There’s nothing just like the Hollywood awards season to shine a hand glass on the newest trends and shifts in Hollywood’s hierarchy and dynamics.
And this year’s awards season was no exception.
One interesting trend that surfaced this award season was a wider acceptance of Asian or Asian-themed movies, from South Korea’s “Parasite,” and therefore the Chinese-American “Farewell,” to the documentary “American Factory,” and therefore the Chinese-American short film “Baby.”
“Parasite” swept the awards this season, starting with the Cannes festival Palm D’Or award, then chalking up big wins at the Golden Globes, the highest SAG Award for Best Cast Ensemble, the Writers Guild of America Awards, the American Cinema Editor Awards, British Academy of Film and tv Award, the Australian Academy of Cinema and television Arts – International, and culminating within the never-before win of a far off language film for a Best Picture Oscar, also as three other Oscars that night.
Lulu Wang’s “Farewell” made a splash within the box office and won Best Feature at the LA Independent Spirit Awards as did Zhao Shuzhen for Best Supporting Female Lead. Awkwafina won Best Actress during a movie – Comedy at the Golden Globes, but was snubbed by the Oscars.
Writer/director, Lulu Wang, told Xinhua that creating a cross-cultural film was important and not as challenging as predicted. “The American crew and Chinese crew worked together so well! there have been tons of cultural differences on set but everyone made an great effort to respect those differences,” she said.
Industry insiders are predicting a wider opportunity within the future, for foreign language films within the us , including Asian films which have sometimes been harder for American viewers to completely appreciate.
But, if you’re taking media darling, “Parasite,” out of the image , aside from the LA Independent Spirit Awards which were specifically created to celebrate diversity, innovative vision and alternative voices of all races, nationalities and genders, diversity took a tough knock this year as most other award ceremonies turned a blind eye to women and other people of color.
Women directors and minorities weren’t recognized enough at awards this year, with the Academy and therefore the Directors Guild of America Award (DGA) passing them over entirely.
Two years into the Time’s Up and #MeToo women’s movements, women are still getting short shrift as directors, and minority women – and men – are becoming overlooked in droves within the acting award categories.
There were a raft of female directors helming this this year’s top films, like Lulu Wang for “Farewell,” Lorene Scafaria for “Hustlers,” Greta Gerwig for “Little Women,” Alma Har’el for “Honey Boy,” Anna Boden, co-director for “Captain Marvel,” and Jennifer Lee for “Frozen II.”
Though all of them met with both critically acclaim and success at the box office, All female directors were entirely exclude of the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and therefore the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs). Only LA Independent Spirit Awards distinguished itself for nominating two female directors this season, Har’el and Scafaria.
Another pattern to the present year’s awards was the lavish bestowing of nominations on the films and tv shows of the highest streaming platforms, like Netflix’s 24 Academy nominations and 34 Golden Globe noms. Amazon lagged a touch , with just one Oscar nom and 13 Golden Globes noms, while Apple TV+ got three nominations, as did Hulu.
Moreover, these steaming service helped the American audience to adopt the subtitles than before. Backstage at the Oscars, Bong Joon-ho, director of “Parasite,” amended the comment he made at the Golden Globes about subtitles being a “1-inch barrier,” telling Xinhua, “With YouTube and steaming media, foreign language won’t be much of a problem anymore …”
But member-voters were far stingier giving out actual awards to online distributors, boxing Netflix out of about two Academy awards and two Golden Globe wins. Amazon and Hulu both had only two Golden Globe wins each and no Oscar glory this year.
“To qualify for an Academy Award , traditionally a movie must be released during a theater to be considered. Some streamers are becoming around that by putting them in theaters for every week or releasing them online and theatrically at an equivalent time,” producer, Jeff Most, explained to Xinhua.
“Some voters resent that, because they feel it’s undermining the movie industry,” he added. there’s little doubt that streamers are reshaping the industry, but it remains to be seen how richly they’re going to be rewarded for it.
“It’s really important that ladies get the popularity that they deserve for his or her work,” Gerwig told Xinhua Saturday. “Their careers depend upon it, even as men’s do.”
“Something must be done to vary the system,” director of “Honey Boy,” Ha’el told Xinhua. “If old white men cannot acknowledge women directors, then we’d like our own category.”
Minority women and men got tons of fanfare within the press, but few-to-no nominations this year. during a throwback to #OscarSoWhite of previous years, only two persons of color were nominated for any of the highest Oscar award categories, Cynthia Erivo for her top-billed performance in “Harriet” and Antonio Banderas for “Pain and Glory.”
There was immense hue and cry from fans that Jennifer Lopez was overlooked for her stellar performance in “Hustlers.”
Other prime performances by minority actors that were widely overlooked were: Zhao Shuzhen in “The Farewell,” Alfre Woodard in “Clemency,” Hong Chau in “Driveways,” Lauren Lolo Spencer in “Give Me Liberty,” Octavia Spencer in “Luce,” Jonathan Majors in “The Last Black man in San Francisco ,” and Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name.”