It was a record-setting year for Asian actors in the Academy Awards – also known as the Oscars – with Chinese-American Michelle Yeoh and the sci-fi hit Everything Everywhere All at Once leading the nominations. But film critics were surprised when Filipina actress Dolly de Leon, who exhibited a powerful performance in Triangle of Sadness, failed to become one of the five main contenders for the best supporting actress race.
Triangle of Sadness is up for the coveted best picture and original screenplay awards. It is a satirical black comedy film written and directed by Ruben Östlund who scored the best director nomination for his English-language feature film debut.
The film, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival in May last year, follows the story of a cruise for the super-rich. The luxury yacht sinks, leaving survivors, including a fashion model, a celebrity couple, and some members of the crew, trapped on an island.
De Leon plays the soft-spoken Abigail, a cleaner and “toilet manager” from the yacht. In the turn of events, Abigail who works for powerful, rich people – who underestimate and overlook her – becomes the key to their survival.
The 55-year-old film, television, and theater actress has not issued any statement regarding her exclusion in the best supporting actress category but she took to Instagram to share the nods Triangle of Sadness got from the 95th edition of the annual film event.
As soon as the nominations were announced, De Leon trended on Twitter with film critics and international media tagging the omission of the Filipina actress as one of the “biggest snubs” in this year’s Oscar nominations.
Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone’s senior entertainment editor, who described De Leon as the movie’s “saving grace,” took to social media to express his disappointment.
“It would have been lovely to see de Leon, a veteran Filipina actress of stage and screen, be recognized by the Academy for her tremendous effort,” he said.
Meanwhile, writer Daniel Welsh of Huffington Post said: “One of our top picks didn’t end up making the cut.”
Prior to the Oscar nominations, De Leon was tipped to be a top contender for the category. She earlier won best supporting actress at Sweden’s Guldbbage Awards and at the 48th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.