Oscar Thoughts

by Melissa Silverstein
February 23, 2011 4:48 AM
1 Comment
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This time last year I was giddy with excitement in anticipation of the Oscars. The narrative about the awards was all about a woman finally being able to break through the boys club and claim the big prize. There was a lot of talk throughout the culture about the fact that in 82 years only four women had been nominated and not a single one won.

Now we are a year away from that event and we are about to hit 83 years with four female nominees and a single female winner. I haven't seen Kathryn Bigelow at all this season except for the one picture where she gave the DGA prize to Tom Hooper and the news that she held a screening for Winter's Bone.

I know that the public stuff is not comfortable for her but it would have been nice to have seen her out and about on occasion to remind people that she did win and that we still need to have this conversation.

One win does not make everything better. The stats are still abysmal and we need to continue this conversation and the Oscar season is pretty much the only time people pay attention in a substantive way.

The women who have made an impact on the Oscars in a creative way as directors have both been pigeonholed into the writing prize race. Now I'm not belittling their nominations for their scripts, I love both Winter's Bone and The Kids Are All Right, but the sad thing is that both are probably going to go home empty handed. Hopefully the nomination will get them more opportunities to write AND direct, but since both Debra Granik and Lisa Cholodenko generated these projects on their own, I'm not counting on Hollywood to sign them up for a film. I know that Debra Granik is looking for her next project as I assume Lisa Cholodenko is. But if they were guys, I guarantee that people would be beating on their doors with great scripts. Maybe that is actually happening and if it is great, but I doubt it.

And speaking of Kathryn Bigelow how come she's not behind the camera yet? The fact that her next film did not come together immediately in the wake of her Oscar win is a sin. The woman can make a great, Oscar winning movie on a tight budget. She's proved herself. The problem is that she doesn't make the movies that Hollywood wants to make, which has been her problem throughout her career.

Back to this year -- it looks like there might be one woman who will win a best picture Oscar this Sunday, Susanne Bier for In a Better World. She is the front runner for the best foreign film. And there are several women up for shorts including Sara Nesson for Poster Girl and Lucy Walker is in the best doc race with Wasteland.

As a woman who loves movies this year has been bittersweet. There have been so many extraordinary performances and wonderful films, but we are back having conversations about which film about guys directed by guys and produced by guys is going to take home the big prize.

Onto next year!

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1 Comment

  • Jan Lisa Huttner | February 27, 2011 8:14 AMReply

    I can't believe how diengaged I am after all the excitement in 2009 & 2010, but so it goes. Danny Boyle will be at the Oscars again tonight, but where is Loveleen Tandan: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0849164/ And while I'm super happy for Melissa Leo, I can't help noticing that Courtney Hunt (who resurrected Leo's career with FROZEN RIVER) has vanished too: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2581581/. Must it always be: "one step forward, two steps back"?

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