I had no plans to watch the awards, but we did, because they were on. I watched a lot of the nominated performances and films, and I agreed with a lot of the outcomes, and there were some that I Just. Could. Not. Believe.
I tweeted a little, during the broadcast, and I responded to a few tweets while I was at it. Apparently, I struck a nerve with one of my friends, with whom I'd worked on my first feature film as a Script Supervisor. That friend works in costuming.
Mad Max was up for a shit-ton of awards tonight. When they included it in the costume design category, I was sure - SURE - that something "more deserving" like Cinderella would win. How does "nearly naked" compare to ball gowns? I was wrong.
And then the Costume Designer, walked up to receive her award. She was wearing black pants, a black shirt (untucked), and a black leather motorcycle jacket that had had some bedazzling done on the back. Oh, and a scarf with some color to it. She looked to me like she hadn't expected to win, or she hadn't realized she'd been nominated, or she didn't know what one wears to the Academy Awards.
I tweeted: I'm upset with #Oscar for costume design. Mad Max? & winner accepts dressed for a honkytonk bar? She held him like a beer! No Respect.
My friend defended her: Wait, are you talking about Jenny Beavan? She is amazing and accepted that award like a champ!
I replied: She looked like she snuck in. Not dressed "up", no makeup, hair barely brushed. The president of the Academy, who nobody knows, dressed for the event. She may very well be amazing, but that movie should not have won for costumes. "No Respect" is what she showed to the event and the Academy holding the event. Had YOU won for costumes (or should I say, when?), I know you would've/WILL represent your department/peers/the industry.
She still defended her: She won at our awards too. With very similar competition, if the costume designers guild gives it to mad max over fluff like Cinderella, that's because it's better. She dressed very similar at our awards too and no one made a comment. Our event is black tie as well. She is one of the best Costume Designers out there and she can wear and look however the hell she wants. She has been nominated 10 time and this is her 2nd win
I balked at "fluff" because she's talking content, not costumes, but I replied again: If I worked in costuming, I would want the winner (representing the work that I did) to REPRESENT. No one else is saying anything, possibly because they want to work with her. I don't work in costuming, so I don't have to kiss up to her. Look at your own profile pic! You know the value of a great dress! (her FB pic has her in an amazing hand-made and personally designed gown)
and then we continued the conversation, neither of us really making a dent in the other's point of view. I'm sorry that my incredibly-talented and beautiful friend feels she has to defend this woman, who, in my opinion, could have made a better decision about how to appear on camera. I know that this is the year of #talkingaboutdiversity and #askinghermore rather than asking #whoareyouwearing, but it IS the biggest dress-up night of the year. Some people will never see the nominated films or performances, but they'll watch the awards show to hear the acceptance speeches and see what people are wearing. I think that designer did herself and her peers a disservice by showing up the way she did. I don't care how talented you are, you remember that you're going to be seen by millions of people, and you step up to reach the bar!
In other Oscar news, I thought Mad Max did deserve a lot of the technical awards it received, even though, as a film, it was FLUFF. I was okay with Iñárritu winning for Best Director, but I was ELATED that Spotlight one for Best Picture. Eddie should have won for Best Actor; Leo should have won for one of his previous six nominations. Oh, well. They don't let me vote.
What did you think? Did you watch? Did you hate Cate Blanchett's dress? Did you love Chris Rock's tux? And how 'bout that In Memoriam? Huh?