Andrea Riseborough’s Best Actress Oscar nomination raises eyebrows after the Hollywood campaign

Film critics shared their mixed reactions to Andrea Riseborough’s surprise nomination for the 2023 Oscars.

On Tuesday (January 24), the nominations for this year’s Oscars were announced. The full list of nominees can be read here.

Among the snubs and surprises of the nominations was Andrea Riseborough’s inclusion in the Best Actress category.

The British actor stars in an independent drama To Leslie as a mother from Texas who wins the lottery. But while her performance garnered rave reviews, the film grossed just £22,000 at the box office worldwide when it was released in October, leading many to believe voters hadn’t seen enough awards.

In mid-January, however, a partisan campaign for Riseborough’s nomination began on social media. High-profile stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston and Jane Fonda praised the film online, urging voters to consider it. Cate Blanchett also mentioned Riseborough in her acceptance speech for the Critics Choice Award.

Following the news that she had been nominated for an Oscar on Tuesday, Riseborough said she was “blown away” by the news.

But while social media users agreed that her rarely seen performance deserved credit, many shared their frustration that two black actors considered themselves leaders in the category (Danielle Deadwyler for DownViola Davis for Woman King) did not win the nomination.

“All to make a ‘small film with a big heart’ acclaim,” wrote film critic Chris James. “However, it’s strange that Andrea Riseborough ended up on IG after a week of celebrity friends, while Danielle Deadwyler (also in ‘a little movie with a big heart’) pounded the pavement for months to end up with a snub.”

Journalist Rendy Jones commented, “Looking back, I love Andrea Riseborough because she is a phenomenal actress. The context of her nomination, however, is really strange. The influence of the popular white girls who earned you an Oscar nomination when you weren’t even talking adds energy to the school.”

“The problem is not that a long list of white actors were happy with Andrea Riseborough,” one Twitter user wrote. “The problem is that none of them felt the need to do it for minority rivals in the major categories.”

“Hollywood’s most powerful actors – Theron, Paltrow, Aniston, Norton, Arquette – came together at 11 o’clock to secure an Oscar nomination for Andrea Riseborough,” writer Anthony Christian Ocampo tweeted. “It’s true that her performance was outstanding. It is also true that such an effort would never happen with an actress of color.”

“You might think that Andrea Riseborough is *mad* talent, that award campaigns are inherently unfair anyway, and ask if those in the acting industry would similarly nibble their weight on a black woman. Especially in a year with no nominations for black female lead actresses,” wrote former Empire editor Terri White.

Blanchett for TarMichelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere Everything at onceMichelle Williams for Fabelmans and Ana de Armas for Blond completes the Best Actress category.

The 95th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 12.

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