‘Not a Very Good Movie’: A Different Take on the Controversy Over the Lack of Oscar Nods for ‘Barbie’ Star and Director

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The 2024 Oscar nominations were announced this week, and, in the eyes of many fans of Barbie, the blockbuster film was not recognized kenough

While the movie picked up eight nods – including for best picture – the internet had a lot of thoughts about lead actress Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig being left out of their respective categories.

On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by Andrew Klavan, author of The House of Love and Death, to discuss the outrage and why Barbie “was just not a very good movie.”

‘Not a Very Good Movie’

After raking in nearly $1.5 billion in box office sales worldwide, Barbie earned eight Academy Award nominations. In addition to shoutouts for costume and production design, Rylan Gosling and America Ferrera were each recognized for their supporting roles in the movie. Gerwig and her husband Noah Baumbach picked up a nomination for best adapted screenplay. And the film itself is up for best picture.

The octet still did not satisfy Barbie supporters. “So, the new feminists are very, very angry that Margot Robbie did not get nominated for Best Actress and Greta Gerwig did not get nominated for Best Director because, you see, they were entitled to,” Megyn quipped. “That’s pretty much what I understand is the argument.”

Klavan’s screenwriting bonafides make him particularly familiar with the nuances of the nominating process, and he said there is a very logical explanation for the snubs. “The fact that the star and the director of the Barbie movie were not nominated has, in some ways, to deal with the way nominations are made,” he said. “But it also reflects the fact that Barbie was just not a very good movie.”

In his view, Barbie was “an entertaining and a beautiful to look at movie,” but it was also “a mess.” Part of that had to do with the fact that “the left can’t define what a woman is,” so “they couldn’t really make a movie about women except to complain about how hard it is to be a woman,” he said.

Despite the fact that he feels “it’s not really a good movie,” Klavan said the film picked up a Best Picture nod because all members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences get to vote on it. “It’s kind of a hit and miss thing,” he said. “Barbie was a smash hit… so everybody had to name it. You’re just like, ‘Yeah, well, it must be a good movie because it made so much money.'”

The voting for Best Director, meanwhile, is more limited. “The directors are nominated by other directors,” Klavan explained. “You looked at it and thought, ‘Well, that didn’t have any narrative drive, and that didn’t really make sense… Besides the actual art direction, it wasn’t really a very good movie. So why would I nominate the director?'”

What Is Kenough?

Megyn called the outrage “ridiculous” because she believes women are trying to have it both ways. “It’s like, now that [women are] considered equals… and are getting treated like it, we deserve all the awards; all the women we choose need to be nominated for the positions we think. Otherwise, it’s the f–king patriarchy,” she said. “That’s literally what they’re tweeting out.”

Even Hillary Clinton got in on the action. She posted a message to “Greta & Margot” on X expressing her condolences. “While it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you,” she wrote. “You’re both so much more than Kenough.” Clinton added #HillaryBarbie for good measure.

Cries of ‘patriarchy’ have been raining down on social media in an effort to tie Robbie and Gerwig’s perceived snubs to the themes of the film, but Megyn said the logic doesn’t square. “Well did [the patriarchy] keep America Ferrera down because she seems really thrilled that she got this nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Greta got a nod as best screenwriter,” she concluded. “But it’s never enough.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Klavan by tuning in to episode 710 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.