Sarah will be posting an overview of this morning’s Oscar nominations later but we’ll start with what’s trending: Lady Gaga. Because she was not nominated for her performance as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci. This is considered a snub because Gaga has so far this award season been nominated for almost everything else, including the BAFTA just last week. As I said in today’s site open, it’s an unpredictable year.
Some things to consider though as we analyse the Best Actress situation. House of Gucci, overall, does not seem to have been well-received by the Oscar Academy. Jared Leto was also not nominated in the Supporting Actor category and the film only received one nomination in total – in the Hair and Makeup category, which is a milestone for Asian American representation. Frederic Aspiras, who has been working with Gaga for 13 years, is the lone Gucci representative in the field. So it may not be that this was a Gaga snub, but a Gucci snub.
Still, the omission of Gaga from the list is the headline. Because, of course, she’s Gaga, one of the most famous women in the world, a global superstar. And because, as we’ve seen, she’s been on the campaign circuit, and we’ve been hearing for months about her preparation for the role, about the accent, about what she endured. And also because House of Gucci was a high-profile movie, higher profile than some of the other films featuring the actresses who did get nominated. Like Penelope Cruz in Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers and Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, both of whom were nominated alongside Olivia Colman, Nicole Kidman, and Kristen Stewart. Penelope, in particular, has been quiet through the campaign season.
But as I mentioned back in December about the Best Actress race, Penelope won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress in September at the Venice Film Festival and historically Volpi winners have an excellent chance at Oscar. And she’s already an Oscar winner, meaning she’s known within the Academy; she’s worked with so many Academy members. She and Javier Bardem, her husband, are actually both nominated this year – he for his performance as Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos (which means that he’s nominated alongside his onscreen wife and his real-life wife, also an observation I made back in December!) – so it tells you their standing within the actors branch of the Academy.
That also applies to Jessica Chastain. This is her third nomination and she’s on the list of acclaimed actresses who’ve not yet taken the Oscar, like Amy Adams. Jessica Chastain has also worked with so many Academy members, highly respected within that community, by a majority they’re all familiar with her work. So while she hasn’t been nominated for as many other awards this season as Lady Gaga, the Academy, always, is a different beast. Especially this year, where one guild or critics’ board hasn’t necessarily been a reflection of how others would swing.
As for Kristen Stewart – well she was snubbed by the Screen Actors Guild and missed out on a BAFTA (ahem, did you know that Emma Corrin was also NOT nominated for a BAFTA for her portrayal of Princess Diana in The Crown? Coincidence or conspiracy?) but as I have been saying for months where KStew is concerned, and she’s been working the campaign circuit, with a late push a couple of weeks ago in New York, the Academy is a different ballgame for someone like Kristen who grew up in the business, has been at this for 20 years. She may be the youngest of the field but she’s certainly not the least experienced. She too has worked with a wide range of actors in the Oscar Academy, and multiple Oscar winners too – Jodie Foster, Julianne Moore, Sean Penn, Juliette Binoche, just to name a few. So while she may seem like an outsider and a punk in public, Kristen Stewart is very much an insider and fits in with the other four nominees in this category.
But if we’re talking about snubs, Jennifer Hudson is trending too. She delivers an outstanding performance as Aretha Franklin. She’s a previous Oscar winner. She’s been in the conversation, maybe not as loudly as Lady Gaga, but she did get a SAG nomination. If we’re comparing apples to apples and real-person nominee portrayals, there are three in this year's Best Actress category: Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye, Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball, and Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana. To me, I prefer Jennifer Hudson as Aretha over Nicole as Lucille, right up there with Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye. JHud, then, is the bigger snub.