Damn You Mel!!
The 89th Academy Awards are set to broadcast next Sunday February 26th, 2017 and excited is not even the word for my anticipation towards who brings home the wins. The awards will be viewed by film fanatics like myself from all around the world as we root for our favorite actors — a win for feminism, and films to take home an Oscar. When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the announcement for the 2016 nominees, I was thankful to see the old saying “three times a charm,” had not rung true this year. The social media hashtag #oscarssowhite — used for the past two years to describe the lack of diversity in the nominations, did not make its resurgence for the third year in a row. When the announcement was made, Black Hollywood had three of its best films with Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Fences represented. These films held rightfully-earned nominations for one of, if not the most prestigious award of the night, Best Picture. While I am emotionally present in the all-around glee, being a black girl it’s almost expected that I would want any one of those three to win. Unfortunately, it goes beyond the lines of color for me, and boils down to who executed the art. When presented from that perspective, Best Picture for this young woman, goes to Hacksaw Ridge directed by the well known misogynist Mel Gibson.
Yes it is true. This empowered black woman is rooting for a film directed by Mel Gibson. Trust, I’m having a internal battle with my morals, femininity, and pride as well. Gibson, is making a comeback of sorts with Hacksaw Ridge after his excommunication from Hollywood almost a decade ago. In 2006 allegations of physical abuse, as well as secret recordings were released to the public, with Gibson participating anti-Semitic rants, and use of racial slurs against Blacks and Latinos. I’m almost certain one would wonder, “What the hell is wrong with this woman.”
As much as it pains me to say it, the man is a damned good filmmaker. Apocalypto and now Hacksaw Ridge were absolutely awesome examples of directing. The man understands the importance of composition, lighting, framing, blocking, shots, angles; he is superb. Yes he is a misogynistic prick that offers no apologies for his faults nor does he deserve any from of forgiveness, but if I could have had the same movie with a different director I still would have loved it. Have to give credit where it is due. Even when it just messes up your whole Feng shui in life.
I mean- I could deny how much I loved Hacksaw Ridge, by supporting Moonlight or Fences as my choices for Best Picture, but it would not be genuine. Great films in their respective rights, and I strongly believe they should win in the other categories. Damn you Mel! I’m seriously supporting a misogynist, of all things. Hell, anything can happen in America, right?