Monday, March 03, 2014

Quote of the day

Kim Novak will probably never again attend the Academy Awards, and in a way, isn’t that what Hollywood does to its older female leads? As fun of an image that the Oscars tried to veil itself in last night, it’s clear that the film world is still an exhausting place for women, who are called onto the stage just to be booed.

Maitri Mehta, "Critics of Kim Novak's Oscar Appearance Expose How Women Are Truly Viewed In Hollywood" (Bustle).

It's a strong quote with a lot of truth in it.

That said, these offensive Tweets?

They weren't coming from those of us sitting in the audience.

I saw people doing selfies -- which I thought was beyond stupid --  but the glee and venom aimed at Kim Novak, a very private and nice person, didn't come from the film industry.  Donald Trump is not of the film industry nor are the others quoted in Mehta's article.  (Rose McGowan did defend Kim and did so in a series of Tweets, not just the one quoted in the Bustle article.)

The criticism wasn't coming from a set, from behind the camera, from a studio's board room.  The slams came from those who stare at the screen.

I believe Mehta's correct but I believe that quote applies not just to the film industry but to so many who see themselves as movie fans -- a point Mehta misses.

And that point's not minor.  It will determine how women are discussed for roles -- with studio execs and agents referencing the reaction to Kim Novak.

And it won't just be used as a reference to, for example, five-years-younger Jane Fonda.  It'll be used for Lindsay Lohan, for Natalie Portman, for Jennifer Lopez, for Jennifer Lawrence, for Thandie Newton, for Anne Hathaway, for Maggie Q -- it never stays with someone who is 81 (or whatever age).  That's why so many of us were amused when Paramount Vice President Dawn Steel, during the casting Footloose,  repeatedly insisted this or that man wasn't f**kable and rejected him for the role.  It was interesting to see, just once, a studio judge lead actors by the same standard actresses going for any role -- big or small -- have been judged forever and a day.

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