Ok, so the topical debate of females being represented in a ’21st Century male dominated’ society came up again with the Oscars last week, with there being no female nominees for Best Director.
Just before we go anywhere with this article, I just want my usual view to be stated that I 100% believe in equality for all genders and races, the only thing I don’t believe should be equal is the respect you might show someone depending their age, ie respect one’s elders (apart from 16 year olds being on a crappy salary for their age, if they’re doing the same manual job as everyone else, they should earn the same wage, considering they’re paying adult taxes etc, but I’m sidetracking.) Just to state, though this of course has no influence on my ideals, I am a 28 year old, Caucasian, working class British male, of which I don’t see inequality in my normal day-to-day life amongst genders or ethnic minorities, apart from management at work taking the piss.
So onto why women were pissed as to why there wasn’t a woman nominated for Best Director at the 2020 Oscars, even though it was a Korean guy who won it, accomplishing being the first foreign person to win the award, which is a huge success for the Korean film industry and I wish them all the best, as they put out some fantastic content. But there’s still an outcry, as even a nomination in the world of Oscars means something, usually just a stamp on the DVD to help struggling sales.
Listing the directors and films that were nominated for Best Director – Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”, Todd Phillips, “Joker”, Sam Mendes, “1917”, Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”.
Of this list, I’ve only seen The Irishman, which was alright, but it pulled back in all the heavyweights such as De Niro, Pacino and Pesci from hollywood retirement. This is the respect I was on about earlier for elders; Scorsese, who has been in the industry for years, making the big bucks whilst getting the names on the cinema reel. The same would have to be said for Quentin Tarantino, though reviews and word of mouth would for me put this film at the bottom of the rankings and plausible to be swapped with two female directed shortlisted films, though there’s reasons that make sense of why they shouldn’t be eligible to make it onto the list. 1917 has had rave reviews, as has Joker, so I’m sure they’ve earned their spots, and the IMDB ratings are high, and Parasite went completely under my radar, but having since read the synopsis, sounds like a good watch.
Going back to the two female films that I thought may have possibly had a shot at Best Director, if it wasn’t for the fact that better directed films were nominated, were Greta Gerwig for Little Women and Lulu Wang for The Farewell. My issue with the Little Women film is what is there to direct? This would only be the umpteenth rehash for film, never mind the number of TV, Theatre and back-alley club renditions this book has been screen-written for. There’s all that material and expectation to work from, the actors could direct themselves in their sleep with cues and twists. I don’t think you can take credit for taking on a ‘simple’ enough project (I know I’ll get blasted for calling out directing like it’s a piece of piss, but Hollywood, I’m waiting by my phone for that call). Lulu Wang, The Farewell is of a personal experience, already previously written and directed by Wang for TV, re-imagined for cinema on a budget of $3m. As the list only contains B-list celebs and sitting on a small budget, I feel as though the nominated Directors have done a bit more to earn their nominations, having bagged A-list celebs and bigger budgets. People may criticise that it’s because the Production studios are hiring the male directors for these better movies, but a part of that is due to their reputations and years of industry experience and trend setting, which I feel that the part of the population that are outcrying for female directors are missing the point of, belittling previous accomplishments for their own advantage.
Normally, I don’t pay attention to such statistics of female to black to crustacean to cheese slice nominated for an award, I like to live in my bubble of a fair society and that all short-listings are based on fair analysis of the content provided, and that external politics and agendas aren’t influencing decisions, so having bothered to do my research this year of checking reviews and IMDB ratings for all the films mentioned, can only comment that the outcry this year has been uncalled for, and that the extreme fems should just let the Korean guy enjoy his award in peace.