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Sorry but Barbie wasn't the biggest Oscar snub, Priscilla was

Sorry but Barbie wasn’t the biggest Oscar snub, Priscilla was

It’s enough now!


Barbie might be widely considered to be the biggest snub on the Oscar nod list, but I think it’s actually Priscilla.

Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig not getting nominated in their respective categories of Best Leading Actress and Best Director might be the talk of the town, but that energy ought to be preserved for Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, starring Cailee Spaeney.

The complete absence of Priscilla from the 2024 Oscar nomination is a dangerous omen about Hollywood’s future. This is also the case for many films that didn’t make the cut, like May December, The Iron Claw, A Thousand and One, Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret. It leaves the following question running around my mind: Will I be living in an IP corporate hellscape forever?

In the run-up to Barbie’s release, much was made about it being a cynical attempt to sell plastic dolls and push unrealistic body standards on little girls. As someone who was once this little girl, I doubt how much Barbie dolls and not the entire Western mainstream culture were the root of that damage; the latter feels unconvincing. However, the former, the former grabs my attention. The future of independent cinema and the wider industry is very concerning. Intellectual property offerings, like Marvel or Super Mario, are easy cash grabs for studio executives. People already love and know the characters, so there’s a built-in audience. There was particular ire for Greta Gerwig, who helmed modern classics such as Lady Bird and Little Women, for getting into bed with Mattel.

To some, like Caspar Salmon in the Guardian, it felt like what Martin Scorsese said when he made himself enemy number one of comic book bros when he came for Marvel. His comments, which he outlined in a New York Times op-ed, were framed as a petty beef. However, it wasn’t an old man refusing to move with the times. Instead, it highlighted a real concern: The ever-increasing barrier to entry into the film industry.

I cite Priscilla as one of the many films left off the nominations list because it has many similar aspects to Barbie. See, it’s also a film based on existing lore. It is based on Priscilla Presley’s memoir Elvis and Me, her 1985 memoir all about her marriage to the late music superstar Elvis Presley. Looking at themes of girlhood, growing up and beauty standards, it also matches up. It also features the rising star Jacob Elordi as the big man himself.