The 2024 Oscar Nominations and Backlash Behind Barbie Snub

The nominations for the 96th Academy Awards, or Oscars, were announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on January 23. The official ceremony announcing the winners is expected to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 10. Here are some of the categories to look out for and my personal takes on the nominations that have caused backlash over “Barbie.

Best Picture

Widely considered the most prestigious honor of the ceremony, a wide range of popular films made the list. The nominations included the expected “Barbenheimer” duo as well as eight other films. I can’t speak for these, as I haven’t watched them, but “Barbenheimer” will definitely build lots of tension. Whichever film takes the award home is something to anticipate the whole night. 


Best Director

History was made as Martin Scorsese, Director of “Killers of the Flower Moon” was nominated for Best Director. He is the oldest director nominee ever, at 81. Another notable occurrence within this category was that Greta Gerwig, the director of “Barbie,” did not receive a nomination. She was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, but the decision is still a bit strange, because there was no previous story or source material the movie was based on. The actual Barbie dolls were rarely shown. Does the usage of the IP in the title change the criteria? I still think Best Original Screenplay would make more sense. 


Best Actress

“Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone is the first Indigenous American actress to be nominated in this category. However, one of the biggest controversies of the night was how Margot Robbie, who played Barbie in “Barbie,” did not get nominated for her role. It may have just been a lack of positions, as there are only five nominees, but I personally believe she is a deserving candidate. It resulted in a serious and comedic discussion on social media: former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in response to the situation, wrote, “You’re both so much more than Kenough,” referring to Gerwig and Robbie. 


Best Actor

Cillian Murphy, who played Robert J. Oppenheimer in “Oppenheimer” was nominated, along with four other actors. “Oppenheimer” actually had the most nominations, with 13, so Oppenheimer fans may like to tune in. I actually think the line between Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor is quite thin. It is not a testament to the actor’s performance, rather, the role they were cast as. Several talented people have previously won both. Nevertheless, Ryan Gosling was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role as Ken. However, Margot Robbie not receiving a nomination for her role as Barbie was very ironic, since the entire message of “Barbie” is that we live in a patriarchal society. Not to discredit Gosling though, as he is definitely deserving. 

Gosling also expressed his feelings about it on social media.

“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. No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius. To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement,” said Gosling.


Best Original Song

Despite the “Barbie” snub in the other categories, Barbie received two out of five Best Original Song nominations, “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish and “I’m Just Ken” Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt. The two different songs are both great in their own right. I wouldn’t listen to “I’m Just Ken” in my free time, but it’s great in the context of the movie. 

The list of nominations goes on, but the above are some notable ones you can look forward to seeing at the awards ceremony. “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” are competing in six different categories, so, even if you aren’t very interested in movies, I think it will still prove to be an exciting face-off.