The Film Academy reviews the Oscar campaigns after a surprise nomination

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Hollywood Film Academy said on Friday it is reviewing this year’s Oscar nominations, a day after a media report raised questions about a surprise nod to British actress Andrea Riseborough.

On Tuesday, Riseborough was nominated for Best Actress for her role as an alcoholic single mother in the off-beat “To Leslie,” a shock to critics who didn’t expect her to be in the mix.

Puck media newsletter Thursday reported that the unexpected nomination raised questions about whether Riseborough’s aggressive campaign violated lobbying rules set by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy issued a statement on Friday saying the organization was “conducting a review of campaign procedures around this year’s nominees, to ensure that no guidelines are not being breached.” The statement did not mention Riseborough’s name.

The statement said the review also aims to “let us know whether changes to the guidelines are needed in the new era of social media and digital communication”.

The Academy limits how studios can reach voters, and how often and what they can say in any communication as part of their Oscars campaigns.

Puck reported that the film director’s wife, actress Mary McCormack, and friends had “emailed and contacted several members of the Academy’s Actors Branch, begging them to watch the little-seen alcoholic drama posted online about Riseborough’s wrenching performance”.

Buck said dozens of A-list stars “praised her and helped her win the coveted nomination.”

Representatives for McCormack and Riseborough did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

To Leslie has taken in $27,000 at the box office since its release in October, according to Box Office Mojo.

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“We have confidence in the integrity of our nomination and voting procedures, and support genuine grassroots campaigns for outstanding performance,” said the Academy’s statement.

The Oscar winners will be announced on March 12th.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwin) Editing by Sandra Mahler

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