Oscars so mellow, Jane Fonda is an icon, Parasite rules, a musical female first but Natalie Portman shows not so much progress

Issue 121 — February 10, 2020

Miky Lee perked me up from nearly nodding off toward the end of my friend’s Oscar party. While the staging was gorgeous, the tone had been much mellower than last year’s symbolic #metoo moments and other years when full throated political declarations ripped the air.

Even the iconic Jane Fonda, who most recently has been getting arrested weekly to raise awareness for climate change, stuck with the script as she presented the best picture Oscar.

And that’s when Miky entered the scene.

Who was this short red haired woman in patent leather combat boots, standing in a swarm of Parasite cast and crew, blithely taking considerably more than her allotted 45 seconds, with full support from the cheering audience?

I had to google her immediately of course.

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In that Hollywood Reporter article, Lee, who is vice Chairwoman of CJ Enterprises conglomerate and head of its media and entertainment division, said,

“Parasite is not a global film in terms of casting, but it’s about the issue that everybody’s facing now,” adding that the universal theme of the need for “basic human respect” represents the kind of cross-cultural content she wants to focus on in the future. “I’m happy to be the bridge. Just walk over me. As long as you cross my body bridge, it means we are all successful.”

Most of the attention focused on Parasite’s affable Director Bong Joon Ho, who after each of the four awards he accepted for Parasite, said he could now go have a drink since he assumed he was finished for the evening

But it turns out that Miky is the mastermind of the booming Korean film industry that produced Bong and this groundbreaking moment. There’s always a lesser known woman behind the scenes it (still) seems.

Parasite is the first best picture Oscar winner not in the English language. That’s a huge shift. And there were others of note.

The first indigenous New Zealander, Maori + Jewish (we are also pretty indigenous if you think about it as we’ve been around most of recorded history and have been treated with approximately the same lack of respect) director won for Jojo Rabbit.

Natalie Portman literally wore the one big disappointment of the evening, the lack of women nominated for best director.

And in my opinion, the two women producers of the nominated films were for movies that might as well have been produced by men.

What good is it when the pictures for which female producers are nominated are the same old violent stories that men have always been honored for producing? Ugh. I understand the temptation to color within the lines of what is a safe bet but, really now, how will things ever change if things never change?

So in Sum, progress toward diversity, inclusion, and gender parity in Hollywood is happening, but incrementally.

Issue 121--February 10, 2020
Eimear Noone, the first female conductor at the Oscars.

Hildur Guðnadóttir said it perfectly:

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