Hollywood in ferment after Andrea Riseborough is shortlisted ahead of two black actresses
It’s the fairy-tale story of every Oscars — the complete outsider who comes from nowhere to challenge the big studios and stars, and show that talent can win over money and power in Hollywood.
And it became a possibility again this year when British actress Andrea Riseborough was unexpectedly nominated for her critically acclaimed but little-seen performance in To Leslie, an independent film about a single mother who becomes an alcoholic and drug addict after squandering a huge lottery win.
For Riseborough — the child of ‘working-class Thatcherites’ from the Tyneside town of Wallsend — is unfortunate enough to have completed a shortlist for this year’s Best Actress Oscar with no black performer on it.
And, in particular, neither Viola Davis, star of controversial historical drama The Woman King, nor Danielle Deadwyler, who plays the mother of 1950s lynching victim Emmett Till in the movie Till, made the nominations.
It has prompted accusations that the Oscars has ‘snubbed’ two prominent African-American films and their stars.
An embarrassed Academy has since launched an investigation into how a low-budget film company could possibly have campaigned so successfully to get its lead actress onto the shortlist.
To Leslie — set in West Texas but shot in LA over just 19 days during the pandemic — was directed by British film-maker Michael Morris.
As the Mail went to press, the Academy was due to discuss the film over accusations that it may have broken its campaign rules.
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