It was one of the biggest entertainment stories of the year: Barbenheimer, two huge movies going head to head at the box office, ostensibly a counterprogramming heavyweight bout, and what ended up happening was great for everyone – both films were winners, the battle resulted in what culturally can be seen as a tie. And now it’s the rematch. For the Oscar. 


During these last few weeks, after the end of the strikes, Barbie talent has been much more visible than their Oppenheimer counterparts. That seems to be changing now because Robert Downey Jr made his first official campaign stop at the Academy Museum Gala last night alongside his wife Susan. 

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey attend the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 3rd Annual Gala Presented by Rolex at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California

RDJ is looking like a very solid bet for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. And he’s just a major, major, major A-lister, an industry veteran, beloved by almost every corner of the business. So they didn’t really have to send him out too early, nor would he have been willing to show up to every single handshaking and baby-holding stop on the circuit. This feels right for him, an event with this kind of gravitas, signalling that he is, indeed, in the game. And he would certainly check the “overdue” box this Oscar season, with his impressive body of work, in all kinds of work, from big box office superhero movies to independent films; he is Iron Man and he’s a character actor, he’s Tony Stark and he’s Charlie Chaplin. 


RDJ seemed to be the lone Oppenheimer representative at the Academy Museum Gala because, for now, Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy are working it over in the UK. Last Thursday they were at a special screening and Q&A for the film in London, with Florence Pugh. It’s a smart strategy because they’re courting the BAFTA votes and there’s a lot of crossover between the British Academy and the Oscar Academy. 

Come January though, expect to see the Oppenheimer team reunited. The Golden Globe nominations will be announced a week today and while the Globes have certainly lost a lot of respect over the last few years, in a year that is this competitive, nominations and appearances matter. The Globes are taking place Sunday 7 January, right after the holiday break, three days after the kickoff of the Palm Springs Film Festival where both Barbie and Oppenheimer artists are being awarded – Greta Gerwig for Director of the Year and Cillian Murphy for Desert Palm Achievement. My point is we’ll see these two ensembles in full force very soon. 


Speaking of Greta, she was part of the Barbie contingent at the Academy Museum Gala last night, with America Ferrera, and Dua Lipa – all of them in Chanel – and also Hari Nef in Mugler. Interesting, right? That Greta, America, and Dua look better in Chanel than Stereotypical Barbie herself, Margot Robbie? 

Margot was not at the Oscar gala last night. Which is curious because the night before, she and Ryan Gosling, making his first award season appearance, were at a Barbie screening in West Hollywood. 

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie speak at the Special All Guild Screening and Q&A for Warner Bros. Pictures BARBIE at Warner Bros. Studios on December 02, 2023 in Burbank, California

Barbie and Ken hit several stops together on Saturday, with costume changes. Margot was in yellow and pink with bows on both outfits as Team Barbie continues its FYC run. Now that Ryan has joined the campaign trail, I’m really, really, REALLY curious to see if “I’m Just Ken” will actually be nominated for Best Song…and if it is, please, please, PLEASE can he please perform it live at the Oscars?! 

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