Twittersphere Buzz and the Red Carpet
The lack of minority nominees and female-centric films was a huge source of discontent from the public, spawning the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and inciting anger for snubs like Ava DuVernay in the director category. Another source of criticism was the exclusively male lineup of nominees for the director and screenwriter categories. On a positive note, the rising public challenge of the lack of diversity in Hollywood recognition is widespread and growing.
Moving on to a favorite portion of the event for many celeb and fashion enthusiasts is the red carpet coverage. There are some pretty ridiculous red carpet rituals. Things like the 360 cam, mani-cam (to better see those beautiful lady nails, of course), and of course the seemingly all-important question, “What are you wearing?” This question is almost always aimed at the ladies and never the men. But instead of supporting a fashion inquisition comparing all the beautiful women and their dresses, The Representation Project launched a twitter hashtag #AskHerMore demanding that women be asked less superficial questions about their bodies and dresses and more about their work and thoughts.
Nominees like Reese Witherspoon publically spoke up about the campaign on the carpet, “The dresses are beautiful; we love the artists that make these clothes. But, this is a group of women…and we are so happy to be here and talk about the work that we’ve done, you know? It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood or in any industry.”
Here are some great tweets of the night:
Awards and Acceptance Speeches
This past awards circuit has featured a lot of acceptance speeches breaking the norm of a huge “thank you list” and touching on topics concerning equality, feminism, and sexuality. (Think Maggie Gylenhaal on the portrayal of real women or Jeffrey Tambor highlighting the transgender community at the Golden Globes.) The female nominees tackled tough roles ranging from motherhood to instability to Alzheimer’s.
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette snagged the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a mom struggling through the difficulties of single parenthood in Linklater’s Boyhood. Before she left the stage, she made use of her camera time to talk about wage equality: “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” This elicited a unanimous cheer from the crowd, but outside of the Academy, there was some controversy stirred with her backstage comments concerning the need of support from “all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for.
But whatever your thoughts on Patty’s speech, you have to admit seeing Meryl Streep and JLo fist pump (well it was more of an elegant point) is an iconic image and undoubtedly the best GIF of the night.
It was unsurprising that Julianne Moore took home the golden statue for Still Alice where she made everyone cry with her performance as a vibrant women who faces the straining difficulties of early onset Alzheimer’s. Moore infused a little lady love in her acceptance speech, “There’s no such thing as Best Actress as evidenced by the performances of my fellow nominees, I’ve been honored to be among you every step of the way.” She also pointed out the importance of greater awareness and support for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the power of film to make people feel like they’re seen.
Best Foreign Film
The black-and-white Polish film Ida won best foreign film after a lot of buzz at film festivals. It centers around a young women who discovers her Jewish heritage after being orphaned during the German occupation of Poland during World War II. It’s a serious film with a lot of depth and gravity that’s definitely worth a watch.
While it was great to see a wide range of roles for all the ladies on screen this year, the awards ceremony lacked diversity in terms of more female-centric films and women of color, something that will hopefully change next year with a more broadly inclusive Hollywood as demands for change are becoming louder. There were also awkward stilted moments like Neil Patrick Harris telling Octavia Spencer to guard the briefcase without taking a break for snacks, but brighter spots like the #AskHerMore campaign.
However, lack of recognition at the Oscars doesn’t mean there weren’t brilliant films covering more topics this season. If you’re feeling unsatisfied as is, you can check out this list of more films that didn’t make the Oscar cut but deserve a watch nonetheless.