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Andrea Riseborough: Oscar nomination triggers Academy review


Andrea Riseborough's surprising Oscar nomination for best actress electrified Hollywood: did everything go right?

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Actress Riseborough in »To Leslie«: Oscar nomination thanks to hasty campaign

Photo: AP

It was one of the biggest surprises when the announcement of this year's Oscar nominations was not exactly poor in surprises: British actress Andrea Riseborough, known from films like "Birdman" or "Oblivion", found herself next to her colleague Cate, who was considered more or less set Blanchett (»Tár«), Ana de Armas (»Blonde«), Michelle Yeoh (»Everything Everywhere All At Once«) and Michelle Williams (»The Fabelmans«) are among the five contenders for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Neither the film "To Leslie", in which Riseborough, 41, plays the leading role, nor she herself was among the favorites of bookmakers, critics or the nominations and award ceremonies of recent weeks, including the Baftas and the Golden Globes.

The drama about a single and alcoholic mother in the USA,

who wins the lottery and becomes homeless, opened in US theaters last fall but has so far grossed a meager $27,300.

The film has not yet been shown outside of the United States.

Nevertheless, Riseborough was able to prevail against prominent candidates such as Viola Davis ("The Woman King") among the approximately 10,000 members of the Oscar Academy, including around 1,300 decisive actors and actresses in this category.

The reason for this is a grassroots campaign that is as good as unprecedented in Hollywood history.

Whether everything went right is a question that seems to be worrying and preoccupying Hollywood.

The Oscar Academy has been overwhelmed by calls and inquiries, according to a report by industry publication Variety, and is now apparently planning a hearing and investigation into this year's Oscar campaigns for next Tuesday.

Andrea Riseborough's name was not mentioned in the statement, but it should be clear

It was launched just weeks before the nominations to draw attention to Riseborough's performance.

Numerous A-listers in the industry, including her direct competitor Cate Blanchett, but also Kate Winslet, Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Adams and Edward Norton, began promoting »To Leslie« on their social media channels.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Michael Morris, the film's director, and his wife, actress Mary McCormack, had previously written to famous friends and acquaintances asking them to see the film and write about it.

Charlize Theron then hosted a screening of the film in November and Kate Winslet hosted a question and answer session for industry professionals.

Many celebrity posts on the internet contained similar wording,

There's nothing offensive about that, but Variety said the Academy would review the fairness of the terms: "We're conducting a review of campaign procedures around this year's nominees to ensure no guidelines have been violated, and around us to inform whether policy changes may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communications.

We have confidence in the integrity of our nomination and voting processes and support genuine grassroots campaigns for excellence," the statement said.

A formal complaint has not yet been filed, it said.

The question is also who this complaint would affect - and what exactly the accusation would be.

Risebourogh himself did not appear to have been personally involved in the campaign at first.

Michael Morris and Mary McCormack may have been particularly aggressive in their hasty action, but not necessarily rule-breaking.

"Variety" cites number 11 of the Academy Bylaws as a possible rule violation, according to which advertising tweets and postings should not contain "references to other nominees".

Any tactic that emphasizes the competition by name or title is therefore expressly prohibited.

more on the subject

  • Oscar nominations 2023: Lots of news in the WestBy Andreas Borcholte

  • A total of nine Oscar nominations: "Nothing New in the West" in the race for best film

At least the US actress Frances Fisher ("Titanic") could have violated this with an Instagram post from January 14, in which she explicitly names Riseborough's competitors.

According to “Variety”, however, there is nothing to object to the calculation made in the same place that only 218 of 1302 actor votes are needed to help Riseborough to be nominated.

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with drawing attention in an unorthodox way to an apparently very good and successful performance by an actress who is in danger of going under because, as a producer of an indie film, you don't have the financial resources of a larger studio.

However, it is unclear who funded the Riseborough campaign, which apparently also involved one or more PR firms.

In the worst case, Riseborough could be stripped of her precious nomination, but that has only happened nine times in 95 years of Oscar history, so it is considered highly unlikely.

Rather, the turmoil and resentment in Hollywood seems to be more about the concerns of the many expensive publicists and PR agencies who meticulously plan their campaigns with the studios and managements every new Oscar season.

If the grassroots concept of "To Leslie" catches on and targeted tweets and posts from fellow stars have such a big impact, then traditional industry processes and procedures could be undermined and many in Hollywood's busy PR periphery could soon find themselves with less money earn, so probably the fear of many.

Bitter for Andrea Riseborough: Her chances of winning the Oscar, which are not particularly great anyway, are unlikely to increase due to all the excitement and the currently diffuse distrust of her nomination.

Or even more so now.

The Oscars will be awarded on March 12th.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-01-28

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