MovieChat Forums > Andrea Riseborough Discussion > What happened to nominating actors based...

What happened to nominating actors based on merit/performance?

I'm as disappointed as anyone that Danielle Deadwater and Viola Davis didn't make the Best Actress shortlist (although it's absurd to specifically blame Andrea Riseborough for their omissions, seeing only one of these Black women could possibly have been 'bumped' in her favour; and do any of us even know for certain that either Deadwater or Davis were next in line for the fifth nomination?)

But I'm even more irritated by the suggestion being made by the critics of Riseborough's nom, that because the film was 'small' and 'little-seen', and that Riseborough didn't tirelessly campaign, with the backing of a big studio behind her, for her nomination, it must be illegitimate.

I'm not so naive to think that campaigning isn't a significant part of the whole process (after all, I doubt that every AMPAS member eligible to vote has seen every one of the eligible films), but if that's what the Best Actor/Actress nominations are all about (i.e. which actor campaigned the most/which studio spent the most money on ads) then the whole thing is wretched from the start, and hardly worth complaining about.

That Riseborough was nominated for a smaller, little-known, film, should actually give the industry hope that recognition isn't simply about who has the most money/who best played the game, but actually about the very thing it's supposed to be about: who gave the best performance?

Why do some people have a problem with this?


This isn't something that's recent and it will continue in the future.
Sean Connery won an Oscar for the Untouchables over Morgan Freeman in Street Smart, Denzel Washington in Cry Freedom, Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, and Vincent Gardenia in Moonstruck.
Jack Palance won an Oscar for City Slickers over Tommy Lee Jones in JFK, Ben Kingsley in Bugsy, Harvey Keitel in Bugsy, and Michael Lerner in Barton Fink.
Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar for the Fugitive over Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List, John Malkovich in In the Line of Fire, Leonardo DiCaprio in What's eating Gilbert Grape, and Pete Postelewaite in In the name of the Father.

Fact is quite a few people in Hollywood like Martin Scorcese, Stanley Kubrick, Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio did not win an Oscar for their best stuff. And in the future a lot of current popular actors and actresses will not win an Oscar til later in their careers because some longer time actor or actress is given one instead. Always gonna be that way.


I get that. I just don't understand why Riseborough is getting so much stick for this particular nomination. Apparently, she didn't 'campaign hard enough for it', as if that's the proper measurement for whether someone does or doesn't merit a nomination.


Well, I am ignorant on that. Sorry.


No need to apologise. I wasn't criticising you.


Well, it's not just the racial issues causing this little flap.

First, apparently the AMPAS has rules about contacting people personally to beg for votes, rules that AR may actually have broken. Second, apparently a lot of people are disgusted that she got nominated, because neither AR nor her film are making anyone any money! To a Holkywood suit, a nominee going to a B-lister in a film that made no money is a wasted opportunity. Oscar nomination generate income for nominated films, and nobody's ever going to make any money off of AR or her piddly little movie, and they're irritated enough to do something about it!