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?