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Oscar Thoughts: Boys, Boys and More Boys

Oscar Thoughts: Boys, Boys and More Boys

Here's my thing about the Oscars.  There were women everywhere.  We can't stop talking about the great dresses.  Women were also there as great presenters (like the crew from Bridesmaids and Emma StoneYET at the same time it felt like there were no women there.  Because really, hardly any women won anything significant on Sunday night.

I took another look at the Oscars yesterday. The show sucked. Let's face it. The Oscars are another part of the film film industry that takes us ladies for granted.  One moment that bothered me was that the only time I saw Agnieszka Holland the Polish director of In Darkness was in a shot of Billy Crystal because she was sitting next to him.  Why didn't they name the directors or at least show their pictures in the best foreign film category?  When A Separation won the award the director was the one who got up there.  All those directors hould have been acknowledged.  Last year we got to see Susanne Bier get up for her win. This year nada.  

Watching the show I noticed that 1 hour into the show only 2 women had won awards, the set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo for Hugo and Octavia Spencer — pathetic.

90 minutes still just the 2 women have been on the stage as winners.

2 hours – two women.

Finally at 2:10 Terry George and his daughter Oorlagh George win for The Shore in the Live Action Short category and then Daniel Junge and Sharemeen Obaid-Chinoy win for Saving Face (documentary short).  I also took note that both men who won took to the mic first.  Sharmeen gave a great speech and dedicated her Oscar to all the women in Pakistan.  She told the women not give up on your dreams.

But it was not all bad and I give my highpoint moment to the standing ovation for Octavia Spencer and her speech. I cried. This is a woman who was toiling in relative Hollywood obscurity. We really didn't know who she was. That will never be the case again.

I also really was into the Ellen Degeneres' JCP commercials.  They were kind of retro but totally grew on me.  You can watch them here.

But, there were many more hard moments to digest and one of them was Meryl Streep beating Viola Davis. If you read this blog you know that I love Meryl Streep and I thought she was great in The Iron Lady,  and it kind of pains me to say this but I really, really wanted Viola Davis to win.  

I wanted her to win because she has had such a diverse career and she is good in everything.  I wanted her to win because even with all the flack she was getting from so many people about playing a maid in The Help she was still most articulate woman about why she took the part and why she didn't feel demeaned by it.  I wanted her to win because I think that the industry is ok with letting women of color win for supporting roles, but has many issues with them being the leads.  I wanted her to win because she is a great role model and knows that she needs to be one and takes that responsibility very seriously.  

My overall thoughts from the evening is that we need girls and boys to see women on that stage not just as actors; we need them to see women directors and cinematographers and editors and writers all the other jobs.  Because relaly most people pay attention to the movie business just one night a year and on this night it looks all the people who do all the cool jobs were men.  We need people out there dreaming about telling a story to believe that their story is just as valid as the ones nominated for best picture, and sadly those stories do not reflect our culture as a whole.

All in all I found the actual show quite disappointing.  It really is a cultural touchstone and when these moments pass by and leave such evident gender disparity as its legacy, we all suffer for it.

Full list of winners.

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Comments

Bigger Brother

Oh you poor girls, girls and more girls! Do you honestly think that women have a divine right to win a quota of the prizes on offer? Do you really feel that you have a right NOT to be disappointed that your misandry was not endorsed by the Academy? If you put as much energy into making good films as you do into whinging about how unfair it all is then perhaps we might see more female winners. And lets be clear, the mediocre standard of Hollywood films has made it easy for you to do better.

Rachel

Thank god someone else said it! At WomensVoicesforChange.org we've been covering this for weeks and trying to increase awareness about the Athena Film Festival, which celebrates women in film. We don't all have to suffer, we just have to stay loud and active. (P.S we linked to your piece on our site!)

Michael Medeiros

I wanted Viola Davis to win because it was the best effing performance. A performance beyond skill and craft, though it had plenty of that. You'd have to be a brick to be unmoved by it. And that is a rare thing in this biz we love. And must be honored. bennettparkfilmsdotcom

Kim Cummings

The question is, how best to send a message to the Academy that they are not speaking to women? I suspect that the majority of viewers of the Oscars are women. What if all the women boycotted the Oscars, with the message that until the Academy starts recognizing the achievements of women, we will not watch. If enough women refused to watch to make the ratings dip, I suspect it would get their attention. Who's in?

Susan Lazarus

Well said, Melissa. I wasn't counting, but where were the women in the "what movies mean in my life" segments?

F.P.

The moment that was most disturbing was when those douchebags from that overrated tripe THE DESCENDANTS felt compelled to mock Jolie, while accepting an award that Bridget O'Connor should have been up there accepting for TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. How women journalists and industry wonks failed to notice she co-adapted a great script, in a genre dominated by the male of the species, always struck me as odd…

bob hawk

It should be pointed out that Daniel Junge, in going first and doing some "housekeeping" thank you's, graciously and with great deference made it quite clear that the final word should be Sharemeen Obaid-Chinoy's — and she really delivered in an inspiring way.

kasey

The fact that so few women were represented in the winners is simply a reflection of the overall illness in Hollywood, the gaping gender disparity and lack of representation in major awards shows. Is it pitiful and disappointing, yes, but hardly surprising. I find it most interesting, and sad, that in regards to the Oscars the two most talked about occurrences seem to be Streep's win over Davis and Angelina Jolie's leg.

I couldn't agree more with your last paragraph.

The other thought I had as Tom Cruise announced the best picture nominees and win (besides how fine he looked) was wondering if a woman has ever announced this category.

(on a somewhat related note–I'm disappointed that Gary Oldman didn't win.)

Debbie

I felt the same about an hour into the broadcast…OMG, it's all guys nominated and winning the awards. I found it really shocking. You could have heads of state and CEO's up on stage and it would have been more diverse. It all goes back to who gets financed….

Shannon

I totally agree Melissa and was also really disappointed that Woody Allen won best original screenplay over Bridesmaids when we know how groundbreaking that film was. It would have been nice to see the academy acknowledge the first successful comedy written and starred in by women during the last ten years or so. Instead, sexist Woody Allen won for his dippy film, ugh.

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