Yeah, I watched the Oscars last night, along with a million Tweeps who were firing off the cutting comments. Even I joined in on dissing the dresses. (Was Charlize Theron wearing grape-flavoured Cinnabons on her chest?) It's a sexist thing to do, I admit.
Was I thrilled that a woman, Kathryn Bigelow, was the first in 82 years to pick up Best Director and then, bonus, also Best Picture? Meh. Not really.
That's because, as Jane Fonda points out:
Women directors actually dropped by 2% since 2008, accounting for just 7% of directors on the 250 top-grossing movies of 2009. That's the same number as 1987. Only 2% of the top 250 films credited female cinematographers, and just 8% of writers were female; 86% of the films had no female writers credited. The list goes on.
Indeed, it does, as the annual report The Celluloid Ceiling reminds us. And men write 70 per cent of the reviews in the major dailies. (Which could help to explain why one of my fave flicks this past year, Nine, got so many thumbs down.)
The perception is based on the fact that that Kathryn Bigelow was nominated for an Oscar [for directing "The Hurt Locker"] and [woman-helmed British film] "An Education" was nominated for Best Picture, and "Precious" is obviously about a girl. Plus "It's Complicated," and "Julia and Julia" both made $100 million dollars. Several high-profile women released films this year: Nora Ephron, Nancy Meyers, Mira Nair, Jane Campion. ... Also, two films that starred women were in the top 10: "Twilight: New Moon" and "The Blind Side." That's great, but then you look at the content of those films. That's why I think it's too soon to tell. We can all judge for ourselves based on whether more women get jobs starting next week.
You know how I will know women have moved ahead?
When I hear women's names rattled off at length in the thank-you speeches, thank you.
And names don't include ''Mom'' and ''my lovely wife.''
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: From regular commenter (and blogger) Cat Boreal:
There was a lot of talk about Kathryn Bigelow being nominated for Best Director, how her win would be a historic step forward for women directors, blah, blah, blah…
And yes, all this is true, but did anyone notice that her film could best be described as a testosterone fueled joy ride? In other words, a guy-flick? Basically she proved that girls can blow things up as good as the big boys. As I mentioned before, I haven’t seen the film yet, so it might be more character driven than I’m given to believe after seeing the trailers and reading the reviews. And while I’m happy that Bigelow won, I’ll be happier when a woman director wins the prize for a film that has a decidedly feminine voice. When women’s stories are seen as being as worthy of praise/awards/money as anything made by a man. Actually, I’ll be truly happy when gender doesn’t enter into it. All this brouhaha reminds me of a speech by Joss Whedon where he discusses why he writes strong women characters: “Because you’re still asking me that question.”