Jan 12, 2009

And the award goes to...

...Kate Winslet, who today took home the Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for The Reader, before backing up to add the Best Actress for Revolutionary Road to her collection. She also totally wiped the floor in the style stakes.

But here's a question. Should we really have Best Actress and Best Actor categories?

I can understand why in sport you often need separate categories for the sexes. Females are generally not as physically strong as males, therefore, the playing field is unequal.

But when it comes to strutting your stuff in front of the camera, surely there's no real difference between male and female actors?

Surely Jodie Foster's blazing performance in Silence of the Lambs was as good as Al Pacino's "Wa-hoo!"-ing in Scent of a Woman? Surely Kate Winslet is the equal of Leonardo di Caprio, if not greater? And can you honestly say Meryl Streep is not the equal of any male actor you know? They don't have gender distinctions in the Directing, Screenwriting, Costuming or any other category - why keep it for acting?

As far as I can guess, it's to allow more people to receive nominations. If you just had a "Best Performance in a Lead Role" and "Best Performance in a Supporting Role", you'd have 10 nominees, rather than the current 20. Of course, the Globes has 40 acting nominees, because they have Best Actor/Actress in a Musical/Comedy, a distinction the Academy doesn't make.

So cutting out the gender distinction would reduce the glamour pool of nominees and red carpet walkers, but damn it would make for some mighty fine competition. I'd love to see Helen Mirren going head-to-head with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It'd be a race to see who'd get their boobs out first.


  1. It must be vitriol night...
    down there in Brizvegas

  2. It's because men would be all of the nominees if it were just one category. Because generally men are credited as being "great actors" where women are usually "beautiful actresses".

  3. Most actors seem to call themselves actors and not 'actor and actress' anymore. It does take time for these conventions to filter through established society. There are great female actors and great male actors. Just as their are brave female Police Officers and brave male Police Officers... you get the idea.. probably

  4. Award shows are also promotional tools. The more awards a movie / actor wins, the better the movie does financially, and the better the actors feel. Of course, an Oscar marketing campaign may cost $20 million, so you have to weigh up your options.

    Besides, this is Hollywood. If you want to make anything better you just add more beautiful woman.

  5. I think the two categories remain because then the studios can promote saying "two award winning actors".

    I don't think it's specifically about sexism, I think it is about money and frocks, and glamour, which is money...

  6. I was going to point out about directors etc not being judged on gender but Nat did get to that.

    It seems like acting awards are a bit behind everyone else. The women call themselves actors but on selected nights of the year, they are quite happy to be actresses again.

    We even do it here in Australia with our Logie Awards. But I am in the middle at looking at the ACRA's from last year and they don't make that distinction in the radio industry.