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Oscar Nominations Offer Awful Irony
Nominations for the Academy Awards were released earlier this week with immediate feedback regarding who made the list and who was left off. According to Professor David Tarleton, it’s pretty typical for Oscar season.
“Like every year, the nominations for the Academy Awards had some great choices and highlights, but also some obvious oversights,” says Tarleton, chair of the Department of Film and Media Arts and a professor of film in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
“’Oppenheimer’s’ 13 nominations makes it the one to beat this season. The Christopher Nolan directed film has been dominating the awards season so far. ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ received 11 nominations, and ‘Barbie’ was nominated eight times,” says Tarleton, who is an Emmy-nominated producer, director and editor, having created programs for Sony Pictures, Universal, Warner Brothers and more.
“The surprise that has the internet in an uproar is that Margot Robbie was not nominated for best actress and Greta Gerwig was not nominated for best director for ‘Barbie,’ the biggest movie of the year. There is a terrible irony in a film about the patriarchy having Ryan Gosling as Ken be nominated for an Academy Award but not the women who are producer/star or co-writer/director. ‘Barbie’ was nominated for best picture, and you can’t make a film without a director. Greta Gerwig was central to conceiving and creating ‘Barbie,’ and it really does feel like a snub,” says Tarleton. “I feel that ‘Barbie’ was an incredible accomplishment, especially considering that it was a corporate product made about a doll, where Gerwig found a way to really say something meaningful, in a wildly entertaining way.” Tarleton added that Fantasia Barrino’s not being nominated for “The Color Purple” was also widely seen as a snub.
Tarleton also points out that “Lily Gladstone makes history by being nominated for best actress in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ This is the first time a Native American has been nominated for that award, although the first Indigenous best actress nomination was Keisha Castle-Hughes in 2003 for ‘Whale Rider.’ And Jodie Foster is the first out LGBTQ+ woman to be nominated for playing an explicitly lesbian character, in ‘Nyad.’ Colman Domingo in ‘Rustin’ is only the second openly gay man to receive an Oscar nomination for playing a gay character. In a context where many straight actors have received awards for playing gay characters, it is due time to celebrate authentic representation.”
“I am personally excited about the documentary short film nomination for ‘Island in Between,’ directed by a former film school classmate of mine, the remarkable filmmaker, S. Leo Chiang. Go Leo,” Tarleton says.
Overall, Tarleton, like most movie fans, is looking forward to the big night when the Oscar’s are awarded, on Sunday, March 10, on CBS.