Film academy reviews Oscar campaigns after surprise nomination

Hollywood’s film academy said Friday it was reviewing this year’s campaigns for Oscar nominations, a day after a media report raised questions about the surprise kink for British actress Andrea Riseborough.

On Tuesday, Riseborough was nominated for best actress for playing an alcoholic single mother in a little-seen movie To Lesleya shock to pricing pundits who didn’t expect her to be in the mix.

Media Newsletter Puck reported Thursday that the unexpected nomination had raised questions about whether an aggressive campaign for Riseborough violated Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lobbying rules.

The academy released a statement on Friday saying the organization was “reviewing campaign procedures surrounding this year’s nominees to ensure no guidelines were violated.” The statement did not name Riseborough.

The review also aims to “inform us whether changes to the guidelines may be necessary in a new era of social media and digital communication,” the statement said.

The academy limits how studios can contact voters, how often and what they can say in communications as part of their Oscars campaigns.

Puck reported that the film director’s wife, actress Mary McCormack, and friends had “emailed and called tons of members of the Academy’s acting branch, begging them to see the little-watched alcoholic drama and posting online about Riseborough’s searing performance.”

Dozens of A-list stars then “sang her praises and helped her land the coveted nomination,” Puck said.

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

To Lesley has picked up $27,000 at movie box offices since its October release, according to Box Office Mojo.

“We are confident in the integrity of our nomination and voting processes and support sincere grassroots campaigns for outstanding performance,” the academy’s statement said.

The winners of the Academy Awards will be announced on March 12.