Actor Christina Ricci shared a lengthy post on Instagram Friday questioning The Academy’s decision to review this year’s nominations following Andrea Riseborough’s Best Actress nod for her performance in lowkey indie To Leslie.
“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,” Ricci wrote. “So it’s only the films and actors that can afford the campaigns that deserve recognition? Feels elitist and exclusive and frankly very backward to me.”
Ricci added that she is sure that Riseborough had “nothing to do with the campaigning” for the nomination, which she said is never orchestrated by the actor, “yet now her nomination will be tainted by this.”
Ricci’s post concluded: “If it’s taken away shame on them.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences put out a statement Friday saying it is “conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees.”
The org also said that it is mulling “whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication.”
The AMPAS statement doesn’t mention a specific film or individual, but many are theorizing that it is in response to Andrea Risebourogh’s surprise nomination for the little-seen drama To Leslie.
The film made a little over $27,000 during its brief theatrical release in October, making it among the lowest-grossing movies ever to score an Oscar nomination. With next to no budget for an awards campaign, the principals took it upon themselves to make sure the pic was entered and uploaded onto the Academy’s screening portal, and Riseborough and Morris turned to friends to help support the film.
Screenings were hosted by the likes of Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox, Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston, and Minnie Driver. To Leslie co-star Marc Maron hosted Riseborough on his popular podcast WTF.
In the last days before voting closed, a campaign on social media led by those stars and others, including Demi Moore, Jane Fonda, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Laura Dern, Frances Fisher, and many more, rocketed Riseborough into the conversation.
Speaking with Deadline shortly after the nomination was announced, Risebourogh said: “I’m astounded. … It was so hard to believe it might ever happen because we really hadn’t been in the running for anything else. Even though we had a lot of support, the idea it might actually happen seemed so far away.”