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Showing posts from August, 2018

A Very Female Kind of Rage: The Women of "Sharp Objects"

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ALL OF SHARP OBJECTS TO FOLLOW 
Sharp Objects, the HBO miniseries based on the Gillian Flynn novel, concluded its eight-episode on Sunday night with a killer installment that included one heck of a twist ending: Amma (Eliza Scanlen) is the person responsible for the killings that Camille (Amy Adams) was sent back to Wind Gap to report on. This series was a lot of things; a slow-burn mystery, an intense character study, and depiction of self-harm, a showcase for terrific actors, a perfect vehicle for Jean-Marc Vallée's trademark dynamic editing style. And there is a lot I could say about it, but for now, I want to focus on how Flynn, Vallée, and Marti Noxon subvert expectations about the characters we think we know, and how easy it is to do so because of societal assumptions about women.

The set-up of Sharp Objects is close to perfect. Camille Preaker is a deeply damaged woman with problems with alcohol and a penchant for carving words into her body who must c…

Oscars: My Response to the Newly Announced Academy Award Changes

The Oscars are losing relevance or so says the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which announced Wednesday a batch of changes to its annual telecast. The changes, designed to reverse a ratings dip in recent years, are the kind of desperate attempt to stay relevant that threatens the integrity of the whole affair. 

The first change, consistent with the Academy's desire to create a three-hour telecast, is that some awards will be presented during commercial breaks, with edited (meaning condensed) versions of the acceptance speeches airing later in the broadcast. It has not been determined which categories will be bumped, but I'll tell you right now it ain't gonna be Best Actress. The categories where celebrities are nominated will be shown live, and the tech categories won't be. This move is flat-out disrespectful to the men and women nominated in the below-the-line categories who deserve recognition for their vital contributions to movies. The Tony Awards fo…