Oscars voting system not working, Carey Mulligan says

Carey Mulligan has said the existing format of the Academy Awards is not working, as she questioned how many Oscars voters actually watch the films they are supposed to be judging.

The British actress, herself nominated for an Oscar for 2009 drama An Education, suggested the voting system for Hollywood’s highest honour may no longer be fit for purpose after female filmmakers were again ignored in the best director category.

Greta Gerwig, who won praise for her adaptation of Little Women, Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria and Lulu Wang, who made The Farewell, were all snubbed when the nominations were announced earlier this month.

The Academy, the body which oversees the Oscars, reportedly has more than 9,000 members who cast their ballots in January.

Mulligan suggested the voting system needed overhauling.

Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival, she told the PA news agency: “The point I was making earlier is that people simply aren’t seeing these films because I think if they did they would be moved to vote for them.

Jennifer Lopez
Carey Mulligan questioned why Jennifer Lopez did not receive an Oscar nomination (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“So the system doesn’t work. For a film like Hustlers and a performance like Jennifer Lopez’s, (if it) can’t get recognised then something’s not working.

“So you haven’t seen it, you can’t have seen it. And you can’t see that performance and disregard it, and not think it’s worthy of recognition.

“And Greta Gerwig, again producing an incredible film and not getting recognition as a director, there’s just something that needs fixing but I’m not the smart person to fix it.”

Mulligan’s latest film is the thriller Promising Young Woman, which is written and directed by Emerald Fennell – perhaps best known for acting roles in Call The Midwife and as Camilla Shand in season three of The Crown.

2020 Sundance Film Festival – “Promising Young Woman” Portrait Session
Promising Young Woman star Carey Mulligan has questioned how many Oscars voters actually see the films they are judging (Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

The movie, which had its world premiere at Sundance in Park City, Utah, on Saturday night, sees Mulligan playing a woman out for revenge against her abuser.

Mulligan praised Fennell’s writing, saying it was one of the best scripts she had ever read.

“You read good scripts, maybe once or twice a year, like really, really good scripts, but you read exceptional scripts once every five and this definitely went into that category. Really phenomenal writing which had me immediately hooked,” she said.

Mulligan, 34, said she gets “excited” when receiving a script from a woman because they have probably had to work harder to get the film made.

“I have just had great opportunities offered to me by women, and they have been amazing experiences,” she said.

“And I get excited when I get a script from a woman because I know the likelihood is she’s had to work that much harder to get to the position of having a film that’s been green-lit or have a film that’s going out. And so it’s probably something pretty interesting.”

Promising Young Woman is set to be released in April.