#GoldenGlobescomplainingsofaux!

MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020

It's hard to be much more bogus:
How good a film is Lulu Wang's comedy-drama, The Farewell?

We have no idea! We haven't seen The Farewell. And even if we'd seen the film, we aren't experts on such matters.

Having said that, we can tell you this. When The Farewell was released last July, it was reviewed by the New York Times' A. O. Scott—and he didn't make the film an "NYT Critic's Pick."

At the Times, many films are selected as NYT Critic's Picks. Last July, The Farewell wasn't among them.

Things got worse last month. On Sunday, December 8, the newspaper's two film critics—Scott and Manohla Dargis—published their respective lists of 2019's "Best Movies."

Each picked a top ten, then kept going. Here's the way the assessments went down:

Scott posted his "ten best" list, then cited sixteen more films. The Farewell wasn't included among these 26 best movies.

Dargis went Scott sixteen films better! After posted her own "ten best" list, she listed 32 additional films! In Dargis' presentation, The Farewell wasn't included about last year's 42 best movies!

To all appearances, the Times' two critics weren't all that high on The Farewell. That doesn't mean that their judgments were right, but that what their judgments were.

Correction! Those were their judgments until yesterday's New York Times appeared. When it did, Dargis and Scott conducted a colloquy about the upcoming Oscar nominations.

As if by force of law, the colloquy began with Dargis complaining about the sexism on display in this year's Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. (Dargis and Scott now conduct these exchanges at this time every year.)

How phony can our "liberal" tribe get? The colloquy began as shown below, with Dargis complaining that the sexist idiots weren't honoring The Farewell in the ways they should!
NEW YORK TIMES (1/5/20): It’s Oscar time, which means everything new is old again. The New York Times chief film critics, Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott, look back on a year of movie nostalgia, uneasy gender relations and Quentin Tarantino’s alt-history. Our critics also have some questions: Why are the men so sad? Why are the women so scarce? Who’s afraid of Jojo Rabbit?

MANOHLA DARGIS First, my usual disclaimer: The Oscars are irrelevant, empty, dispiriting, maddening and invariably wrong, unless “Moonlight” wins. That all said, I am curious whether the academy, when it announces its nominees on Jan. 13, is just going to affirm yet again that as far as the industry is concerned, big men always trump little women. An early warning sign came when the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations didn’t include some of the best-received movies directed by women, notably “The Farewell” and “Little Women.”

Actors constitute the academy’s largest voting branch, so the SAG nominations could forecast who the academy might smile on. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group behind the even more idiotic Golden Globes, didn’t nominate any women for best director (no female-directed movies are contention in “drama” or in “musical or comedy”). I wish we didn’t have to think about any of this—the work is the thing! But these awards sideshows can affect careers, and they have clearly become another battleground in the continuing culture wars. Because the shabby treatment of female moviemakers isn’t about quality or box office or seriousness or relevance: it’s simply about women.
If you read that passage very narrowly, it can be narrowly defended. If you read her remarks very narrowly, Dargis seems to be saying that the Screen Actors Guild, which only gives acting awards, should have nominated some actress or actor from The Farewell.

For all we know, they should have! That said, Dargis only names two female-directed films, and one of them is The Farewell! She doesn't mention the fact that she and Scott didn't rate the film very highly. Instead, she refers to The Farewell as one of "the best-received movies directed by women," then complains that the "idiotic" Golden Globes didn't include any women in its (five) nominations for best director.

Idiotic as they are, should the Golden Globes have nominated a woman for best director? We have no idea!

We have seen the new Little Women, two times, and we thought it was an absolute mess, for reasons we may discuss next week. (For today, we'll only cite the massive confusion created by the film's massively jumbled chronology.)

We thought the new Little Women was a maddening mess. Others have agreed to disagree. This includes every front-line movie critic. (Little Women's director, Greta Gerwig, became an industry "made woman" with Ladybird, her previous film.)

Should Gerwig have received a best director nomination? These are subjective judgments, until our routinely ridiculous "liberal" tribe starts to play with one of our newest toys.

After decades of overlooking every sort of misogynist conduct, our tribe is now very big on #MeToo. As part of the deal, Dargis is now denouncing the idiots for sexistly failing to honor a film she herself didn't seem to think was very good.

For what it's worth, the idiots at the Golden Globes did nominate The Farewell as best foreign language movie. Beyond that, the idiots nominated The Farewell's star, Awkwafina, for a best actress award, thus differing from the Screen Actors Guild.

(In fact, Awkwafina won a Golden Globe last night. She won the votes of the idiots!)

Speakingsofrankly, the idiots seem to have liked The Farewell more than Dargis did. Her collection of 42 best films includes at least eleven foreign language films, and possibly several more, depending on how you score it.

Did we mention the fact that she didn't include The Farewell on her lengthy list at all, while the idiots honored it as one of the five best films in the foreign language category? The sexists seem to have liked this film a great deal more than its irate defender did!

As far as the film industry is concerned, do "big men always trump little women," as Dargis pleasingly said? We aren't in a position to judge that matter, but we do know this:

Within the upper-end journalistic industry, very few standards are ever applied when one of our "rational animals" decides to start pimping the latest tribal script.

The Farewell wasn't especially well regarded at the Times. Scott didn't make it an NYT Critic's Pick. Dargis didn't even include it among the year's 42 best films!

Later, though, something worse occurred—the sexist idiots didn't sufficiently honor it! The big men trumped the little women again! It said so yesterday morning, right there in our New York Times Critic's Script!

Final point: Scott could have reminded Dargis of the way they themselves had reviewed The Farewell. Dearest darlings, use your heads! Our species doesn't function that way. It's an anthropological fact!

When our tribe behaves this way, we help people like Trump get elected. That said, our behavior won't stop.

All this year, we'll be exploring the anthropology behind this destructive pre-rational conduct. What we need is a new paradigm—a new way of understanding the failing, faux and bogus behavior of our floundering species which, we're reliably told, is now #Movingsoclosetotheend.

22 comments:

  1. Dear Bob, a question for you: is wokeness a mental illness of sorts?

    Inquiring minds want to know...

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      Delete
  2. Little Women was on both lists. Once again, Somerby is cherry-picking (The Farewell) to try to embarrass some journalist.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This article is a jumbled mess.

    First, Dargis only says The Farewell was highly regarded by others. She doesn't claim she thinks it was a "best film":

    "An early warning sign came when the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations didn’t include some of the best-received movies directed by women, notably “The Farewell” and “Little Women.”

    Little Women has been remade many times. To do it again requires some innovation. In this case, Gerwig did play with the timeline. Audiences (and readers) generally dislike flashbacks, perhaps because they make them work harder to understand what is going on. The question is whether that devices works toward some purpose envisioned by the director (Gerwig). I have not seen the film, but if it has made so many "best film" lists, I do think the changes must have "worked". Somerby doesn't want to think about why Gerwig did what she did -- he just loses patience and calls it a "jumbled mess".

    Somerby calls Dargis's failure to include The Farewell on her own list to be not excused by her mention of other people's reception of the movie -- he calls it too close a reading to note what she actually says -- even though this is exactly the kind of too close reading he is fond of imposing on every other article he criticizes.

    In an interview on Spectrum, I heard the LA Times cite the prevalence of female directors with films out in 2019 as 14%. Since 5 directors were nominated, that means that statistically, in the absence of bias, one should have been female.

    Somerby then drags in #METOO, which is not about job discrimination but about sexual assault. This issue is about equal pay. The value of an oscar or Golden Globe or SAG award nomination is that it increases the pay that one can ask for one's next work. This means real $ to women working in the film industry.

    Somerby thinks Dargis is just "pimping" a script. His use of unfortunate terms like that when talking about women's issues is most likely deliberate and another indicator of his lack of respect for women in general and his lack of support for women's issues (which is blatantly stated repeatedly at this blog). Dargis doesn't have to personally like The Farewell in order to support women in the film industry. And it is remotely possible that she genuinely cares about this issue and is not blindly repeating the latest liberal meme.

    Somerby, on the other hand, by reducing an important issue to a "script" repeated by woke liberals, is supporting the forces that keep women out of job opportunities in an industry where women's voices are needed. Perhaps he is happy with yet another action-adventure film based on a comic book, or another Disney-version of Star Wars, or a gross-out rom-com aimed at men who must endure date night, but women want to see films that involve human beings in real situations that evoke emotion and involve drama, the kind of films that won oscars back in the day when men made such films for a broader viewing audience.

    I haven't see The Farewell either. I stopped going to the movies entirely because there was nothing there that I would enjoy seeing. I suspect a lot of women have done the same, since audiences have been diminishing (aside from a few blockbusters that do well). It isn't only because of Netflix. It is because the industry killed itself by ignoring the kinds of films that women want to watch -- the kind that female directors still know how to make.

    ReplyDelete
  4. “Dargis only names two female-directed films, and one of them is The Farewell! “

    That is true, if you read Somerby very narrowly and only read the one paragraph of Dargis’ that he quotes. Later on in the same discussion, Dargis says this:

    DARGIS “...I prefer the ending of Mary Harron’s underseen “Charlie Says,” about the Manson family from the point of view of some of its female cultists.”

    Also, later on, Scott names not one, but, two additional movies directed by women:

    SCOTT: “...The counterparts to those films are the likes of “Little Women,” “Hustlers” and “Booksmart,”

    “Little Women”, Director: Greta Gerwig
    “Hustlers”, Director: Lorene Scafaria
    “Booksmart”, Director: Olivia Wilde

    Apparently, Somerby is showing us with his own blog the truth by example of his earlier pronouncement “Everything you read or hear will likely be bogus or wrong.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby is lying, like the Trumptard that he is.

      Delete
  5. Did you notice Bong Joon Ho's speech at the Golden Globes? He said that people should be more willing to watch films with subtitles.

    The Farewell is about a different culture, but it is an American film and Awkwafina is an Asian-American actress. It may be that it was overlooked because it is multicultural and Dargis and Scott may have assumed that its appeal would be limited. In other words, it may have been pigeon-holed as a "foreign film" or a film with only niche appeal to the culture portrayed, Chinese Americans.

    But here is another difficulty. Some people like to stretch their minds and experiences by watching diverse films, including foreign and indie films that portray people different than themselves. Others seek something different in a film.

    What does Somerby look for? He liked Moonlight, a film about a black youth struggling against adversity. He can't relate to Little Women. He didn't bother to see The Farewell despite taking the time to write about it (and mock another journalist without basis).

    He hints that everything is OK because the Golden Globes (voted by the foreign press) gave an Asian American actress an award when the American Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) did not. That is precisely the point. Somerby seems to think that an American woman of Chinese cultural heritage with immigrant parents is "foreign".

    Need I again say that liberals don't think that way. This is yet another way in which Somerby repeats conservative memes, foreigners and immigrants don't belong here and are not true Americans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'his is yet another way in which Somerby repeats conservative memes, foreigners and immigrants don't belong here and are not true American'

      Naturally. Somerby is a hard core Trumptard.

      Delete
  6. “After decades of overlooking every sort of misogynist conduct, our tribe is now very big on #MeToo.”

    So, the criticism of “our tribe” is that “we” didn’t root out misogyny sooner?

    By that reasoning, why did blacks wait until the 1950’s to march against Jim Crow? What hypocrites to let that go on for decades.

    The point is, or ought to be, that Hollywood wasn’t a monolithic bastion of liberalism, particularly in the early days, and that misogyny was prevalent even among old school “liberals”. It is precisely the more recent unwillingness by the more progressive wing to accept misogyny that caused them to speak out against it. And it should be noted that this speaking out is just as often directed at ostensibly liberal entities like the movie business. After all, #MeToo began as a charge against Weinstein, a supposed liberal.

    It is always harder to go against the status quo than to acquiesce in it. The status quo is the status quo precisely because of its entrenched power. It takes time to change things. Just look at how long it took to eliminate Jim Crow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Opinions can differ, and over the years TDH hasn't seemed to me to be a very astute film critic. I didn't see this Farewell (actually never heard of it) but I did see Little Women a few days ago. I never read the book, and wasn't sure I'd like it. I went with my family who wanted to see it. But I thought it was quite entertaining. It's TDH's blog, and it is subjective, but I think he is wrong on Little Women (as he seems to be often when rating movies).

      Delete
    2. 'So, the criticism of “our tribe” is that “we” didn’t root out misogyny sooner? '

      This is your usual public service announcement that Somerby is not a liberal, but a Trumptard, and his tribe is the tribe of Trumptards, who are dedicated to misogyny.

      Delete
  7. 'When our tribe behaves this way, we help people like Trump get elected. '

    Naturally, Somerby's tribe is the tribe of people who defend DJT, Roy Moore, Ron Johnson, Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan. In short, the tribe of hard core Trumptards, whose sole purpose in life is to see Trump gets re-elected.

    ReplyDelete
  8. New York Times is hilariously indicative of America's Woke Feminist media. Their hearts bleed for rich and privileged white actresses and models but they care nothing for poor non white or working class women. And while they just love delicate little victims, the claws (and character assassination ) comes quickly for accomplished women who have achieved anything with their lives beyond victimhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better trolling please.

      Delete
    2. From John Quiqqin on Crooked Timber:

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      As I see it, intersectionality combines a recognition that people are oppressed both through the economic structures of capitalism and as members of various subordinate groups with a rejection of both:

      “essentialist” identity politics, based on the claim that some particular aspect of identity (gender, race, sexuality, disability etc) should trump all others; and
      “working class” politics, presented as a politics of universal liberation, but reduced by the failure of revolutionary Marxism to another kind of identity politics (I took this formulation from Don Arthur on Twitter. I had something to say about class and Marxism a while back)
      The point about intersectionality is that there many kinds of oppression and injustice, and they interact in complex, more than additive, ways. The resulting political strategy for the left is not so much that of a “rainbow coalition” of distinct identity groups but a kaleidoscope in which different facets come to the fore at different times and places."

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