As the academy notes when explaining the process of joining the academy: "you will automatically be considered for membership if you were nominated for an Academy Award for the previous year. (Or even better, if you won one.)"
And indeed, among the 25 performers invited to join the academy by the actors' branch were two of this year's Oscar winners -- Jean Dujardin ("The Artist") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help) -- as well as six of the other nominees. (Read full report here.)
For those not fortunate enough to be nominated, they must: "win the support of two or more sponsors in your (prospective) branch." Only then will: "your proposal will be taken up by the appropriate committees. If approved, it would then be given a final evaluation by the Board of Governors."
This application process could explain why some famous folk are missing from this year's roster. Our forum posters were convinced that Michael Fassbender, who seemed to be in every movie that Jessica Chastain wasn't last year, was a slam dunk for membership. Perhaps he didn't apply.
Who do you think the Academy did the dirty on? Join in the discussion here.