Thursday, 12 January 2012

Rising Stars

As promised, after yesterday's rambly, whiny and way too long blog, today I'll be bitching and moaning about this...

To be honest, the following could be today's blog...

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH(why am I surprised about this?!)HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH(why does the acting world hate women quite so much?!)HHHHHHHHHHHHHHH(wow, I wish I'd paid more attention in voice classes, this is really starting to hurt)HHhhhhhhhhhh.......

But that would be lazy and anyway, I've already stepped out of the house today to post a letter so clearly I'm not the lazy type. No. Instead I shall rant and rave for a few paragraphs until I exhaust myself out, read some much better articles that have already been released about the very same subject and dedicate the rest of the day to playing Jetpack Joyride (the most addictive game in the world. FACT.)

I'm going to try not to cover old ground with this because I've already written about the so-called gender divide in the world of acting. The high horse of feminism isn't one that I try to get up on too often, mainly because I have very short legs and look alarming in a pair of jodhpurs. However, I do feel that the world of acting is very much geared towards men and some of the biggest roles out there are the ones that can only be played if you have certain man-type bits. Just a quick look at the highest grossing films of 2011 supports this...

1. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (yes, I know there's Hermione but we all saw the Equus photos and that wizard is definitely a boy.)

2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (I know little about this film but I think we can safely presume that it's mainly full of men with a few scantily clad women thrown in for good measure.)

3. Twilight - Breaking Dawn Part 1 (I refuse to take part in this franchise but I do know that the story revolves around an odd looking man-boy.)

4. The Hangover - Part 2 (more men.)

5. Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides (Captain Jack Sparrow. Need I say more?)

So really none of us should be surprised that there aren't any women featured in this list. When all the voting public gets to see are these films lead by men while the women get to pose in the background wearing next to nothing, it's hardly a shock when they think that the future of acting lies firmly on more manly type shoulders. And sadly it looks like the situation isn't going to improve. Cameron has now announced that he wants the British film industry to focus on making box office hits rather than nurturing new talent. Now, putting The Iron Lady aside (because I for one really don't want Thatcher to be the one female representative in the world of acting) I think it's safe to say that all these films are going to focus on them boys. And yes, us ladies will be allowed a look in but you can guarantee it will be looking over the shoulder of a man.

I was going to pass judgement on those who were lucky enough to find themselves in the list of nominees but that would be pointless. I haven't been able to find what the actual criteria is for this award so it's difficult to judge who should and who shouldn't be there. However, it's upsetting to see that Chris O'Dowd made the list while all his female co-stars in Bridesmaids were overlooked. It's also worrying that these actors are considered 'rising stars' when some of them were starring in hit films as far back as 2006. Apparently it can take another six years before the film industry will finally acknowledge your increasing popularity.

And what about the women left off the list? There are a lot of ladies who fully deserve to be recognised. The long-list for the award consisted of eight performers and it was the three women on this list, Jessica Chastain, Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence, that didn't make it to the shortlist. But what about the others? All of these actresses have been doing incredible things lately, as have Andrea Riseborough, Christina Hendricks and Miss L who was awesome as Police Officer Number Two back in 2008. But, in all seriousness, it's tragic to see these women and their hard work be overlooked. And I'm not suggesting that none of these men deserve to be recognised but we have these women and the public has sadly failed to help them and their acting talent be recognised.

Sadly I don't know how we change things. While the film industry desperately tries to ensure that it keeps making money, it will keep making films that it thinks the public want to see. And until the public decide that they want to see Miss L in her very own film, the world of movies will be a very sad place to be. 

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