Join­ing the gong show

It seems there are a few sim­ple rules that the women of Hol­ly­wood must ad­here to if they are to win on Os­car night, writes Anna Carey

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film -

WE ALL KNOW that a woman has never won an Academy Award for Best Di­rec­tor (al­though with a bit of luck that might all change this Sun­day night if Kathryn Bigelow wins for The Hurt Locker). But what, ex­actly, does a woman have to do to win an Os­car? Well, based on the ev­i­dence of the past 71 years, here are a few sim­ple rules . . .

Grazia. If you can’t be a pros­ti­tute, you might as well try be­ing a boozer. In 1964, a whop­ping four out of five nom­i­nees for Best Ac­tress played al­co­holics and drug ad­dicts. Since then, sev­eral other women have won Os­cars for play­ing tragic drunks, most re­cently Mar­ion Cotil­lard in La Vie en Rose. You’d think that play­ing a pros­ti­tute de­voted to an al­co­holic, as Elis­a­beth Shue did in 1995’s Leav­ing Las Ve­gas, would be a guar­an­teed win, but it seems that Mira Sorvino ful­filled the hooker-play­ing-win­ner quota that year. Shirley MacLaine fa­mously said that roles for women usu­ally fall into three cat­e­gories: hook­ers, vic­tims and door­mats. Al­though this year’s Best Ac­tress nom­i­nees are, in gen­eral, a re­fresh­ing change from this rule, it can’t be de­nied that the Academy does love gor­geous ac­tresses pre­tend­ing to sell their bodies. The very first woman to win an act­ing Os­car, Janet Gaynor, got her award for play­ing a pros­ti­tute back in 1929 and since then over a dozen ac­tresses, in­clud­ing Kim Basinger ( LA Con­fi­den­tial), Mira Sorvino ( Mighty Aphrodite), Liz Tay­lor ( But­ter­field 8) and Jane Fonda ( Klute) have taken home act­ing Os­cars for play­ing ladies of the night.

‘Brave’ Char­l­ize Theron plays ugly in Mon­ster. Be­low: Mar­ion Cotil­lard as a boozy Edith Piaf

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.