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Since the 2023 Oscar nominations were announced, a complex debate has broken out over the best actress nomination of Andrea Riseborough for her performance in the indie drama To Leslie. After the actress was nominated, to the audible shock of many in attendance at the event, the Academy announced a “review” of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees. An Academy decision that Yellowjackets cast member Christina Ricci has taken a shot at with a brutally honest condemnation.
The Academy said they would review the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees to ensure the “Awards competition is conducted fairly and ethically.” While Andrea Riseborough and To Leslie was not explicitly mentioned, many read between the lines. In an Instagram comment (via Independent), the Wednesday alum pointed out how the Academy’s decision felt “elitist” and an attempt to disqualify movies that don’t have enough money to campaign aggressively. The actress wrote:
The findings from the investigation are expected to be announced on Tuesday, January 31, and it’s possible, but unlikely, according to Variety, that her nomination will be rescinded.
What surprised many about Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar attention was how under the radar the movie flew. To Leslie barely made over $27,000 at the box office, and many hadn’t heard of it.
The filmmaker’s behind the drama reported to Deadline that they had “next to no budget” for an awards campaign, so they had to rely on word of mouth and networking between friends and high-profile connections. Private screenings were reportedly held by stars including Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox, Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston, and Minnie Driver, and the grassroots campaign seems to have worked out for the team behind To Leslie.
While the Academy Awards has had its fair share of controversial moments, there have only ever been six nominations revoked since the Oscars started nearly a century ago. The independent flick has already made history as one of the lowest-grossing movies to receive a nomination. Still, if the actress is stripped of her nomination, the small movie will, sadly, make more Oscar history.
As we wait to see what happens to Riseborough’s nomination, fans of Christina Ricci can check out her latest work on the hit Tim Burton series Wednesday, which is streaming for anyone with a Netflix subscription. To Leslie is available to rent on VOD on Apple and Prime Video if you want to see Riseborough’s performance, before the Oscars air on March 12. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.