The Oscars 2020 As I See It
by Amanda Glenn
A nice show for the most part. More women wearing dresses they could walk, stand and sit in. Fewer women (and a man or two) were wearing the over the top ball gowns that only Scarlet O’Hara could be graceful in. At least one dress did need an entourage to get the woman situated for photographs and even then it looked odd on her.
I have to admit there are few of the movies I have or will ever endeavor to see. I prefer my Little Women of the Katharine Hepburn era. My favorite Joker was Cesar Romero. I don’t do Rom/Coms, memoirs, or the how to do a happy divorce scene. I might enjoy 1917 for history’s sake and should it ever turn up on my TV schedule I will probably watch the DiCaprio film because I am fond of Musso and Frank and apparently much of the picture is set there. If that leaves me sounding like a grumpy septuagenarian you have my age right but I am not grumpy, just discerning. Frankly many of the shorts and documentaries and even most of the animated films have more appeal for me. Hollywood is not making movies with me in mind and that is a shame as I am of an age group that has both the time to go to the movies and the dollars to afford the tickets.
I was again a bit disappointed that so many misunderstand the principle of getting more women – of any and all ethnicity – on the stage. It cannot be a guilt trip, or a quota action. It must be earned, value provided in terms of the quality of the work as judged by the peer group. If said peer group is discriminating for any one segment it is wrong. For men, or for women. Nor do I believe that any serious director wants to be nominated because they are the right sex, color, or ethnic background. The grumbling that went on sounded too much like requiring women to be including instead of finding a way to stop exclusion due to gender. There are better way to point out the need for cultural rehab.
It should be remembered that productions worth awards of excellence do not come neatly packaged per year, or per gender, or any other division you might find comfortable. There may be some years when seven of nine of the best movies were directed by green eyed Martians, and a year when all the best films were written and directed by women, or yes - it could happen - men. That would not mean any discrimination is going on, only that that is how the fates fell in that year. I doubt the ladies would complain in a year when the "shes" take all the prizes. Sex, race, nationality are never going to be evenly dispersed among the honorees.
I am certainly all for stopping discrimination against recognizing the efforts of women. I am insulted at the idea that it seems to some to be necessary to discriminate against men to do so. It is the product produced that should be judged not the gender of the producing individual. I do not know that it is so but I deem it possible that the quality of the work of the five men nominated as Best Director this year represents what the group of peers making the nominations felt was superior. Such a lot of whining and gripping about the makeup of the slate belittle women’s effort to be judged equally. If you need special consideration to make the cut you are not being treated equal at all.
The opening of the eyes, ears, and minds of those who tend to lean male dominate need some constructive education not an unreasonable demanding that will cause them to circle the wagons and feel justified in their decisions. It is not a matter of turns or being fair, it is a horse race and if your horse doesn’t win, it doesn’t win. We are just going to have to continue to get better at training our horses.