It’s that time of year again: When Autumn starts to fall into Winter. Or, for me, the time of year when my schedule fills up with movies to see, reviews to write, and opinions to share. For those who might not know, right now is the part in the yearly movie cycle where the films churned out are in prime placement for consideration for Golden Globes and Oscars. Like I mentioned, that also means there’s a sincere uptick in not only the quality (and/or intensity) of the movies coming out, but a significant uptick in speculation around those movies.
I will be among the first to admit that I place no solace in awards, accolades, or even reviews to a certain extent. Movies will resonate with me in their–and mine–own way; if I liked it then I’ll tell you why, and fuck the haters. But I still know a good talking point when I see one, and unfortunately for me award season is that.
Now we’re past discussions that purely talk about what we thought of the movie, or (my favorite) what gems of wisdom, insight, or genius we can mine from the film. No, now it’s all about the politics of what merits an award that pretty much everyone agrees means nothing but we all desperately care about.
And right now we’re at the time when we’re not just speculating about who will win, we’re speculating about who will even be nominated. It’s that much of a circlejerk. Thus press circuits turn to campaigns, interviews turn to stump speeches, and largely that stumping pays off. Almost any film critic or culture writer could write pages on awards that went to the wrong person who played the game better or had a stronger producer backing them (even though they don’t care and they’re total bullshit anyway).
Which is why the latest Hollywood Reporter cover has me disappointed: they basically took the opportunity to convene a room full of white women to discuss issues that “face women in Hollywood.”
I get it, ok? It’s not like it was a particularly banner year for women of color in media. But since we’re still in the age of speculation, why can’t we even try to think outside the box? The women in this piece gave great performances, some gave outstanding ones. But pretending like that makes them any more qualified to discuss the issues facing women in Hollywood is total horsecrock.
I would wager that there are issues facing women of color in Hollywood that this piece couldn’t even begin to touch on (nor should it, with a lineup like that), so clearly that’s not what the magazine is really trying to get at. They’re all about playing the game.
If The Hollywood Reporter–one of the biggest trade mags in the biz–can’t see the cyclical nature of these sort of self-fulfilling prophecies that go around and around each year, then I don’t know what to tell you. They clearly know that there’s a game being played, because they’re staking a major amount of real estate in their magazine to get in on the action. And with the amount of white in that room I think it’s blindingly clear where they stand.