When her name came up when this year's Oscar nominations were announced, there was a big surprise: British actress Andrea Riseborough is entering the race as "Best Actress" with her film "To Leslie". Riseborough was not previously considered an Oscar candidate, the drama is a small independent production that cost hardly anything and brought in little money.
But Riseborough's performance was praised by many critics - and apparently should be honored. That is why a number of prominent colleagues such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon and Edward Norton actively promoted Riseborough and her film on social networks. "I don't post much about movies or actors' performances... maybe I should do it more. But for those who are interested in really great acting, I want to say that Andrea Riseborough's performance in 'To Leslie' just blew me away." Norton wrote on Instagram.
Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron and Courteney Cox even organized movie nights to show the strip "To Leslie" in film circles. Apparently with success, because it is the acting members of the Academy who decide on the nominations in the acting categories. Alongside Riseborough, Cate Blanchett, Ana De Armas, Michelle Williams and Michelle Yeoh compete for the Oscar for Best Actress.
"Andrea is one of the best actresses of our time and is loved by her peers, but her Oscar nomination shocked everyone. It wasn't just a shock, it was a miracle. You could hear a sigh of relief as her name was read in the hall . Until recently nobody had seen or heard of this film," a producer and Academy member told the British newspaper Daily Mail.
The accusation is now that the social media campaigns of the prominent colleagues alone brought Andrea Riseborough the Oscar nomination, while candidates believed to be safe, such as Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler, went away empty-handed. "Both Viola and Danielle gave stunning performances and it was to be expected that one or both would be nominated. There was much reaction this week to the thought that once again a white woman might have supplanted equal black actresses who have never been so got a lot of support like Andrea," said the producer.
The Oscar Academy has now announced that it wants to review the nomination process to make sure "that no guidelines have been violated". Especially with regard to social media, "changes to the guidelines may be necessary". But all of this can only be measures for the future: they will not change anything about Andrea Riseborough's Oscar nomination.
Sources: "Daily Mail", "The Hollywood Reporter"