How are Oscar nominees chosen and what’s going on with Andrea Riseborough?

On January 24, the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced to the nominees that they will seek to win the most important award in the industry, neither more nor less than the Oscar (HERE you can check the complete list). Of course, like every year, productions and names that were sung that would appear within the shortlists appeared, but In the Best Actress category, a nominee appeared that no one expected: Andrea Riseborough.

This British actress is by no means an unknownWell, we’ve seen it on big tapes like birdman, Oblivion, nocturnal Animals and recently participated in the new version of Matilda from Netflix. However, in the last few days has given something to talk about because unexpectedly, he received a mention for the biggest statuette in cinema for playing Leslie Rowland in To Leslie from director Michael Morris, all without being considered in the awards season race. Imagine how hot that thing is the Academy will review your nomination procedures… just as they read it.

Andrea Riseborough in ‘To Leslie’/Photo: Momentum Pictures

And to all this, who chooses the Oscar nominees?

Before delving completely into the case of Andrea Riseborough, we first have to understand something very important and that perhaps for many is a real unknown, How are Oscar nominees chosen?. Well, we must tell you that the process is somewhat complicated and long (like doing a bureaucratic process, hehe), well Those who could win this prestigious award are chosen by the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.which currently has more than 10 thousand members.

This very exclusive group is made up of those who have done important work in the film industry. in any of its sections, from acting, editing, directing, photography to music composition, costume design, makeup, and so on. To be part of the Academy, those interested must submit an application endorsed by two people who are already inside and the board reviews the applicants every year to check if they are approved or not. Although yes, the nominees of each edition automatically become members.

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Illustrative image of the Oscars / Photo: Getty Images

However, the voting process for Oscar nominations starts a year earlier, specifically in December, well the members of the Hollywood Academy through ballots or online, can choose their nominees this season. Here it is important to mention that the winner of each category is chosen by personalities of that sector. That is to say, the actors are the ones who vote for the Best Actor, the directors for the Best Direction and vice versa. But among all, they choose the Best Film of the year.

The experts in each branch are in charge of choosing who will make up the nominations

In addition, so that both the performances and all the sectors that comprise a film production can enter the nominations, They must be from a movie that was released in the previous year (between January and December)which had its premiere necessarily in Los Angeles and that its original language is English. If you meet all these requirements, you have a chance to enter the lists of nominees, but the most important thing is still missing: that they vote for your participation.

The members of the Academy can consider up to five candidates for the category that corresponds to them and at the end, they choose the first five who have the most votes. They are the ones who enter to compete within the nominations and later, a similar process is carried out to choose the Oscar winner. Nevertheless, there are those who campaign to invite members to vote for them, and even though it is not illegal to promote a movie or performance, there are certain procedures that the mere Hollywood mere consider as something crooked, in particular, trying to persuade those who can define the nominees.

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Illustrative image of the Oscars / Photo: Getty Images

The case of Andrea Riseborough shocked Hollywood

Returning to the case of Andrea Riseborough, the Hollywood Academy found the way she ended up in the Best Actress nominations at the 2023 Oscars rather odd. In particular because To Leslie –the film in which he starred– is a very small independent production that has received accolades at film festivals but was not featured in the early awards season ceremonies.

And perhaps at this point you are wondering, what does the size of a tape have to do with getting a nomination? What is not supposed to reward excellence and not the dimension of a production? Well, statistically it has been seen that Those films that have a more or less strong budget have a better chance of ending up among the Oscar nominees or winners..

The other issue is that To Leslie It wasn’t a box office hit and it didn’t reach enough people to generate the “word of mouth” effect, but then how did Andrea Riseborough make it into the Best Actress category? This case is quite curious, because according to indiewirejust after its premiere, between September and October 2022, when some American media and programs began to talk about this tape. Nevertheless, the thing began to attract attention because celebrities like Jane Fonda and Charlize Theron recommended the film.

A controversial campaign that involved celebrities

From now on, Andrea received an Independent Spirit Award nomination and apparently, those involved in the production realized that there was a chance to enter other award ceremonies. indiewire also mentions that mary mccormickactress and wife of the film’s director, Michael Morris, contacted a Hollywood public relations agency to put together a campaign asking their clients to talk about the film until Oscar voting closed.

After this, the controversy began, because celebrities of the size Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Lee Curtis, Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Gwyneth Paltrow and many more began to recommend To Leslie. Even the very cate blanchett (who is shaping up to win the Oscar for Best Actress and who already has the Golden Globe) mentioned Andrea Riseborough in her speech to receive the Critics Choice Award.

But perhaps the most serious aspect of the matter was that some media specialized in the world of entertainment point out that McCormick was very insistent during the campaign for them to vote for the film and for the protagonist, falling into something that we in Mexico know very well: lobbyingwhich is nothing more than pressing for something in return, in this case the nomination.

The Hollywood Academy will review the situation of Andrea Riseborough and could remove the nomination

All this situation set off alarm bells within the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, so much so that announced that they will review the situationbecause in addition to supposedly influencing the vote of the members, they point out that some publications in favor of Andrea Riseborough, with a low hand, spoke ill of her competitors in the category

The rules mention that “any form of public communication by anyone directly associated with an eligible film will not be tolerated.” that “attempts to cast a negative or derogatory light on a competing film or achievement.” Furthermore, they add that “Any tactic that points to ‘the competition’ by name or title is expressly prohibited,” and whoever they catch will be penalized with a one-year suspension from affiliation to the Academy.

How are the Oscar nominees chosen and what is happening with Andrea Riseborough?How are the Oscar nominees chosen and what is happening with Andrea Riseborough?How are the Oscar nominees chosen and what is happening with Andrea Riseborough?
Photo: Getty Images

Some specialists point out that it is perhaps unlikely, but they do not rule out that Riseborough will take away the nomination for Best Actress, despite the fact that most critics mention that his work in To Leslie is incredible. It has happened in the past that the Hollywood Academy penalizes Oscar nominees for violating voting procedures; However, a similar situation has never occurred in a category as important as acting..

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How are Oscar nominees chosen and what’s going on with Andrea Riseborough?

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