As awards season approaches, one performance generating Oscar buzz is Margot Robbie as the iconic Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s new comedy film. Robbie brings charm, wit and depth to the plastic role model. Her multilayered acting could earn Robbie her third Academy Award nomination for acting.
But can a bubbly Mattel character really compete against other acclaimed lead actress contenders? That’s the question Academy voters will soon face.
Robbie Adds Depth and Complexity to Barbie
Robbie inhabits the role of Barbie with complexity. She portrays Barbie’s confidence and cheerfulness, while also revealing the character’s doubts and aspirations. Robbie makes Barbie feel like a real person audiences can relate to and root for.
The film itself subverts expectations, using Barbie’s world to thoughtfully explore themes of conformity, identity and reinvention. Robbie anchors the story with sensitivity, elevating the material through her performance.
Robbie Aims for Third Oscar Nod
Robbie already has proven her acting chops to the Academy. She earned Lead Actress nods for 2017’s “I, Tonya” and 2019’s “Bombshell.” As a producer, she nearly doubled up for “Tonya” that year too.
Now, her turn as Barbie’s producer could lead to another dual nomination. But she faces fierce competition.
Prestige Dramas May Outshine ‘Barbie’
Early contenders include Natalie Portman in “May December” and Carey Mulligan for “Maestro.” These Netflix dramas may feel more “Oscar-baity” than “Barbie” to some voters.
But other comedic performances have broken through before. Melissa McCarthy earned a nomination for 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” And Renée Zellweger won for 2019’s “Judy.”
If “Barbie” becomes an overall favorite, Robbie could ride a rising tide. She’s liked by fellow actors who vote in the Academy. And the film’s box office success helps raise Robbie’s profile.
Can ‘Barbie’ Charm Oscar Voters?
But “Barbie” can’t just be shrugged off as a fluke kid’s movie. It will need passionate supporters to propel Robbie to a nomination.
The Golden Globes may bite first in the Comedy/Musical categories. A strong showing there would build Robbie’s momentum.
For now, Robbie remains in the hunt amid this unpredictable Oscar race. Whether Academy voters will welcome Robbie’s “Barbie” to their Dreamhouse remains to be seen. But her name recognition, proven talent and the film’s zeitgeist-capturing camp should not be underestimated.
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