Barbie, Succession Lead Golden Globes 2024 Nominations: See the Full List

The Golden Globes 2024 nominations were revealed last night, with Greta Gerwig’s feminist candy-coated romp Barbie, which dominated the box office charts this year, leading the pack. It’s got a whopping 10 nominations, including one for Best Musical or Comedy, alongside acting nods for stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (supporting). The awards show has also added two new categories to recognise the best in entertainment, starting with a ‘Cinematic and Box Office Achievement’ category, which honours the biggest movies of the year, having grossed $150 million (about Rs. 1,250 crore) minimum, of which $100 million must be from within the US. Eight nominees compete for that award, including Barbie, Oppenheimer, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Meanwhile, the Best Stand-Up Comedian recognises the best comics in the industry, airing across cable, streaming, or even live performances. It is worth mentioning that unlike the Oscars or the Emmys, the Golden Globe Awards considers both movies and TV series for its honours, and segregates them further based on genre while steering clear of technical merits like editing, cinematography, and set design. As such, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is listed among the best drama films of the year, sharing the space with Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, acclaimed law thriller Anatomy of a Fall, and Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. Cillian Murphy has received a Best Actor nod for playing the always-exhausted titular theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, while filmmaker Nolan competes for the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards.

Sandra Hüller has been stacking up strong critics’ praise in 2023 for her nuanced performances as a widower suspected of murder in Anatomy of a Fall and the clueless wife of a Nazi officer in The Zone of Interest. She competes to be crowned the best lead female actor in a drama for the former, against strong contenders such as Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Carey Mulligan (Maestro), Greta Lee (Past Lives), and more. Emma Stone has received yet another award nomination for a Yorgos Lanthimos collaboration with Poor Things — listed under musical or comedy — alongside her co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe.

Coming to television, the fourth and final season of Succession emerged as the favourite with nine nominations, including Best Drama Series. Adding to HBO’s tally is The Last of Us series, a screen adaptation of a beloved zombie-killing game, which served as a crowd-pleaser earlier this year, striking the right balance between appealing to gamers and mainstream audiences. Its co-leads Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are also in awards consideration for best performance. Other notable entries in the drama category include Netflix’s The Crown season 6 and 1923. Conversely, The Bear season 2, Barry season 4, and more duke it out in the best comedy field.

With that, here’s the entire list of nominees for this year’s Golden Globe Awards:

2024 Golden Globe Nominations — the full list

Best Picture – Drama

Anatomy of a Fall
Killers of the Flower Moon
Past Lives
The Zone of Interest

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

American Fiction
The Holdovers
May December
Poor Things

Best Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Annette Bening, Nyad
Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla
Carey Mulligan, Maestro
Greta Lee, Past Lives
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall

Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers
Barry Keoghan, Saltburn
Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Colman Domingo, Rustin
Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Alma Pöysti, Fallen Leaves
Emma Stone, Poor Things
Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple
Jennifer Lawrence, No Hard Feelings
Margot Robbie, Barbie
Natalie Portman, May December

Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
Joaquin Phoenix, Beau Is Afraid
Matt Damon, Air
Nicolas Cage, Dream Scenario
Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
Timothée Chalamet, Wonka

Best Director – Motion Picture

Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Celine Song, Past Lives
Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Greta Gerwig, Barbie
Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Celine Song, Past Lives
Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Barbie
Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, Anatomy of a Fall
Tony McNamara, Poor Things

Best Supporting Female Actor – Motion Picture

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
Jodie Foster, Nyad
Julianne Moore, May December
Rosamund Pike, Saltburn

Best Supporting Male Actor – Motion Picture

Charles Melton, May December
Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things
Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling, Barbie
Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

Best Picture – Non-English Language

Anatomy of a Fall, France
Fallen Leaves, Finland
Io Capitano, Italy
Past Lives, US
Society of the Snow, Spain
The Zone of Interest, US

Best Picture – Animated

The Boy and the Heron
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Daniel Pemberton, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Jerskin Fendrix, Poor Things
Joe Hisaishi, The Boy and the Heron
Ludwig Göransson, Oppenheimer
Mica Levi, The Zone of Interest
Robbie Robertson, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“Addicted to Romance,” Bruce Springsteen (She Came to Me)
“Dance the Night,” Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin (Barbie)
“I’m Just Ken,” Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt (Barbie) “Peaches,” Jack Black, Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, Eric Osmond, John Spiker (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)
“Road to Freedom,” Lenny Kravitz (Rustin)
“What Was I Made For?” Billie Eilish, Finneas (Barbie)

Cinematic and Box Office Achievement

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
John Wick: Chapter 4
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

Best Drama Series

The Crown
The Diplomat
The Last of Us
The Morning Show

Best Musical/ Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary
The Bear
Jury Duty
Only Murders in the Building
Ted Lasso

Best Limited Series, Anthology Series, or TV Motion Picture

All the Light We Cannot See
Daisy Jones & The Six
Fellow Travelers
Lessons in Chemistry

Best Television Female Actor – Drama Series

Bella Ramsey, The Last of Us
Emma Stone, The Curse
Helen Mirren, 1923
Imelda Staunton, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Diplomat
Sarah Snook, Succession

Best Television Male Actor – Drama Series

Brian Cox, Succession
Dominic West, The Crown
Gary Oldman, Slow Horses
Jeremy Strong, Succession
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Pedro Pascal, The Last of Us

Best Television Female Actor – Musical or Comedy Series

Ayo Edebiri, The Bear
Elle Fanning, The Great
Natasha Lyonne, Poker Face
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
Selena Gomez, Only Murders in the Building

Best Television Male Actor – Musical or Comedy Series

Bill Hader, Barry
Jason Segel, Shrinking
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Jeremy Allen White, The Bear
Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building
Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building

Best Female Actor – Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Motion Picture

Ali Wong, Beef
Brie Larson, Lessons in Chemistry
Elizabeth Olsen, Love & Death
Juno Temple, Fargo
Rachel Weisz, Dead Ringers
Riley Keough, Daisy Jones & the Six

Best Male Actor – Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Motion Picture

David Oyelowo, Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Jon Hamm, Fargo
Matt Bomer, Fellow Travelers
Sam Claflin, Daisy Jones & the Six
Steven Yeun, Beef
Woody Harrelson, White House Plumbers

Best Supporting Female Actor – Television

Abby Elliott, The Bear
Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets
Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
J. Smith-Cameron, Succession
Meryl Streep, Only Murders in the Building

Best Supporting Male Actor – Television

Alan Ruck, Succession
Alexander Skarsgard, Succession
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Bear
James Marsden, Jury Duty
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession

Best Stand-Up Comedian on Television

Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact
Chris Rock, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais: Armageddon
Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love
Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah: Where Was I
Wanda Sykes, Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer

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Barbie & ‘Pink Solidarity’: A Cultural Phenomenon or Just Marketing Done Right?

Georgina Cabral, a 28-year-old fashion designer, said she chose to wear her “pinkest dress” to watch Barbie at a theatre in Kerala.

Amil Bhatnagar, a journalist from Lucknow, too, wore a bright pink t-shirt to watch the film. “I don’t really see pink as a colour that affirms a particular gender. I have a lot of pink in my wardrobe,” he told The Quint.

What has, perhaps, been as fascinating as Greta Gerwig‘s new film is the sea of people dressed in pink – women, men, and children – floating about in theatres across cities.

In fact, this ‘pink phenomenon’ has now extended to Barbie-themed events and parties, where the dress code is unabashedly pink.

“It is after a long time that pop culture, sort of, got into a more tangible space where people want to participate. Whether it’s wearing black for Oppenheimer or wearing pink for Barbie, there was a certain celebration of cinema,” Bhatnagar added. 

Clearly, the Barbie promotion hit all the right notes. Dressing up in pink meant a show of unconditional support for the movie and what it represents. Do we dare say it also unleashed a phenomenon that allows people to be comfortable owning the ‘controversial’ colour pink – widely associated with ‘fragile femininity’?

So, the question now is: has Barbie singlehandedly altered the gendered ideas surrounding pink – or is the ongoing ‘pink solidarity’ just a complex and clever marketing campaign?

To understand the ‘pink phenomenon’ better, we must go back to the history books…

The Rebellious History of Pink

In an interview with CNN, Valeri Steele, editor of Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, said that “pink has always been a colour in transition, and so have the social attitudes towards it.”

In the West, pink was closely associated with the aristocracy in the 1700s. European aristocrats, both men and women, wore soft and powdery variants of pink as a symbol of opulence and refinement, according to Steele. 

However, during the mid-19th century, a shift occurred as men in the Western world increasingly adopted dark and sombre colours, whereas women were left with brighter options.

Steele suggests that this marked the beginning of pink’s association with ‘fragile femininity’ and its gradual emergence as a symbol of delicacy and charm. Needless to say, pink was also not considered a ‘serious’ colour for years to come. 

Interestingly, even Mattel did not use pink packaging for Barbie until the 1970s, though the first doll was released in 1959, the company told Fortune.

For instance, women from across the United States wore bright pink ‘pussyhats’ during the Women’s March in 2017, but it received widespread criticism from feminists who believed that the “cute pink hats” trivialised the very real issues that women were facing.

Protesters at the Women’s March wearing pussyhats.

In contrast, the colour pink has been part of women’s movements in India – like the Gulabi Gang, popularly perceived as a “female vigilante group” in Uttar Pradesh, which started in 2006 as a response to crimes against women.

Wielding sticks, this group of women takes on men who commit crimes against women, whether it’s domestic violence, sexual harassment, or oppression.

“Most of the gendered ideas of pink that we [Indians] have today, we have borrowed from the West. I believe things like colours have not really mattered to people in India though misogyny runs deep here. Even our gods and mythological characters are portrayed in bright colours,” Ankita Mahabir, a marketing expert and founder of Socially India, told The Quint.

In Rajasthan, for instance, the colour pink is part of both men and women’s attire. We have had actors like Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, and Shah Rukh Khan embrace pink, too.

Shah Rukh Khan.

In 2022, actor Ranveer Singh, too, attended an event in Mumbai wearing bubblegum pink.

Ranvir Singh wearing a Maison Valentino ensemble.

But by then, the colour’s connotations had changed. It was considered “bold and unconventional” for Ranveer to appear in bright pink – because it’s not really a “man’s colour.”

What Spurred the Latest ‘Pink Phenomenon’?

Speaking to The Quint, brand and business strategy specialist Harish Bijoor said that Barbie‘s marketing was clever also because it “pushed back” on stereotypes.

“Marketing is always clever. It knows the pulse of society, it reads society, and it offers solutions. Here, the problem seems to be about gender and colour. And the film has pushed back with clever marketing,” he said.

What helped was, of course, Mattel and Greta Gerwig’s “$150 million budget and a stellar marketing team,” Mahabir told The Quint.

Margot Robbie in Barbie.

There’s also the nostalgia factor for some, Mahabir added.

“The colour pink was fed into people’s perceptions. Everyone wanted a piece of the Barbie aesthetic. Barbie’s pink Malibu Dreamhouse is back on Airbnb, there was a 3D ad of Barbie in front of Burj Khalifa, and if you google Barbie, you’re greeted with pink confetti.”

The Malibu Dreamhouse by Airbnb.

So, Has ‘Barbie’ Changed Perceptions Towards Pink?

Bijoor believes that Barbie has “discovered a new era where colour does not define gender. Typically, over the decades, the colour pink has been forcefully representing femininity. I say ‘forcefully’ because society forces stereotypes. Society genderises colour. Barbie tried to correct this – and I think it’s been very successful.”

Mahabir, however, said it’s impossible to gauge the success of the ‘pink phenomenon’, “because at the end of the day, the phenomenon was all about a brilliant marketing campaign.”

While it was interesting to see women owning and reclaiming the colour and men wearing it without shame, Mahabir said that “we are in an echo chamber. Men who are wearing pink probably don’t have a problem wearing pink. Their masculinity is probably not threatened.”

She also referred to how Barbie received considerable backlash in India even before its release, as many on Twitter categorised it as “a movie for women,” while crowning Oppenheimer as “a movie for men.” You can read more about that here.

Mahabir also pointed out that having an actor like Ryan Gosling play Ken – after having played several other masculine characters over the years – is a decision that has worked in the production’s favour.

“The pink phenomenon might contribute to changing gender perceptions, but I don’t think it is important enough to actually bring about change,” she added.

Somya Lakhani, a journalist who watched the film on the first day of its release, concurred, saying: “Barbie was pop feminism at its best. It is marketing at its best. But let’s not pretend that it’s more than what it is.”

“I don’t remember the last time I watched a movie where people actually dressed up for the movie. But Barbie, at the end of the day, is a heavily funded production – it’s not a crowd-sourced film. And we can purely owe this pink phenomenon it to the movie’s marketing, and nothing else,” she added.

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Making Sense of Life – On the Philosophy of ‘Barbie’ & ‘Oppenheimer’ |

Making Sense of Life – On the Philosophy of ‘Barbie’ & ‘Oppenheimer’

by Alex Billington
July 24, 2023

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.” –Proust. Two of the best movies of 2023 are now playing in theaters worldwide: Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Yep – they’re both outstanding movies deserving of all the praise, both ambitious and unique and creative, both made by exceptionally talented filmmakers who understand the terrific power of visual storytelling. They may differ in many ways, especially in tone, but they’re actually quite similar in many other ways. I am in awe and delighted that we have two of the most philosophical movies I’ve seen in years, both big budget studio projects, both intellectually stimulating, showing on big screens and drawing big crowds. This is an invigorating moment for cinema that we should relish. What I appreciate the most is how much each film relies on intellectual storytelling, with no desire to pander to audiences or be accessible to everyone. There is so much to discuss about each, and I want to dig into the philosophy present in both films. To borrow a quote on Twitter: “It’s not Barbie and Oppenheimer. It’s Barbie, and it’s Oppenheimer.”

I’m elated these films are damn good and especially so smart. I’ve watched both Barbie and Oppenheimer twice already; the second viewing is so much more fascinating, as I can observe in closer detail everything these filmmakers are doing and how this works wonderfully in the movie. Intellectual filmmaking is rather uncommon these days and yet we have two big movies pushing boundaries again. Nolan’s Oppenheimer isn’t just a story about the man who led the team that created the atomic bomb, it’s about the moral implications and existential struggles that come with that. It’s about how hard it is to handle the guilt and sadness that comes with knowing your creation killed so many people, then lead into a world perpetually fearful of death. Gerwig’s Barbie, on the other hand, also deals with existential worries. What happens when you go out into the “real world” and learn that who you are, and the world you come from, are not actually representative of the real world. It was just a utopian fantasy, and the real world is much more sexist and greedy and careless. Both films ask similar profound philosophical questions: what does it mean to be you, how do you make sense of your life, specifically in relation to how your life has impacted the world – in both good & bad ways.

Watching Oppenheimer is like watching a horror movie (though critics are arguing about whether it’s horror or something else) – at some point we realize this well-respected, optimistic scientist is going to encounter some of the darkest darkness ever when confronted with the horror of what he built – even with the context of stopping the other great darkness threatening the world at the time. There are scenes in the second half that play like a psychological thriller, with visions of the dead appearing, the room shaking violently, bright light taking over. Nolan has artfully visualized this remarkably hard-to-describe feeling of dread and guilt and death. Oppenheimer is a biopic, it’s not about what the bomb did, because he wants to tell the story of this man and put us in his shoes. There are questions posed about whether he’s really a bad guy, because all he wanted to do was save the world. There’s also questions about – once you’ve created this deadly gadget, what next. How do you respond, how do you handle it, how do you move on, how do you even live? Everyone knows Oppenheimer’s famous quotes borrowed from the Bhagavad Gita, and the film shows us that he dealt with frighteningly existential dilemmas: is he death? Is he now the destroyer of worlds? What has he done?

One of the best analysis I’ve read is an examination of ending of Oppenheimer written by my colleague Bilge Ebiri for Vulture. In his analysis, he connects the opening shots and ending shots of the film and goes on to explain how it is a clever visual metaphor for Oppie’s obsession with a scientific understanding of the world. Ebiri points out how the ripples that he sees in the pond mirror the circles being drawn on maps at the end of the film, measuring the size of nuclear explosions atop cities in Russia (and elsewhere). The film’s editor, Jennifer Lame, explains: “Science to him is beauty and art and poetry. It just makes the movie so much more devastating at the end.” After going on this three hours journey with Oppie, he realizes his fascination with science and knowledge about the universe we all exist in has crossed over into the “real world” with devastating consequences. Perhaps he doesn’t realize it yet, at that point, but humanity is forever changed. He is responsible, in theory, but we can’t blame him (alone) nor can we blame his fascination with science. There are, of course, other conversations on the inevitability of atomic weapons – if it wasn’t Oppenheimer, someone else would’ve figured out how to use fission for a bomb. His article ends with a potent realization:

“Nolan’s closing images do serve as a warning and a portent of doom, and they are enormously moving as such. But they’re also one final glimpse into this character, revealing that in his mind at least, he has destroyed the world: He has destroyed his world, his very conception of reality. Where once he saw the astonishing connections that lay at the heart of all matter and even human relations, now he sees only horror and fire, of the destructive power that lies beneath the shape of all things.” Via Vulture

It’s an intricately complex film that asks – is one man truly, solely responsible for what he makes if others misuse our creations in nefarious ways, especially when it is simply unlocking the scientific secrets of our universe? Oppenheimer hits hard with this profound, overwhelming realization. It’s a grand examination of a life – that’s also an examination of humanity, of our real world, of men and war and the power they crave.

Barbie & Oppenheimer

Barbie actually digs much deeper into the philosophy of meaning and existence than Oppenheimer (strange, but true). It borrows from the Pinocchio story of a perfect, plastic woman who enters the real world and discovers what it means to be a “real” woman. Not just a perfect Barbie. One of the most beautiful scenes is when she first has a moment to herself in the real world: she’s sitting on the bench and suddenly breathes and takes in the world around her. She looks at the trees and sky, and notices both happiness and sadness, and the anger and depression and joy all around her. She sees kids playing, a couple arguing, happy and sad people and realizes this is the grand, magical complexity of life. It is everything all at once. It’s a visceral and visually stunning moment of existential clarity. Later on she literally meets her creator, and must confront the very idea of what it means to be Barbie and if she is free to be herself and live in this “real world” in the way she wants to live. She doesn’t even know what that is exactly, she’s on the road to figuring that out. All of this is played against the eye-opening, Plato’s cave experience of stepping out of Barbie Land for the first time and realizing the world isn’t this idealistic, glossy, pink reality. This is as close as movie can get to The Matrix narrative of “free your mind” and, as she does, escape into the real world for a “voyage of discovery”.

They even mention Proust Barbie at one point. (And there’s talk of philosophy books on Oppie’s shelves in one scene as well.) Barbie’s ultimate thesis is this question of who she is, how does she navigate and exist in the world, how her experiences and her understanding of the world changes who she is as a person. Ruth Handler, the original Mattel creator of the Barbie Doll, explains to her that the idea of Barbie is also more important that the actual perfect definition of or image of Barbie, that is what truly matters. It’s almost a direct reference to V for Vendetta, and V’s empowering speech that “beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof” – ideas can go beyond a person, ideas live beyond an individual person, or an individual Barbie. This is something profound she must contend with as well… Has the “idea” of Barbie she embodies become toxic, more harmful to the world than helpful? How can she free herself from that, confront the patriarchy, and re-establish an idea that truly represents how empowering she feels. It’s weird that an expensive Barbie movie made by Mattel dares to dip into this kind of philosophical discussion, but that’s part of the genius of this movie. It’s what makes these two Hollywood movies invigorating, so exciting, because they both dare to be intellectually provocative when so few contemporary Hollywood movies are…

It’s no coincidence that both films feature their main characters having mental breakdowns, trying to figure out who they are and what their place is in a world. The parallels are fascinating, in that they’re so different yet so similar in their exploration of existence and meaning and how one person (or even one idea) can have have a great impact on humanity and on our “real world”. Did Barbie change the world for the worse? Is she actually a harmful representation of toxic feminism? Did Oppenheimer change for the world for the worse? Is he actually a harmful representation of dangerous science? Thankfully both filmmakers are talented and intelligent enough to not provide one clear, definitive answer to these kind of questions – both movies are an exploration of ideas; conversation-starters, thought-provoking works of art. Barbie, even though it is pink and glossy and bright and fun, is also examining the same darker sides of the world as Oppenheimer. “Is one woman truly, solely responsible for what she [causes] if others misuse our creations in nefarious ways…?” Funny enough, referencing what I wrote earlier about Oppenheimer, Barbie is also “a grand examination of a life – that’s also an examination of humanity, of our real world, of men and war and the power they crave.”

As a lover of philosophy, of big ideas and big thinking, and of cinema that can make wonder about all these big ideas, I am delighted that these two movies are so profound and stirring and successful. The cliche idea of what “going to the movies” means has been getting louder & louder in these past few years: “shut off your brain and just enjoy it,” they love to say. However, real cinema, real intelligent storytelling, is about turning on your brain. It has the power to make you think, even make you re-examine your life, your choices, your identity. And maybe, just maybe, it may make you question who you are. Once again, there’s a perfect Proust quote for this: “If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time.” A rejuvenating reminder that movies can do this. One of my favorite lines in Barbie is near the end when she’s talking with Ruth. She explains, maybe the things that you think make you you, are not actually the things that make you you. We all need to stop & think about this, process this conundrum, to truly understand ourselves and understand what makes us us, what defines humanity. We need to decide whether we truly want to make the world a better place, or if we all just want more power and/or perfection.

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Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ records biggest opening weekend ever for a female director

‘Barbenheimer’ didn’t just work – it spun box office gold. The social media-fueled fusion of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer brought moviegoers back to the theaters in record numbers this weekend, vastly outperforming projections and giving a glimmer of hope to the lagging exhibition business, amid the sobering backdrop of strikes.

Warner Bros.’ Barbie claimed the top spot with a massive $155 million in ticket sales from North American theaters from 4,243 locations, surpassing The Super Mario Bros. Movie (as well as every Marvel movie this year) as the biggest opening of the year and breaking the first weekend record for a film directed by a woman (outshining Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman).

Universal’s Oppenheimer also soared past expectations, taking in $80.5 million from 3,610 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, marking Nolan’s biggest non-Batman debut and one of the best-ever starts for an R-rated biographical drama.

It’s also the first time that one movie opened to more than $100 million and another movie opened to more than $80 million in the same weekend. When all is settled, it will likely turn out to be the fourth biggest box office weekend of all time with over $300 million industry-wide. And all this in a marketplace that increasingly curved towards intellectual property-driven winner takes all.

The ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon may have started out as good-natured competition between two aesthetic opposites, but, as many hoped, both movies benefitted in the end. Internationally, Barbie earned $182 million from 69 territories, fueling a $337 million global weekend. Oppenheimer did $93.7 million from 78 territories, ranking above Barbie in India, for a $174.2 million global total.

The only real casualty was Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part I, which despite strong reviews and a healthy opening weekend fell 64% in weekend two. Overshadowed by the ‘Barbenheimer’ glow as well as the blow of losing its IMAX screens to Oppenheimer, the Tom Cruise vehicle added $19.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $118.8 million.

Barbenheimer is not merely counterprogramming either. But while a certain section of enthusiastic moviegoers overlapped, in aggregate the audiences were distinct.

Women drove the historic Barbie opening, making up 65% of the audience, according to PostTrak, and 40% of ticket buyers were under the age of 25 for the PG-13 rated movie.

“It’s just a joyous time in the world. This is history in so many ways,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution. “I think this marketing campaign is one for the ages that people will be talking about forever.”

Oppenheimer audiences meanwhile were 62% male and 63% over the age of 25, with a somewhat surprising 32% that were between the ages of 18 and 24.

Both Barbie and Oppenheimer scored well with critics with 90% and 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively, and audiences who gave both films an A CinemaScore. And social media has been awash with reactions and “takes” all weekend – good, bad, problematic and everywhere in between – the kind of organic, event cinema, watercooler debate that no marketing budget can buy.

“The ‘Barbenheimer’ thing was a real boost for both movies,” Goldstein said. “It is a crowning achievement for all of us.”

Oppenheimer had the vast majority (80%) of premium large format screens at its disposal. Some 25 theaters in North America boasted IMAX 70mm screenings ( Nolan’s preferred format ), most of which were completely sold out all weekend — accounting for 2% of the total gross. Theaters even scrambled to add more to accommodate the demand including 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. screenings, which also sold out.

“Nolan’s films are truly cinematic events,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.

IMAX showings alone made up 26% of the domestic gross (or $21.1 million) from only 411 screens and 20% of the global gross, and “Oppenheimer” will have at least a three-week run on those high-demand screens.

“This is a phenomenon beyond compare,” said Rich Gelfond, the CEO of IMAX, in a statement. “Around the world, we’ve seen sellouts at 4:00 a.m. shows and people travelling hours across borders to see ‘Oppenheimer’ in IMAX 70mm.”

This is the comeback weekend Hollywood has been dreaming of since the pandemic. There have been big openings and successes – Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water among them, but the fact that two movies are succeeding at the same time is notable.

“It was a truly historic weekend and continues the positive box office momentum of 2023,” said Michael O’Leary, President & CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners. “People recognized that something special was happening and they wanted to be a part of it.”

And yet in the background looms disaster as Hollywood studios continue to squabble with striking actors and writers over a fair contract.

Barbie and Oppenheimer were the last films on the 2023 calendar to get a massive, global press tour. Both went right up to the 11th hour, squeezing in every last moment with their movie stars. Oppenheimer even pushed up its London premiere by an hour, knowing that Emily Blunt, Matt Damon and Cillian Murphy would have to leave to symbolically join the picket lines by the time the movie began.

Without movie stars to promote their films, studios have started pushing some falls releases, including the high-profile Zendaya tennis drama Challengers.

But for now, it’s simply a positive story that could even continue for weeks to come.

“There could be a sequel next weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “The FOMO factor will rachet up because of this monumental box office event centered around the movie theater experience.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. Barbie, $155 million.

2. Oppenheimer, $80.5 million.

3. Sound of Freedom, $20.1 million.

4. Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning Part I, $19.5 million.

5. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, $6.7 million.

6. Insidious: The Red Door, $6.5 million.

7. Elemental, $5.8 million.

8. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, $2.8 million.

9. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, 1.1 million.

10. No Hard Feelings, $1.1 million.

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Vietnam Bans Barbie Movie, Because ‘Map’

If there’s one thing we learned from “The West Wing,” it’s that Democrats need to find Republicans of goodwill who are willing to put America above partisan bickering, and … wait, that’s bullshit. But the episode where the “Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality” explained that maps can be very political, that one holds up pretty good. The Mercator projection really has encouraged “an imperialist European attitude for centuries and has created ethnic prejudices against the Third World,” and anyone who says otherwise is itchin’ for a fight.

Naturally enough, that brings us to the new Barbie movie directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie as the eponymous fashion doll. The trailer is ridiculously fun, but includes a detail that seems to have led the nation of Vietnam to ban distribution of the film. Namely, a cartoony world map includes a little bitty dashed line off the coast of “Asia,” and Vietnam says that means the movie endorses China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Here’s the trailer; the blink-and-you’ll miss it offense to Vietnam’s sovereignty appears at roughly the 1-minute mark, when Laurie Anderson Barbie Kate McKinnon Barbie advises Main Character Barbie she must go to the Real World and learn how human feet operate, we think.

The movie had been scheduled to open in Vietnam July 21, but Vietnam’s state media announced that the government banned the film Monday, as the AP explains:

The reports cited Vi Kien Thanh, director general of the Vietnam Cinema Department, as saying the National Film Evaluation Council made the decision. It said a map in the film shows China’s “nine-dash line,” which extends Beijing’s territorial claims far into waters that fall within areas claimed by Vietnam and other countries.

The “nine-dash line” is an arcane but sensitive issue for China and its neighbors that shows Beijing’s maritime border extending into areas claimed by other governments and encompasses most of the South China Sea. That has brought it into tense standoffs with the ASEAN nations of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, with Chinese fishing boats and military vessels becoming more aggressive in the disputed waters.

Here’s a map, drawn by professors Mark Raymond of the University of Oklahoma and David A. Welch of the University of Waterloo, in Canada-land, for their paper “What’s Really Going On in the South China Sea?” You can see why Vietnamese officials mockingly call the area claimed by China the “cow-tongue line.”

Map by Mark Raymond and David A. Welch

We should also point out that the map in the trailer only has eight dashes, so perhaps it depicts some other planet altogether.

State newspaper Vietnam Plus said that the inclusion of the squiggle in a cartoon map “distorts the truth, violates the law in general and violates sovereignty of Vietnamese territory in particular,” although it remains unclear how exactly the Barbie movie could in practical terms make the international boundary dispute any worse. The UN seems unlikely to determine that China can fish in the area because International Incident Barbie said so in a one-second clip.

Still, national pride and all that; no doubt patriotic Americans would be very put out if a Saudi-owned “news” network depicted part of the United States as belonging to a foreign country.

Screenshot of a 2020 Fox News map with Michigan's Upper Peninsula labeled

The AP reports that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, when asked about the matter Tuesday, did not consider life in plastic so fantastic, adding that

“China’s position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent.”

“We believe that the countries concerned should not link the South China Sea issue with normal cultural and people-to-people exchanges”

For what it’s worth — very little, since China ignored the decision altogether — a 2016 international tribunal in the Hague found China’s territorial claims to the waters had no merit, but as we just said in what’s now a redundant part of this sentence, China rejected the judgment and continues to claim the area.

So far, nobody involved with the movie has commented on how the controversial squiggle came to be included, although China is notorious for having its own angry reactions to western entertainment or sportsball players who express support for Hong Kong or Taiwan. Our own very deep foreign policy analysis concludes that somebody on the production staff said “well, better include the squiggle if we want to show this in China,” figuring that revenues from China would more than make up for any losses in Vietnam.

There’s nothing terribly new about this, either: Vietnam previously banned the 2022 film Uncharted and 2019’s Abominable for maps showing the Chinese Domination Squiggle. In fact, the scene in the latter completely forgettable kid flick led politicians in the Philippines to call for a boycott of all DreamWorks films, and Malaysia refused to distribute the movie until the scene was cut altogether.

As it happens, Vietnam also launched an investigation this week into the K-Pop group “Blackpink” because a website for its Vietnamese tour included a similarly offensive map. The tour organizer called the incident an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and pledged that the website had been updated, although the site remains down, Reuters reports.

Also, in the latest wrinkle of this developing international crisis, the Philippines is debating whether to ban Barbie as well.

How silly all these foreigns are, launching boycotts and censoring an innocent entertainment over such a nothingburger!

Meanwhile, in the Freest, Greatest, Most Liberty-est Nation on Earth, we’re firing teachers and banning books over the fear that encouraging everyone to get along and accept each other’s differences will lead to nine-year-olds falling into a life of depravity, or because schools might accurately depict our very real history.

Also, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) has now twice condemned the Barbie movie, tweeting yesterday that

Leftist Hollywood’s new ‘Barbie’ movie shows a map that supports Communist China’s territorial claims to the South China Sea.

Looks like ‘Barbie’ is bending to Beijing to make a quick buck.

Blackburn followed that up today by insisting that we all take her seriously, since a fun summer movie about a pop culture icon is actually causing human rights abuses, no really she is serious, if that squiggle were removed, the camps would be opened and the Uyghurs would be freed.

Hollywood & the Left are more concerned with selling films in Communist China than standing up to the regime’s human rights abuses.

The ‘Barbie’ movie’s depiction of a map endorsing Beijing’s claims to the South China Sea is legally & morally wrong and must be taken seriously.

Strangely, not a single Republican has stepped forward to demand that Mattel include realistic genitals on Ken and Barbie, since surely the dolls as they’ve existed for 70 years encourage androgyny.

[AP / NYT / CNBC / Reuters / Sage Journals]

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Here’s Why We Think Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ Can Be the Biggest Trendsetter of 2023

The past week has been all about Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. The upcoming satirical comedy, starring Margot Robbie (Barbie) and Ryan Gosling (Ken), is an ode to the iconic Mattel doll and is scheduled to hit theatres on 21 July.

Ever since the release of its second teaser trailer on 5 April, Barbie has officially annihilated the internet with its star-studded cast and its vibrant shades of pink. From the film’s infectious Barbie-core fashion to its marketing campaigns, everyone is talking about Barbie!

Here’s why we think Gerwig’s film is going to be one of the biggest trendsetters of 2023:

It’s Time for Barbie-core!

Margot Robbie in a still from Barbie.

There is no doubt that Barbie is going to dominate the fashion industry with Barbie-core this year. For the uninitiated, Barbie-core is a fashion trend that emulates the monochromatic pink clothing aesthetic of the iconic Barbie doll.

In June 2022, when the makers released the first look of Ken, it broke the internet, as no one was expecting a Gosling with bleached blonde hair, washboard abs, and a spray tan look.

The freshly-released 2-minute trailer, however, had some show-stealing fashion moments that were hard to miss. It featured Robbie in her pink gingham dresses, daisy necklaces, and feathery shoed-glory, which brought back our childhood memories to life. Apart from the nostalgia, it was also a big moment for fashion enthusiasts who missed the good old Barbie-core charm.

First looks of Ryan Gosling as Ken and Margot Robbie as Barbie.

For Barbie, Gerwig collaborated with the Oscar-winning British costume designer Jacqueline Durran to pay homage to the doll. Gerwig had previously worked with Durran in Little Women. The designer has also contributed to films like Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Spencer, among others.

Gerwig has brought Barbie not only to the cinema but also to the real world. Barbiecore has become the hottest fashion trend even before the release of the film, and fashion publicists are already reaching out to the production to “get the look.”

Barbie’s bright pink vest with matching bell-bottom pants; her pink beret and the Peter Pan collared dress with puff sleeves; her baby pink bedazzled heels with pink pompoms; the chunky jewellery; and Ken’s striped co-ord set—there’s so much to take inspiration from the film’s trailer itself.

And this isn’t just the West; we can see the frenzy back home in India as well. From celebrities like Zendaya and Simone Ashley to Ranveer Singh and Ananya Panday, most have already embraced Barbie-core.

L to R: Ananya Panday; Ranveer Singh; Zendaya; Simone Ashley; Sebastian Stan.

The Various Marketing Initiatives

A still from Barbie.

Needless to say, the PR team for Barbie has levelled up the game with its soft marketing strategies.

Barbie was already in talks after it dropped its first teaser trailer, a witty parody of the popular 1968 sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey, in December 2022. Besides, the Easter eggs in these teasers gave the netizens plenty of reasons to talk about the film.

On 5 April, the makers launched a series of sparkly first-look posters of the various Barbie and Ken characters from the film. This was followed by a clever ‘Barbie selfie generator’ that allowed fans to create their own Barbie posters and become part of Gerwig’s pink universe.

Tweets about the Barbie selfie generator on Twitter.

From memes to reels, Barbie reached the peak of its virality on the internet as thousands of users bombarded social media with their own Barbie posters the following day.

The easy-to-use selfie generator requires its users to upload a picture of themselves, after which it gives them a glitzy Barbie makeover, which one can customise with their choice of colour and text. There’s little denying that fans are already enamoured with this idea.

According to media intelligence company CARMA, conversations about Barbieland have peaked on social media since the launch of its second teaser trailer. Users’ sentiments about the film remain positive at 31.6 percent, with only 4.3 percent of comments being negative. The Barbie selfie generator, on the other hand, has been in conversations with an overwhelmingly positive response, with 67.2 percent.

Here’s how people reacted to Barbie’s teaser trailers:

First Feminist Take on Barbie?

Margot Robbie in and as Barbie.

Gerwig’s Barbie is going to be the second theatrically released live-action film based on a doll line since Sean McNamara’s Bratz (2007). The chaotic-looking magnum opus, co-written by Gerwig and her partner Noah Baumbach, is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated films of the year.

While McNamara’s film was a high-school teen drama, Gerwig’s Barbie seems to be the first film to have a feminist take on the Mattel doll.

Originally announced in 2009, Barbie has undergone several different iterations and has been a property for three different studios, including the Universal Pictures production, Sony Pictures, and ultimately Warner Bros Pictures, where the project finally became a film. Initially, Amy Schumer was supposed to play the titular character, but she was later replaced by Anne Hathaway. Ultimately, Margot Robbie got the role in 2019, and Gerwig was chosen as the director.

Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, Margot Robbir, Ryan Gosling and Kingsley Ben-Adir in a still from Barbie.

Barbie was one of the biggest anti-feminist symbols of all time until recently, when conscious efforts were made to make the Mattel doll appear more inclusive in terms of both ethnic diversity and its body type. Similarly, the film industry has also undergone a revolutionary transformation in how it used to represent and recognise women on screen.

Gerwig has previously helmed films like Ladybird and Little Women, which are beloved and renowned for their feminist takes. In the adaptation of Little Women, Gerwig transformed Amy’s character from a ‘spoiled brat’ to a self-sufficient woman with her own opinions and feelings and a mature understanding of the socioeconomic institution of marriage.

Margot Robbie in a still from Barbie.

Besides the leads, Barbie also features a stellar ensemble cast that includes Issa Rae, Hari Nef, America Ferrera, Emma Mackey, Dua Lipa, Ncuti Gatwa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Kate McKinnon, Nicola Coughlan, Ariana Greenblatt, and Alexandra Shipp, among others.

With people showing excitement to watch the film regardless of their age and gender, it is safe to say that Gerwig’s Barbie is all set to colour the world pink.

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