January 24, 2017

"Oscar voters showered the neo-musical 'La La Land' with 14 nominations on Tuesday, a tie with 'Titanic' and 'All About Eve' for the most in Academy Award history."

The NYT reports.
But the academy also moved past two #OscarsSoWhite years by honoring six black actors — a record — and including diverse films like “Moonlight,” “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” in the best picture race.
"Moved past" = either became enlightened about the true worth of black actors or got ass-covering about how bad it's looked not to have honored enough black people.

The real question — papered over with nominations — is whether black actors are getting good enough roles to show what they can do.

Another thing that happened: Mel Gibson got a Best Director nomination — "officially ending his 10-year status as a Hollywood pariah for his offscreen behavior."

ADDED: The NYT has this:
“Arrival” emerged as one of the most-honored films, with support in eight categories, but its star, Amy Adams, failed to receive a nod for best actress. Instead, her slot likely went to the newcomer Ruth Negga for her understated performance in “Loving.” Joining her were Isabelle Huppert from the French film “Elle,” Emma Stone from “La La Land,” Natalie Portman from “Jackie” and Meryl Streep from “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Which provoked this apt comments (at the NYT):
"Instead, her slot (Any Adams) likely went to the newcomer Ruth Negga for her understated performance in “Loving.”

How dare you NYT. The black woman can't be nominated on her own merit. She 'takes' her spot from a white woman.

Shame on you. Shame.
Wow! I predict the NYT will be apologizing about that. 

52 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the Characters that he plays. Denzel Washington said that.

Brando said...

Sort of says it all--politics trumps quality for the Oscars, rendering the point of the awards completely meaningless (though in the business, not meaningless at all, as an Oscar nod does usually create more buzz for lesser-known films and makes those associated with it more valuable when trying for more parts later). So, the power to make and ruin careers, based on what we're told is film quality but is actually just insider politics. A perfect representation of the movie industry!

If it was about quality, the only thing keeping Mel Gibson from getting an Oscar nod would be the quality of Mel Gibson's work--not his "off screen antics".

YoungHegelian said...

Is "La La Land" a good movie? Well, probably. But I've just seen that in the past 40 years or so, Hollywood has been far too indulgent to movies that deal with "the industry" (e.g. Robert Altman's 1992 movie "The Player").

Those Hollywood people just seem to love seeing themselves on the silver screen all too much.

Ann Althouse said...

Were all of the black actors in movies that had special black themes?

In the "Oscar-worthy" types of roles — mostly serious dramas with big themes — black actors seem only to get roles that have to do with their race. In various comedies and action films black actors get more general roles, but in the big prestige films, the casting really does exclude black people.

Giving more nominations to actors in things like "Fences" does NOT address the problem.

Curious George said...

Hollywood's problem isn't about enough roles for blacks, or enough good roles for blacks, or enough leading roles for blacks. It's making shit movies.

rhhardin said...

The film has to work at the box office, is the rule.

Gusty Winds said...

At the end of the show they should give out a special Oscar for best self-righteous anti-Trump speech.

Gusty Winds said...

And the winner of my favorite Oscar winner goes to....WOODY ALLEN!...."For Never Showing Up".

Jim Gust said...

YoungHegelian, I agree with your thought in general, except that "The Player" was actually a brilliant film. "Argo" is a better example of Hollywood going ga-ga over a decent but unremarkable movie.

PB said...

Meryl's a lock. Solely based on her Golden Globes performance.

EDH said...

Wait a minute: doesn't "neo-" anything mean bad?

LYNNDH said...

Having very little, no make that no interest, in the AA I will say that Gibson did an outstanding job on "Hacksaw Ridge". The actor in the lead role was outstanding, as was the supporting work. Both should get awards. I highly recommend see this movie.

traditionalguy said...

In 20 years we have gone from Saving Private Ryan to Saving Traitor Bergdhal. The globalists don't want memory of courageous men perpetuated. They want to honor the surrender to the enemy guys. Just ask Mullah Obama how that is done.

But Trump's Army that leads with the example of real courage in the face of real enemies is back...and what did he say about removing Obama's Sweet Sounding Jihadists from the face of the earth, quickly.

Bob Boyd said...

"Wow! I predict the NYT will be apologizing about that."

They could ask their readers to take them seriously, but not literally.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Its a black lash.

- Van Jones

pdug said...

A more charitable read is the "slot" comes from being the lead in a heavily nominated movie.

Normally, you'd nominate the lead for the movie too.

That's the slot, not a "white woman slot"

slot. Ugh.

The Godfather said...

"Fences" isn't a very good movie -- it's really a filmed stage play -- but it's very well acted. Although the conflicts in the story are specific to the race of the characters, with a little re-writing you could do the same play with white actors. Think of "Death of a Salesman" rewritten for a black cast -- you'd change some lines but it would be the same play.

pdug said...

Obama was nominated for first black president because of his race.

mccullough said...

I think Hollywood remakes should have all-black casts.

William said...

Denzel Washington is good. I'll see any well reviewed movie that he is in......Some of the others not so much. Moonlight, from what I've read, is not a remake of the old Bruce Willis tv show. It's a sensitive portrayal of a young black man's attempts to come to terms with his homosexuality. Maybe some awards will help, but I don't see boffo box office in the movie's future.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Amy Adams's slot went to Meryl Streep. Plus Amy's movie Arrival did too well at least he box office.

Jack Wayne said...

I like the Oscars for one reason - it's like the sun always rising in the East. Every year it turns out that I've never seen any of the pictures nominated nor do I recognize any of the actors names.

Martin said...

That's a heck of a thing, saying which person not nominated lost out to the black person...

And, now I see that Streep's rant at the GGs was all about positioning for this year's Oscar.

YoungHegelian said...

@Jim Gust,

I agree with your thought in general, except that "The Player" was actually a brilliant film.

You're clearly more of a Robert Altman fan than I am. While there are Altman films I liked as I watched them (e.g. "Nashville"), they don't age well for me. I just find his view of humanity too cynical for my taste in the long term.

CJinPA said...

How dare you NYT. The black woman can't be nominated on her own merit. She 'takes' her spot from a white woman.

There are limited nominations. The academy was pressured into nominating more black actors, which means fewer white actors. So, 1. there are "spots," and 2. they are now being awarded by something other than merit, at least in part.

The woman is mad that the Times committed a Kinsley Gaffe.

Eleanor said...

After being told I was racist for enjoying both the book and the movie "The Help", I've stopped going to see movies with a largely black cast. I might like them, and that would be wrong.

Real American said...

A black person taking a spot of a more qualified white (or Asian) person is what happens with affirmative action. Now, I don't know which of these actresses were more deserving or had the better performance because I haven't seen these films, but due to the racial bitching and moaning the last couple years, we won't really know for sure whether this nomination was fully deserved or whether there was a finger on the scale because she's black. That's the real shame.

harryo said...

I got the DVD's for Fargo (the television series) last December. I remember the movie, and I thought it was very original. Way off the main track.

That's the way I feel about Hollywood big productions. They are main track. They use the term "franchise" like their product was a fucking hamburger.

So I gave Fargo a chance, and I have to say, I'm glad I did not see it on TV, because I would have required medication to have to wait a whole week for the next episode.

Holy shit, that was filled with everything boys like about movies. Well, there wasn't any nudity, but lots of testosterone.

So, anyway, my feelings about "The Oscar" is met with indifference, because I don't watch that shit anyway. I don't go to theaters because they can't legally jam cell phones, or have ushers who can break kneecaps. Back in my day, an usher was a brute. Today, if they even exist, don't even have a fucking flashlight.

rhhardin said...

The Pelican Brief played Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, and had suspicion, protection and concern, but no romance. Washington played a smart reporter.

With a white man, there would have been romance, lest there be disappointment.

With a black man you can't have romance without turning it into a morality lesson about color blindness.

Nobody wants to be preached to. So it goes as a fine film with a really smart, caring black guy.

glenn said...

I liked La La Land.

Fernandinande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandinande said...

harryo said...
I got the DVD's for Fargo (the television series) last December. I remember the movie, and I thought it was very original. Way off the main track.


Yeah, good series, "Billy Joe Bob" is always good, and the movie = Coen brothers. They have several "dumbasses try to commit a crime" movies.

As for the box office, probably none are as nice as the office of the Friendly Box Company.

Mattman26 said...

I do love it when libs turn on one another. But I think saying that Amy's "slot" went to "newcomer Ruth Negga" cannot fairly be read on its face as suggesting that Amy was passed over because Ms. Negga is black (even though that could be what happened); it certainly doesn't suggest to me that anyone is saying the nomination rightfully belonged to Amy.

I think the critics/reporters who cover these things usually have a decent sense of who's in the running; when someone widely perceived to be in the running doesn't get it, but a newcomer (don't know if she was perceived as being in the running or not) does, it seems pretty unremarkable to say so.

Wilbur said...

Wilbur's shadow has not darkened the door of a movie theater in over 20 years. Why?

A. I refuse to contribute a cent to those I believe wish to destroy this country and its culture.

B. Audience rudeness and misbehavior.

C. General lack of interest in their product anyway.

Those of you who attend should never complain about Hollywood's leftist excesses. Those who don't care or support the Democrat party, knock yourself out.

ALP said...

I watch a lot of TV crime/police drama, stories in which it is not unusual to have Detectives of Color. Forest Whitaker in "The Shield" comes to mind - an outstanding role that had nothing to do with race (and quite some time ago). Maybe Hollywood should stop the moralizing, feel good shit and just make good cops and robbers stories with strong characters and an edge of your seat plot.

BTW: it struck me one day that African American female actors are the only women on the big or little screen that have what I consider to be NORMAL bodies. Not skin and bones - NORMAL. That concentration-camp thin, blonde, pale look screams "COKE WHORE" to me and is terribly unattractive.

SukieTawdry said...

I haven't seen any of these movies. Now that the nominations are in, they should reappear in theaters. Are any of them any good?

While there are Altman films I liked as I watched them (e.g. "Nashville"), they don't age well for me.

I think his masterpiece MASH has aged well (better than the TV show) as has Nashville. And his quirky 3 Women which I watched not too long ago is still a gem.

mockturtle said...

Fuck Hollywood and the Oscars.

Unknown said...

The movies this year are pathetic. The Arrival was so tedious that I almost went into a coma.

rehajm said...

Hollywood has been far too indulgent to movies that deal with "the industry" (e.g. Robert Altman's 1992 movie "The Player").

Or Shakespeare In Love, LA Confidential, Get Shorty...

tcrosse said...

Dennis Miller has pointed out that the Oscar statuette looks a whole lot like Putin. Coincidence ?

tcrosse said...

Hollywood has been far too indulgent to movies that deal with "the industry" (e.g. Robert Altman's 1992 movie "The Player").
Or Sunset Blvd and The Bad and The Beautiful.

Static Ping said...

The problem with the Oscars is they are political, both in the governing sense and in the industry sense, so I do not trust their opinions on movies. I suppose if a movie received an Oscar nomination it is worth doing further investigation, but it is no longer the "great movie" seal of approval to me.

Also, the fact that they generally disregard comedies, action films, horror films, and animated features limits the value. There is more to movies than drama. And when they do pay attention to them they give Avatar a best picture nomination, which is just embarrassing.

eddie willers said...

Forest Whitaker in "The Shield" comes to mind - an outstanding role that had nothing to do with race (and quite some time ago)

Rooting for Vic Mackey was a guilty pleasure. I loved when he turned the tide against Forrest Whitaker's character.

"Allow me to remind you of a few things you may have forgotten: I didn't kill Terry, you've lost your leverage over Lem, and your ex-wife's pussy tastes like sweet butter."

Whitaker lost it after that last line.

Gahrie said...

I think his masterpiece MASH has aged well (better than the TV show)

The movie was pretty faithful to the book....the TV show not so much.

There is a whole series of books about what happens to the M*A*S*H gang after the war written mostly by a guy named Butterworth, who went on to become more famous as WEB Griffin for writing the male equivalent of bodice ripper romances. The M*A*S*H books are pretty farcical.

Known Unknown said...

Maybe, just maybe Hidden Figures, Fences and Moonlight are deserving of their praise and that in some years, fewer black-majority productions are.

Known Unknown said...

not darkened the door

So very racist.

Jim at said...

Proud to say not only have I not watched a single movie in any category nominated, I've never even heard of any of them.

Not one.

Laura said...

For an academy so political, they might do well to admit that they too can be bought and sold: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/what-chinas-money-stream-stops-flowing-hollywood-963107.

No hacking required.

Roughcoat said...

Am I the only one who finds the phrase "her slot (Any Adams) likely went to the newcomer Ruth Negga" sexual and obscene?

Why do I find it sexual and obscene?

Why am I (apparently) the only one who finds it sexual and obscene?

What's wrong with you people, that you don't find it sexual and obscene?

Zach said...

How can you like Arrival without liking Amy Adams? She's in almost every scene!

Zach said...

Thinking about Arrival, I'd say that it was competently directed (I liked the visual look, but nothing jumped out at me). It was an excellent adaptation of an excellent short story -- I'd say the adaptation is better than the story, because the story doesn't strike you as inherently cinematic. Jeremy Renner is good, and the movie could have used him more. But the whole thing succeeds or fails based on Adams' performance. If you don't buy into that, there's no movie.

Lost My Cookies said...

Fences is a great play, Denzel is a great actor, I'm sure the movie is good. At least good, maybe great. I want to see it.