Film critics have shared their mixed reactions to Andrea Riseborough’s surprise nomination for the 2023 Oscars.
On Tuesday (Jan. 24), the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced. You can read the full list of nominees here.
One of the scorns and surprises of the nominations was Andrea Riseborough’s inclusion in the Best Actress category.
The British actor stars in indie drama To Lesley like a Texas mom who wins the lottery. But while her performance received rave reviews, the film only made £22,000 in the worldwide box office when it was released in October, leading many to believe that not enough voters had seen the film as a contender.
However, a guerrilla campaign for Riseborough’s nomination began on social media in mid-January. Renowned stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston and Jane Fonda all praised the film online and called for it to be considered by award voters. Cate Blanchett also mentioned Riseborough in her speech when she accepted her Critics Choice Award.
Following the news that she had been nominated for an Oscar on Tuesday, Riseborough said she was “stunned” by the news.
But while social media users agreed that her little-seen performance deserved an accolade, many shared their frustration that the two black actors were considered frontrunners in the category (Danielle Deadwyler for UntilViola Davis for The Queen of Women) had not earned any nominations.
“Anything for a ‘little movie with a big heart’ to gain recognition,” wrote film critic Chris James. Still, it feels weird to see Andrea Riseborough walk in after a week of celebrity friends gone on IG, while Danielle Deadwyler (also in a ‘little movie with a big heart’) pounded the pavement for months only to finally get snubbed. “
Journalist Rendy Jones commented, “In hindsight, I love Andrea Riseborough because she’s a phenomenal actress. However, the context of her nomination is really bizarre. The influence of popular white girls earning you an Oscar nomination when you’re not even in conversation was energizing in high school.
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“The problem isn’t that a long list of white actors wanted to be champion Andrea Riseborough,” one Twitter user wrote. “The problem is that none of them felt the need to do it for the minority candidates in the leading categories.”
“The most powerful actors in Hollywood — Theron, Paltrow, Aniston, Norton, Arquette — rallied at the 11th hour to secure an Oscar nomination for Andrea Riseborough,” writer Anthony Christian Ocampo tweeted. “It is true that her performance was great. It is also true that this effort would never happen for an actress of color.”
“You can think that Andrea Riseborough is an *insane* talent, that awards campaigns are inherently unfair anyway, and you can also wonder if those in the acting business would support a black woman in the same way. Esp in a year with no black women in lead actress nominations,” wrote former Empire editor Terri White.
Blanchett for TarMichelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere Everything at onceMichelle Williams for The Fables and Ana de Armas Blonde round out the Best Actress category.
The 95th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 12.