Ryan Gosling An Early Oscar Favourite for His Role in Barbie

To say that Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has been a worldwide phenomenon would be a gross understatement. Bolstered by the “Barbenheimer” movement that has also seen Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer become the highest-grossing World War II film of all time (despite being R-rated), Barbie has grossed a whopping $1.184 billion at the worldwide box office since its release on July 21st, $526 million of which has come domestically in the US and Canada. And it’s not done yet.

In fact, Barbie’s unprecedented success may very well run into early next year, as its numerous critical plaudits have generated significant Oscar buzz, even this early in the race.

Perhaps the most obvious aspects of production to be nominated would be its outstanding set design, as well as the makeup and hairstyling, both of which are near shoe-ins for the undeniably high level of artistry at play here. The film’s promotional material alone was enough to make their respective cases. However, don’t overlook Barbie’s potential to land nominations in some of the major categories. Gerwig has a decent shot at landing a nomination for Best Director, not just for her deft touch which produced the impossibly best version of a Barbie adaptation, but also because, more cynically, the Academy has (deservedly) caught flack in recent years for overlooking the immense female talent in the industry. It also doesn’t hurt that the brand now has major cultural recognition that the Academy might want to embrace as viewership has been declining in recent years. And you can also bet on Barbie’s chances of landing a nomination for its clever, subversive screenplay, having been co-written by her partner and fellow filmmaker, Noah Baumbach.

Yet, the most talked about potential nominee is none other than Ryan Gosling for his supporting performance as the main Ken, gaining momentum at the right time as we move ever closer to the beginning of awards season next month. While the cast has been unanimously praised, Gosling has been singled out for his multifaceted performance, with at least one critic I encountered suggesting it might be the best performance of his already illustrious career. Many others note that he has never been funnier, with Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian offering a middling review of Barbie but noting in its title that “Ryan Gosling is plastic fantastic”.

While much can change during the course of the awards season (just look at Andrea Riseborough’s surprise Oscar nomination last season), most of the films that will be considered for awards have already done the rounds, even if they have not yet had their wide releases, and Gosling is looking ever more like a lock in the Best Supporting Actor category at next year’s Academy Awards. But that doesn’t mean he’s without competition. As is fitting of the “Barbenheimer” movement, Robert Downey Jr.’s captivatingly understated performance as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer is frequently uttered in the same breath as Gosling when discussing the best supporting performances of the year, closely followed by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon. It might be early yet, but the buzz suggests that these three actors are the closest things to “locks” for Best Supporting Actor next year.

Of course, the Emmy Awards have recently been pushed to next year due to the ongoing SAG-AFRTA and WGA strike, and with no end currently in sight, even the Academy Awards is on somewhat shaky ground at this point in time. Here’s hoping the unions can find common ground with the studios in the coming months, even if some actors don’t always help the situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *