By now, the sting of the snub is gone away – nobody, not one person or hopeful 8 year old child, believed the throwaway ‘Best Picture’ nomination for Barbie was going to be anything more than a cute clip montage. 


The acting nods – I don’t agree with it, but there’s definitely precedent for the Academy not to award comedic performances, and a still *very* present feeling that ‘just the nomination is enough’, and shouldn’t you feel lucky just to be there? Is any of this sounding familiar yet? 

We haven’t even gotten to the part where the performance of “I’m Just Ken” is the most anticipated line item of the night. People are MAD DASHING to get back into the theatre so they don’t miss it, everyone adores it (more on this later – would we blow past it like this?), but it doesn’t move the voting needle. 


But the shut outs in every craft category are what are really shocking. Really, nobody thought the production design of that movie, that brought every element of not just Barbie, but ALL TOYS in the 80s and 90s, to a real-life, touchable format, was worthy of acclaim? No costumes? No makeup? Really?

It's all subjective, of course. Billie & Finneas did win, of course. It’s not a complete shut out, and a coincidence that the one Oscar win is for someone that had already won before…


…but then you remember that this movie made One and One Half BILLION Dollars. That it is the highest-grossing live-action comedy OF ALL TIME. That it’s critically acclaimed, beloved by everyone, crossing boundaries and borders such that, as previously mentioned, it inspired stampedes: 

When you can make, for all practical purposes, the biggest comedy movie there is, and it still isn’t enough to get awards from men who vote on important films (because while the Academy may have brought in new members, it’s not like they booted out any who’ve overstayed their welcome) –

Well, that’s when it starts to feel deliberate. That’s why Margot & Greta & Ryan & America mostly had looks of patient endurance on their faces.  Because how can it not feel like it’s rigged?! At least Kimmel calls them out: 


I’m overstating it to say that it felt funereal, but let’s be honest – it didn’t exactly feel celebratory, right? We didn’t feel like the Barbie team was ready to cap a year of extraordinary achievement, so much as endure the patronizing smiles and claps until they could get out of there. 

What kills me is – how do you come back from this? Obviously there’s “always something coming up” and they’re all incredibly talented people who will work a ton of the time, but, but – 

Even if they make the biggest movie ever, AGAIN – even if they do what is almost literally impossible and top themselves – what’s to say they won’t be sitting there with polite, enduring smiles for another endless, thankless season? It’s like a slow-motion funeral for your own hope that the business could be, you know, good. 


I do like that they all kept their outfits quite toned down and (for the Oscars) sedate – if they don’t appreciate our incredible cast, why should they get to delight in them? – but I love that Margot Robbie pulled out a banger of a look at Vanity Fair, just to remind us all that just because the Oscars doesn’t deserve to see the full force of her star power, doesn’t mean it’s not there, ready to be deployed like so much armor next time someone underestimates her.