2015 OSCAR NOMINATIONS

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AMBER LOVE 15-JAN-2015 The 2015 ACADEMY AWARD nominations are out this morning. I guess there’s no point in bringing attention to the disparity in Hollywood that greater people than me have been making. If you don’t follow feeds like the Geena Davis Institute or Lexi Alexander, you might be among the few who haven’t heard women complaining about this problem. Not only unequal pay (thanks, hackers for that enlightenment) but the complete snubbing of female writers and directors. If we can’t even welcome women into these categories, what hope do even more marginalized women have like the trans community? None. Basically, give up, because the American film market does not want you. Kudos, at least IMITATION GAME is about a GAY man and his achievements in science. At least there’s that bone thrown to us, right, ladies?

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These are the messages we are given when there’s a year that includes SELMA snubbed in the Golden Globes, only winning best original song. SELMA, about a male historical figure was directed by a woman, AVA DUVERNAY. She at least got nominated for the Globes but is absent in the Oscars list. Not even UNBROKEN, another real story about historical male figures, directed by ANGELINA JOLIE was given courtesy.

Don’t take my word for it. VARIETY, one of the industry mags, pointed this out early in January when award season buzz was post-holiday rush to get things out there. Hollywood has taken steps backwards during 2014 when women were even more vocal about their needs to be creators and consumers.

Alas, the world looks flatter than ever if the movies in the running for best picture are any indication. We actually seem to have regressed this season: Blanchett’s competition for lead actress notably included Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench, whose respective movies, “American Hustle,” “Gravity” and “Philomena,” were all nominated for best picture. The year before, we had “Amour,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” all of which boasted strongly developed female leads and scored nominations for actress as well as picture. (VARIETY’s Justin C. Chang)

VARIETY’S Chang goes on to show where female characters could have been considered leading. He gave nods to Scarlett Johansson for UNDER THE SKIN; also to IDA (another movie I never even heard of) for characters played by Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza; and WE ARE THE BEST! featuring three female characters played by Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne.

And if you can look past Christoph Waltz’s showboating in “Big Eyes,” the movie really does belong to Amy Adams in a radiant turn as a wife, mother and artist overcoming the oppressions of her era.

What the Academy and Hollywood is really saying is…

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LEADING CHARACTERS IN THE BEST PICTURE CATEGORY:

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Take a look and examine those plots and leading characters. All of them focus on leading male characters. So even in a game/contest where actresses are nominated for leading roles, their movies are not. Julianne Moore for STILL ALICE, for which she won the Globe, is not “good enough” for best picture of the year at the Oscars. It makes me think they have to settle when it comes to even picking women for the best actresses/supporting actress categories! Like it’s a big huge chore for these committees because none of the “chick flicks” are strong enough to deserve the attention.

In the Animation category: one is a sibling focused story, SONG OF THE SEA, and one is female character focused, THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA.

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Women only dominate in the Costume Design category for the Oscars which is at least something considering how fashion is dominated by men also. If you then examine the movies within the Costume Design category, only INTO THE WOODS and MALEFICENT give focus to female characters. So in a category where women dominant the construction, they still do not come equal in components.

The constant convention panels at comic cons, book expos, and podcasts that are devoted to creator men that wield power and influence (cue Joss Whedon, Wil Wheaton, and Mark Ruffalo) beat the same drum year after year, telling us in their man code: WOMEN, YOU MATTER! when we really don’t. Certainly, not on any kind of constant daily basis.

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So, women of all ages, if you were looking for movies from 2014 that might feature women who are relatable or role models that will be recognized for cinematic achievements, you’re shit out of luck. There are movies with “strong female characters,” as I said they do need to fill those slots for best actress somehow, but those movies are best reserved for your Netflix chick flick marathon when you have PMS and a box of stale 50% off Valentine’s Day chocolates with a box of wine.

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