Friday, January 26, 2007

Tom O'Neill on the "Dreamgirls" Snub

From The Envelope:
Unbelievable! Not once do they even mention the racial divide between the young black gals up on screen and the old white guys in the audience — guys who failed (or refused) to project themselves into the heads of Effie & galpals. I'm not talking racial prejudice here. I'm talking a failure to empathize.

As David Carr said in the New York Times, "Dreamgirls" was a "tough sell to begin with among white males, a demographic that describes the majority of the academy's 5,800 voting members."

There — David nailed it. But nowhere in their chat do Patrick and John even discuss race as a possible factor.

Ugh! There he goes again...just because his precious Dreamgirls wasn't deemed among the 5 best films of the year, he goes off crying racism. In the year of the most ethnically diverse Oscar nominations ever. Yes, ever.

He then goes on to say:
They failed to do their jobs as film pros. Why? Because they're stubborn old guys — just like grandpa.

What? I would love to know where this is coming from. It reeks of bitterness.

Academy: Dreamgirls is a good movie, we give it 8 nominations. But it's not one of the 5 best of the year.
O'Neill: Oh yeah? Well you're a racist.

I loved Dreamgirls, I was swept up in the story and the music, but it is not one of the five best films of the year. Just because it's full of flash and pizazz does not mean it should be a Best Picture contender. End of story.

Does he think that Letters from Iwo Jima, the film which took Dreamgirls' slot, should have been snubbed instead? A brave, powerful, and yes, important film that examines a famous battle from the other side?

I'm sorry. Dreamgirls was a very good film. But it was typical Oscar bait. And this year Oscar chose to honor the films that deserved it, not the ones who shamelessly pursued it.

If you want to complain about something getting snubbed, complain about Children of Men. That's a film that will be taught in film classes for decades to come. Dreamgirls? Not so much.

Isn't that what Best Picture SHOULD be about?

Click here to read O'Neill's full story.

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