The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The 黄色电影

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The 黄色电影

Check out our latest issue

‘Barbie’ leaves indelible mark on movie industry despite absence of award nominations

Meher Sareen
Garnering roughly 1.45 billion dollars in box office earnings worldwide, 鈥淏arbie鈥 is the biggest debut in history for a film directed by a woman, according to Statista. However, Margot Robbie, playing Barbie, and director Greta Gerwig were not nominated for the upcoming Oscars in the Best Leading Actress or Best Director categories announced Jan. 23.

Since 1959, children worldwide have been receiving the famous blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie doll. While many consider styling and dressing these dolls as some of the most memorable parts of their childhoods, the live-action 鈥淏arbie鈥 movie, released in cinemas in July 2023, shines a different light on the fuchsia-dressed figurines.

Director Greta Gerwig gave the name Barbie a new countenance. Gerwig broke away from the one-dimensional stereotype that has long defined women and transformed the iconic doll into a symbol of self-empowerment. Actress Margot Robbie played the iconic role of Barbie in the film while guiding watchers through a journey of self-discovery.

While Gerwig and Robbie left prevailing marks on the movie industry with their roles in 鈥淏arbie,鈥 they were not recognized in Oscar nominations for Best Leading Actress and Best Director awards announced Jan. 23.

Despite this lack of recognition, Gerwig and Robbie made powerful impacts on the movie industry by creating a groundbreaking movie about complex societal issues.

The movie follows the journey of Barbie, played by Robbie, as she travels from her home in Barbie Land to the real world with Ken, played by Ryan Gosling. On a mission to heal the feelings of a human who used to play with her, Barbie learns that fault is inevitable and perfection is not the secret to happiness.

While Barbie faces increasingly difficult challenges as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and resilience, Ken learns how the patriarchy can work in favor and against men. After the Kens of Barbie Land become consumed by toxic masculinity, Ken and Barbie learn how important it is to appreciate life’s flaws as part of its beauty.

Coming out of the theater, I was moved by the new outlook on my favorite childhood toy that 鈥淏arbie鈥 provided. Months later, I woke up to the news of the Oscars failing to recognize 鈥淏arbie鈥 for major awards.

For outcomes such as promoting the idea of life’s imperfections being part of its beauty, emphasizing the importance of gender equality and its financial success, 鈥淏arbie鈥 and its creators deserved to be nominated for major awards.

Though neither Gerwig nor Robbie received nominations under the Best Actress and Best Director categories in the recent Oscars, both received other nominations alongside their husbands. Gerwig was named alongside her husband, Noah Baumbach, for Best Adapted Screenplay. In addition, Robbie was also recognized for Best Picture as a producer under her company which is co-founded with her husband Tom Ackerley, LuckyChap Productions.

A male role being awarded over the leading female role for a movie about women being treated unfairly in society seems hypocritical to the film’s fundamental message.

These nominations clearly highlight that despite both Geriwg and Robbie failing to be properly commended for their work in 鈥淏arbie,鈥 when it comes to work accomplished with males in the industry, the Academy had no issue providing nominations 鈥 an ironic situation considering the point of the film.

Shortly after the nominations were announced Feb. 1. Robbie remained modest and said she was not able to feel sad as she knew she was extremely blessed. Still, Robbie also defended Gerwig, saying that she should have been nominated in the Best Director category as what she did was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, according to Elle.

Furthermore, while working tirelessly on set for the movie, fellow co-stars recognized the impact of Robbie and Gerwig and the dedication that each set aside when bringing the fantasy Barbie Land to life.

According to CBS, in response to the Oscar nominees being announced, Gosling was disappointed and said the roles of Ken and Barbie would not exist without Robbie and Gerwig. While being nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars, though Gosling’s role in 鈥淏arbie鈥 was phenomenal and well-executed, a male role being awarded over the leading female role for a movie about women being treated unfairly in society seems hypocritical to the film’s fundamental message.

Moreover, America Ferrera, who played Gloria in the film, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Like Gosling, though she was grateful for her recognition, according to Variety, Ferrera described that Gerwig had done as much as she could to deserve the Best Director award.

As members of the cast working for months on end with both Robbie and Gerwig, Ferrera and Gosling had a front-row seat to the extreme devotion that the women invested toward the film鈥檚 creation.

鈥淏arbie鈥 was the highest-grossing film in 2023, amassing roughly 1.45 billion U.S. dollars worldwide, according to Statista. With Robbie playing the leading role and Gerwig directing, it is unacceptable that neither Robbie nor Gerwig were nominated under the Best Actress and Best Director categories.

Oscar nominations are primarily decided by members of the Academy who are in the relevant branch 鈥 for example, directors nominate directors. Once nominees are decided, all voting members are eligible to cast their ballots in any category. Recently, the Academy has made attempts to diversify its membership, predominantly due to receiving criticism for a spate of nominees that were entirely white, according to PBS.

According to a video published on the Oscars鈥 YouTube channel, this system is used to determine the “fairest possible” outcome for nominations.

As an organization claiming to value equity and fairness, not recognizing the two female figures responsible for creating one of the most groundbreaking films of 2023 is unjust.

Robbie’s acting was critical in conveying the movie鈥檚 paramount message to viewers. 鈥淏arbie鈥 advocates for equality and the idea that womanhood is far more complex than the stereotypes that have long concealed the wonders of femininity. This primarily includes women having the right to their opinions, no matter what others think.

In addition, while playing the role of a doll who is supposed to be incapable of emotion, Robbie conveys a complete story arc to viewers, revealing her ability to bring an extremely difficult role to life. She showed viewers why it is important to love the imperfections of life and oneself; a valuable message to all.

Gerwig’s not being acknowledged in the category of Best Director while the entire movie came to be as a result of her directing skills exemplifies neglect in the award nomination selection process.

Not only this, but a previous flaw in how award-voting groups perceived the movie was evident with the Golden Globes, which took place earlier this year. Being nominated for nine major awards, 鈥淏arbie鈥 failed to earn even one of these and instead earned the first-ever Golden Globe award for “Cinematic and Box Office Achievement.”

While this award may be credited to the movie’s popularity and high earnings, the Golden Globes also overlooked the movie鈥檚 powerful impact and its intended message.

Ultimately, even without the nominations, 鈥淏arbie鈥’s impact on our society, culture and women worldwide will forever remain prominent. The Oscar鈥檚 inability to recognize the movie for these triumphs exemplifies the unjust realities of women being overlooked for their accomplishments.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Meher Sareen, Reporter
Meher Sareen ('27) is a Reporter for The 黄色电影 in Journalistic Writing.

Comments (0)

All The 黄色电影 Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *