Here’s Why I Think Barbie Was Nuked by Oppenheimer at Oscars 2024

In Short
  • The Oscars took place on March 1o, 2024 and Oppenheimer won 7 out of the 14 categories in which it was nominated.
  • Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, managed to bag just one award and was nominated for 8 awards at Oscars 2024.
  • Barbie was overshadowed by Oppenheimer at the Oscars for its out of the box storytelling, notion-challenging plot, and a bias from the Academy.

The Oscars 2024 ceremony has concluded and it is safe to say that this year’s award ceremony was filled with a lot of “What?” and “Whoa’s”. Now, we all knew that this Oscar was going to see a face-off between the Margot Robbie-led “Barbie” and the Cillian Murphy-led “Oppenheimer,” but as it turns out, Oppenheimer won a whopping seven out of the thirteen categories it was nominated for while Barbie only secured The Best Original Song award and the Cinematic and Box Office Achievement award out of the eight nominations it landed. That doesn’t seem fair, right? So, why did the overall hype, the box office collection, and the chart-breaking success of the film along with other factors not help it score more Oscars? Let’s try to decipher that.

People’s Choice Is Not Always the Academy’s Choice

Here’s Why I Think Barbie Was Nuked by Oppenheimer at Oscars 2024
Image Courtesy: IMDb

One of the biggest reasons I feel that contributed to Barbie’s rather undeservingly low award count is the general bias that goes around with the jury at the Academy. The masses loved Barbie and the way it portrayed the patriarchal bias faced by women, Margot Robbie’s acting, Ryan Gosling’s ‘I’m Just Ken’, the extravagant sets, costumes, and the satirical approach of the movie towards a major issue in society. Everything about this movie was on point but still, the voters at the Academy could not care less about what people think.

Since the beginning of the Oscars, voters have had a general bias toward movies that fall under the genres of historical narratives, intense dramas, or thought-provoking films which we got to see this time as well with Oppenheimer’s Oscar awards haul.

Even though Barbie’s overall theme was indeed thought-provoking, the jury could’ve possibly considered the movie to be a fantasy comedy, and hence, the weight Barbie had against a competitor like Oppenheimer came to an all-time low.

The Overwhelming Competition

Here’s Why I Think Barbie Was Nuked by Oppenheimer at Oscars 2024
Image Courtesy: IMDb

Even though Barbie is a phenomenal movie with an important message embedded in it, there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to the Oscars. I feel that Barbie fell victim to the general bias that prevailed at the Academy Awards and the massive competition it had.

Barbie was a direct competitor to Oppenheimer. Barbie boasted an extraordinary story with a cast to match; it was indeed a well-done movie. However, the cinematography of Christopher Nolan and overall performances from critically acclaimed actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy overpowered Barbie.

Director Greta Gerwig did a phenomenal job at making Barbie but due to the trend of Oscars, in which Oppehimer checked all the boxes with flying colors, it couldn’t bag more awards.

Oscars and Their Ick with Out-of-the-box Movies

It’s no secret that Oscars has a certain kind of ‘ick’ with movies based on out-of-the-box concepts. Since 1929, the Academy has created a certain set of checkboxes; if a movie fits into it, they get an Oscar.

Several movies that are loved by the people and are to date, one of the best movies ever made, have not received the recognition they deserved at the Oscars. Let’s consider a few examples to give you a better idea of what I mean.

When we talk about science fiction, the one franchise that revolutionized the genre was Star Wars. This franchise is to date considered the best work of science fiction and has a cult following. People who were not even born when Star Wars came out are now fans of the franchise.

Naturally, such a huge franchise must have a bucket load of awards, right? Well, you’d be wrong to think that because the whole saga of 12 movies has received 37 nominations to date and has only won 7 Oscars in total.

Here’s Why I Think Barbie Was Nuked by Oppenheimer at Oscars 2024
Image Courtesy: IMDb

Let’s take another example. Tell me if I’m wrong but Shawshank Redemption is easily one of the most amazing movies we have ever seen. The plot, the cinematography, and the completely out-of-the-box storytelling were indeed an absolute delight. However, even though this movie is to date a classic, Shawshank Redemption was nominated for a total of 7 awards but guess how many it bagged? None.

As far as I feel, Barbie fell into the same misfortune as these other amazing movies did. The only fault this film had was taking a road less traveled and making a movie that stands totally out of the set standards of an “Oscar-winning movie.”

According to me, Barbie is a movie that talks about one of those topics, some people generally don’t want others talking about resulting in the underwhelming appreciation of Barbie at the Oscars. Now with this article, I am, in no way, saying that Oppenheimer didn’t deserve to win the awards it did. All I’m saying is, Barbie deserved better than it got.

However, there is no doubt in the fact that Barbie is the people’s champion, and the efforts put in by Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig, Ryan Gosling, and the other cast members are definitely, Kenough.

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