You were a bloated, overwrought spectacle where certain people of privilege got to be self-congratulatory but I can’t quit you (yet) Oscar! I didn’t have any cocktails during the broadcast this year so maybe it’s always been this dull. Far too many of the actresses failed to deliver in the fashion department this year and I’m not exactly sure why. Their hair and makeup was messy and unflattering too. I should be on one of those post-awards fashion opinion shows!
Mo’Nique has been nominated for a slew of awards for her role as the abusive mother in the movie Precious, based on the book by Sapphire. I have not pulled any punches about why such a film is denigrating. This is just the type of film Hollywood supports for its portrayal of blacks as troubled, problematic and damaged. She is being rewarded for playing a monster. Not to mention how many of those involved in making and promoting the film grew up environments where sexual abuse, physical abuse and abandonment were the norm. They also have a vested interest in reinforcing what they are used to as such trauma shifts your entire perspective, particularly if it has been unexamined or unresolved. Yet despite all of the negatives I will be happy for her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress. My only hope is that a new page may be turned and doors that lead to the light will be flung open. This is a golden opportunity for those who wish to tell more well-rounded stories of normal behavior applicable to blacks can take center stage. Plus it was nice to see Mo’Nique use her inside voice for a change and give a heartfelt speech.
Quote of the Year: “If fashion is porn this dress is the money shot.” She related The Oscars to attending prom and I suppose that’s indicative of her life experiences. Innocent or naive – you decide. I do hope she realizes she’s having a once in a lifetime experience that will never be repeated. Though she didn’t win an Oscar I’ve been encouraged by the support and well wishes this newcomer has received by many in Hollywood and the public at large. This was her introduction to us it is my hope that this will not be the last we see of her. I found the speculation of what she would wear rather irritating after a while. We know she’s overweight but she’s still young and can make significant changes that will benefit her. She certainly appears confident and clearly is enjoying this time. She got to meet Keanu Reeves on the Red Carpet! There’s enough detractors and potential obstructionists to fill a room. If she can enjoy herself without the second guessing that’ll be huge. Time will tell whether she sustains a career, continues to receive support from those basking in her spotlight and moves away from the spectacle aspect soon enough.
Well if there’s anyone who can work behind the scenes to get Gabby some work it’s this year Best Actress winner. I’ve always liked Sandra Bullock but her role as “White Woman Saves Poor Black Child” in The Blind Side was almost as annoying as Precious. I am under no delusion that like this recent spate of anguished, downtrodden stories pertaining to black women in particular is intentional. With the election of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as First Lady there’s been a huge pushback from whites who want to maintain the dominant role. Of course if logic was deployed the realization that a half-white President abandoned by his African father and raised by whites would actually be more loyal to them wouldn’t even be a question. Yet the reassertion of whiteness is in order. So let her ride the rescue wave in real life and help some black actresses. Her speech was good though. She did induce a giggle out of me while on the Red Carpet when she said she was going to have a hamburger and fries, double fried french fries in fact after the Award Season died down. I didn’t know you could double fry potatoes!
She’s Queen of the World! The Hurt Locker is one of the few films I saw and I enjoyed it as much as an anti-war activist can. To be honest the only reason why I even went to see it was because she directed it and I was curious. Still I found it intellectually and psychologically invigorating, not a bloody glorification of violence. The one aspect I found rather annoying was this continued narrative of getting even and one upmanship between Bigelow and James Cameron who were once married. In the 90’s. It’s 2010. He’s been married twice since then. Her win for Best Director, the first for a woman EVER has zero to do with him. It also won for Best Picture – which put a pin in the Avatar balloon. Cameron still has the highest grossing film of all time apparently. Yet I haven’t seen it. Bigelow will always hold a special place in my heart for casting Keanu Reeves in Point Break and Angela Bassett in Strange Days. So there!
Special Shout Out to Queen Latifah for looking great and being dignified on camera.