In an unbelievable show of unity, Hollywood A-listers, scriptwriters, and directors have come together to support Andrea Riseborough’s first Academy Award nomination in the Best Actress category for her role in To Leslie. The small-budgeted, independent feature film was released to a largely ignorant population, one that was engrossed in the otherworldly drama of failing studios, the trials and tribulations of celebrities, and the rise and fall of socialite empires.
However, 2023 opened up to a whole new galore of complications and contradictions as the Academy’s latest nomination throws the institution under a scrutinizing light once again. As the Riseborough controversy gains steam across the Hollywood frontlines, the veteran writer/director, Paul Schrader comes out in support of the actress even as the Academy begins an investigation into its campaign procedures.
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Paul Schrader Backs Andrea Riseborough Oscar Nomination
The 1976 success of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s Taxi Driver was born out of the wretched misery and great pain of the gifted scriptwriter, Paul Schrader. Finding an outlet in the work, Schrader famously dumped the finished draft in the lap of Scorsese within a mere 15 days. However, time and eventual success gave the writer a new path to focus on, and the course of his career that followed was nothing short of legacy-defining. An underrated writer and an even more criminally underrated director, Schrader’s works speak for themselves without the necessary clamoring that makes a successful project into a classic.
Also read: ‘The politicking for Andrea Riseborough paid off’: Secret Oscars Campaign To Champion To Leslie Star for Best Actress Nomination Proves the Academy is Racist and Broken
However, even great accolades such as these do not lend immunity to the generational writer. With allegations of racism surfacing after the Oscars snub of Woman King and Till actresses, Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler, a renewed and reinvigorated voice roared into the mass consciousness that screamed #OscarsSoWhite. As the movement finds a new rhythm and cause, Schrader comes out in support of Andrea Riseborough’s nomination, claiming, “She’s got my vote. Go ahead, investigate me.”
Actors Who Have Come Out in Support of To Leslie’s Oscar
Ranging from Gwyneth Paltrow to Edward Norton to Jennifer Aniston, there is not one actor or actress from every nook and cranny of the industry who has not vocally expressed their very public support of Andrea Riseborough’s nomination for an Oscar. As far as the rules and regulations of the Academy are concerned, promotional participation in the preceding period of the Oscars race is a practice that has been performed for years but is not outright illegal. Direct tampering, i.e. contacting the institution for promoting or pushing a film for nomination or awards, on the other hand, is.
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The Academy has, as such, launched an investigation into the proceedings of their nomination campaign to look into the matter and decide whether the “surprise nomination” of Andrea Riseborough in the Best Actress category should be allowed to stay. Christina Ricci, too, has come out in support claiming,
“Seems hilarious that the ‘surprise nomination’ (meaning tons of money wasn’t spent to position this actress) of a legitimately brilliant performance is being met with an investigation. So it’s only the films and actors that can afford the campaigns that deserve recognition? Feels elitist and exclusive.”
Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron have also backed the nomination but more speculation gained the forefront of the discussion when several television actors and personalities began posting the same statement of support for the film. Even though Twitter users have pointed out the similarities and opined on the issue, the looming debate about racism in the Oscars has overshadowed the handful of statements of support that are being made at even the most basic grassroots level for To Leslie.
Source: Facebook | Paul Schrader