Who gets rewarded?

I just got called on the carpet for my Blue Oscar post, specifically this part:

And in the Best Original Screenplay category, we have a film (Bridesmaids) that has plot holes you can drive a truck through, but the male critics loved it. Why? Well, this isn’t the time to rant on about this, but it doesn’t take much digging to learn that many of the scenes that the male film critics liked best were, in fact, added by the film’s male producer & the film’s male director. So exactly who are we rewarding in this case…?

“Here’s the troubling part for me,” says my friend. “Are you implying that Bridesmaid’s women screenwriters [Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo] haven’t earned their ‘Best Original Screenplay’ nomination even though they are the WGA’s credited screenwriters?” Maybe you don’t like Bridesmaids, but it’s very complicated for women in Hollywood who are forced to make compromises in order to get their films made, & I don’t want to diminish their accomplishments in this weird environment.”

Here’s my response: No, I am not saying they don’t “deserve” it. You are totally right. The environment is definitely “complicated,” & that’s not my call.

What I am saying is that my guess is that the screenplay AM/KW actually wrote would never have passed thru the male filters without the male-critic-pleasing additions made by the male producer & the male director.

Sure, sometimes we all have to make compromises, but everyone should know that they’re compromises. And insofar as this particular film is “an exception” to my basic thesis (that films with a female sensibility rarely make it thru the male filters), it’s an exception that smells like “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

Two years ago, I did everything in my power to support Kathryn Bigelow because she deserved it (not only for The Hurt Locker but for her body of work).

But two years later, when NO WOMEN have been nominated for Best Director since, we do have to ask why the only woman who ever won a Best Director Oscar won it for a film that had no women in it.

And we do have to ask why none of the women who work with Meryl Streep ever get recognized for their contributions in an art form that is all about team effort.

If we do not question these stats, then we’re implicitly saying continued “compromises” are just fine & nothing needs changing 🙁

Click here to download Oscar Impact Chart as a pdf –> 2012OscarChart

Click HERE to read my review of Bridesmaids.

Tags: Blue Oscar, Oscar Blues, Stop Blue Oscar

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  1. Avatar
    • Willow Warbler
    • January 30, 2012
    Reply

    So good to find word of your activity on behalf of women in film. I’ve long listened to men who are billed as book or film critics on radio (NPR) and been amazed at what they come up with. I’ve often thought, I should write my responses to films I’ve seen and to books, and send them in….there needs to be a woman’s/feminist viewing of those viewings put out in public, but I never have. Perhapsreading of what you’ve been doing will boost my desire to sit down at the typewriter (yes, not a computer) and start doing that. I less often have watched men on tv pontificate about film/books, but usually have the same reaction to the usually male-written books and tomale-centered/produced films.
    I have a special focus (the arts and what life has been/is like for females) that I would love to make films about, but I’ll need some good company to do that. Who else would like to see more “Frida”‘s such as Salma Hayek made?
    Will look forward to seeing more of what you’re doing and hope it will help me focus my energy towards putting my own ideas into action, to get more out to the public that illuminates well the lives and richness of women.

    1. Avatar
      Reply

      Thanks, Willow! You’ve made my day 🙂
      Jan

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