failed to put Gerwig, and star and co-producer Margot Robbie, on the final nominations list.

However, adding fire to the charges that Hollywood was as usual ignoring landmark achievements by women, Ryan Gosling, who played Ken, and Barbie’s original song, sung by Gosling, both made it to the list.

Gosling himself, in a statement, decried the results, saying: “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.”

Christopher Nolan’s three-hour biopic Oppenheimer, meanwhile, easily topped the Oscars 2024 nominations with 13 nods.

The R-rated black-and-white film on nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer is nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Lead Actor (Cillian Murphy), Best Supporting Actress (Emily Blunt), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Downey Jr.), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Editing and Best Sound.

Yorgo’s Lanthimos’ feminist fantasy Poor Things follows with 11 nominations, while Martin Scorsese’s true crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon received 10.

Aside from Gosling’s nomination, Barbie also snagged a Best Supporting Actress nod for America Ferrara, plus six other nominations.

The 96th Academy Awards will air live coast-to-coast on ABC on 10 March from the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood. Jimmy Kimmel is set to return as host.