Oscars hopefuls complained to Academy about Anatomy of a Fall dog’s event attendance

Oscars hopefuls complained to Academy about Anatomy of a Fall dog’s event attendance

Messi, the four-legged star of the Oscar-nominated Anatomy of a Fall, will not be at Sunday’s Hollywood ceremony.

The Border Collie, who appeared alongside Sandra Hüller in Justine Triet’s crime thriller, made quite a splash at February’s Oscar Nominees’ Luncheon when attendees, such as Ryan Gosling and Billie Eilish, lined up to cuddle him.

“It’s crazy, I think he’s much more famous here than in France,” Triet, who is up for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the 96th Academy Awards, said at the time.

While Messi isn’t technically an Oscar nominee, his presence still appeared to irk several movie companies that have titles in contention at the 2024 Oscars.

According to a source who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, multiple companies felt that Messi provided Anatomy of a Fall an unfair advantage during the open voting window.

The Independent has contacted the Academy for comment.

At the annual lunch, Messi was greeted by Barbie star America Ferrera, who knelt beside him and said: “You did a fabulous job.”

Meanwhile, a video of Ryan Gosling, who appeared to be overcome with emotion while chatting with Messi and his trainers, went viral on social media.

“The big moment was with Billie Eilish, who bonded with Messi for almost 10 minutes,” Messi’s dog trainer Laura Martin told THR. “They were hugging and petting and they really had a vibe. Then Bradley Cooper bumped into him in the hallway. The dog went right to him, so they also had a connection.”

Messi starred in the Best Picture nominee as Snoop, an emotional support dog for an 11-year-old boy called Daniel (played by Milo Machado Graner) who is blind.

In the film, Daniel is caught in the middle of a legal battle and media spectacle as his mother, a German novelist played by Hüller, is accused of murdering his father (Samuel Theis).

Snoop acts as a source of support and guidance for Daniel as he deals with the fallout and grief.

Anatomy of a Fall is up for five Oscars. It will compete in the Best Picture category against Oppenheimer, Barbie, Poor Things, American Fiction, The Holdovers, Maestro, Past Lives, Killers of the Flower Moon and The Zone of Interest.

The Oscars will broadcast live on Sunday (10 March), beginning an hour earlier than usual at 4pm PT/7pm ET. All US viewers will be able to tune into the broadcast on ABC, while UK viewers can watch on ITV.