In ‘Year of the Woman,’ tone-deaf Hollywood proves it doesn’t have a clue

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“Wonder Woman”

Hollywood had its first real post-Weinstein test on Monday. It failed.

Monday’s tone-deaf Golden Globes nominations somehow ignored nearly all deserving female and nonwhite filmmakers, many of whom broke records.

“Wonder Woman” was the first superhero film directed by a woman. It’s the highest-grossing superhero origin-story movie ever, grossing more than $800 million worldwide — an all-time record for a live-action film directed by a woman. Director Patty Jenkins may have single-handedly rescued the DC Comics film franchise.

Yet she was snubbed, as was star Gal Gadot and the movie itself — heralded in this otherwise depressing year as a sweet-spirited reinforcement of girl power.

Yes, this is the Year of the Woman, we’re told — a year that’s only really lasted two months, since the Weinstein scandal broke. Such short shrift now seems apt.

Tiffany Haddish’s breakout performance in this summer’s “Girls Trip” helped propel that film to become the first produced, written by and starring African-Americans to break over $100 million at the box office. Haddish followed that up by becoming the first African-American female comedian to host “Saturday Night Live,” has her own stand-up special on Showtime and just published a memoir.

Haddish should be rewarded by an industry looking to invest in her. Instead, she was snubbed.

Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical feature film “Lady Bird” won the most consecutive 100 percent “fresh” ratings on Rotten Tomatoes since 1999’s “Toy Story 2.” Gerwig wrote the screenplay and made her directorial debut on the film, winning critical raves. “Lady Bird” was nominated for best movie, comedy or musical, but Gerwig was snubbed as a director and writer.

African-American director Dee Rees, whose 2015 HBO film “Bessie” won four Emmys, has also won raves for “Mudbound,” which has been generating Oscar buzz since its Sundance premiere in January. She also co-wrote the screenplay, yet was snubbed.

How about nonwhite filmmakers? “The Big Sick” is a rom-com with a topical subplot: The conflict between a Pakistani-American son and his conservative immigrant Muslim parents. It was one of 2017’s best-reviewed movies and the only independent summer release to turn a profit. But Pakistani-American writer and actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, co-writer Emily V. Gordon, were snubbed.

In what feels like an act of supreme aggression, Jordan Peele, who wrote and directed the smartest, most original movie of the year, was also snubbed for “Get Out.” So far, the film has grossed over $200 million worldwide against a $4.5 million dollar budget and is the highest-grossing directorial debut ever.

While “Get Out” was nominated for Best Comedy, consider the old saw: Did it write and direct itself? Long after its February debut, it’s still the most talked about movie of 2017.

Recognizing these filmmakers would have been a necessary, if largely cosmetic, corrective to a brutal year. Yes, the Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but the Weinstein scandal and ensuing fallout has made worldwide news. Hollywood has long been a town and industry that loves nothing more than celebrating itself for being more progressive, more inclusive, more liberal and accepting than any community on Earth.

As we now know, that’s just another myth.

Not long ago, Hollywood was so central to our culture that Tom Cruise was chosen to open the Oscars after 9/11 not as an actor, but as consoler-in-chief, binding patriotism with moviemaking and fandom.

“An actor friend said to me, ‘What are we doing? What are we doing? Is it important? Is it even important what I do?’ And what of a night like tonight? Should we celebrate the joy and magic that movies bring?’ Well, dare I say it: More than ever,” Cruise said.

Back then, Cruise was the biggest movie star in the world, a nice guy with an air of mystery. It somehow felt right that he reassure a traumatized nation. Now we know he’s a not-very-bright-guy who belongs to an alien space cult that abuses its members.

We’ve all seen behind the curtain. We just want to go home and take a shower.

In early 2018, the Academy will have to contend with Casey Affleck, who won Best Actor last year and has settled two cases of sexual harassment.

The #metoo movement isn’t going anywhere. Will Affleck be allowed to present Best Actress, as is tradition? Will Meryl Streep take her moment to vilify Trump voters while sidestepping industry criminality? How many actresses will take the stage only to have the room and the public at large wonder: Was she a victim? What happened to her? How many people knew and said nothing?

How many little girls will still dream of being movie stars?

Meanwhile, California is literally burning. The Hollywood-as-dream-factory myth is going with it. That’s a good thing.

The New York Post

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