Sonia Braga earned rave reviews for her film “Aquarius” when it premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and it earned just as much acclaim (87 on MetaCritic) when it was released in the US on October 14, 2016, but despite some awards buzz for her performance, Braga didn’t earn an Oscar nomination. “The Oscars really only have four spaces for Best Actress, because one is always reserved for Meryl Streep,” Braga said in a recent interview with The Guardian.
Of course, it’s not just an issue of Queen Meryl hogging all the nomination slots. It’s also an issue of a lack of opportunities and recognition for Hispanic artists. “I’m Latina: I don’t see my representation [in Hollywood],” the Brazilian actress explained. “Not just as a 66-year-old woman, as a person. Where is it? … Hispanics don’t get too many chances because of the accent. But the British, they have accents too. The business is very unfair.”
In “Aquarius,” Braga plays a widow and retired music writer who lives in the titular apartment complex and refuses to leave when developers offer her a buy-out. Though the film did not earn an Oscar nomination for Braga, it did contend for Best Foreign Film at France’s Cesar Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards. And Braga ranked in the top five in IndieWire’s 2016 critics’ poll for Best Actress.