Congratulations To The Academy For Finally Realizing Kirsten Dunst Is One Of The Greatest Actresses Of Her Generation

Film fans from around the world woke up this morning (extremely early for some time zones) for the announcement of the nominees for the 94th Academy Awards. As is tradition, there were equally as many surprises as there were snubs, historic reigns continued, and long overdue celebrations of performers from marginalized identities. Today may be all about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences dishing out accolades, but I'd like to personally deliver the Academy an award of their own today. 

Congratulations to the Academy for nominating Kirsten Dunst for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "The Power of the Dog," finally joining the rest of us at the "Kirsten Dunst is One of the Greatest Actresses Of Her Generation" party. We've been waiting for you for a long time ...I regret to inform you that the cake we purchased back in 1994 for "Interview with the Vampire" has gone bad. To be fair, it was your choice to be so offensively late.

At 39 years old, Kirsten Dunst has been professionally acting for the last 33 years, and she's only now being recognized by the Academy for her remarkable talents. Her first nomination comes alongside the first nomination of her partner Jesse Plemons, who nabbed a Best Supporting Actor nomination for "The Power of the Dog." It's an unbelievably cute coincidence that will hopefully sweeten the historic moment, especially considering how unforgivably long it has taken the Academy to honor an exceptional performer.

She's Been Oscar-Worthy Since Day One

Dunst's first role came in the Woody Allen (gross) anthology film "New York Stories," when she was only 7 years old. While we obviously know better now about that deplorable excuse for a director, it was an incredible achievement to debut in a Woody Allen film back then, especially for such a young actor. Five years later, Dunst made her breakthrough as Claudia in "Interview With The Vampire," earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but she was snubbed by The Academy because they suck eggs at recognizing the brilliance of horror cinema.

The same year, Dunst starred as the younger Amy March in Gillian Armstrong's adaptation of "Little Women," a property that the Academy loves to spotlight. But where Florence Pugh was given a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2019, Dunst was left out in 1994, likely because she split the role with Samantha Mathis. Dunst delivered two separate remarkable performances worthy of Oscar contention, and she was barely old enough to attend high school. It takes a lot for the Academy to prioritize a young actor over a seasoned professional, but if anyone deserved it, it was Kirsten Dunst in 1994.

She's More Than A Teen Queen

As Dunst got older, her acting opportunities shifted to teen fare, a genre that the Academy and most film critics, in general, unnecessarily devalue because we culturally hate anything marketed toward teen girls. There was no way the Academy was going to honor something like "Drop Dead Gorgeous," but Dunst's reign of teen fare turned her into a cultural icon. Films like "Dick," "Bring it On," "Get Over It," and "Crazy/Beautiful" allowed Dunst to be the guiding force for teen girls trying to find themselves, and in the middle of it all, she starred in Sofia Coppola's directorial debut, "The Virgin Suicides." It's genuinely criminal that Coppola wasn't nominated at the Oscars in 1999, and even more so that Dunst's heartbreaking work as Lux Lisbon went ignored.

In 2002, she nabbed the role of Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," and if there's something the Academy hates more than horror movies and teen girl cinema, it's a superhero film. Between "Spider-Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3," Dunst starred in Coppola's "Marie Antoinette," a film the Academy awarded for costume design (as it should have) but it was clear that, just like how Adam Sandler and Nicolas Cage were rumored to be snubbed for "Uncut Gems" and "PIG" because of their reputation for acting in less-than-Academy-standard films, Dunst was still just a teen queen in their eyes, and her performance was again unappreciated.

Dunst Deserves Her Shrimps

In 2011, Dunst successfully crossed over from teen star to "legitimate" (eye roll) adult performer, with her performance in Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" earning her the Best Actress Award at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Yet when it was time for the Academy Award nominations, Dunst was left out of the equation, likely because the Academy doesn't know what to do with Lars Von Trier's brand of filmmaking. Now, after over three decades of being an absolute superstar, Dunst is finally getting her flowers, or shrimps, as she'd call them. While we can argue until we're blue in the face over whether or not the Academy Awards actually matter anymore, this nomination clearly means a lot to Dunst, and she deserves to celebrate. 

With Jessie Buckley in "The Lost Daughter," Ariana DeBose in "West Side Story," Aunjanue Ellis in "King Richard," and Dame Judi Dench in "Belfast" in contention, it'll be a tough win for Dunst to pull off. Then again, the Academy loves to award people years after they should have, so by that logic, she's well overdue. This nomination isn't just for her role as Rose Gordon, it's for Claudia, Amy March, Kiki, Amber Atkins, Lux Lisbon, Torrance Shipman, Marie Antoinette, Justine, Edwina Dabney, and every other character Dunst has brought to life.