Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Why I’m Not Covering the Oscars

no-oscars-376x600For the past six years, I’ve tackled the crazy that is covering the 24 nominated categories. This essentially means that I’d see upwards of 50 moves in less than two months and write about every single one of them. It was a lot of time, effort, and money, but I ultimately enjoyed the challenge – not just of seeing every film  but also of forcing myself to think critically about areas that aren’t solidly in my wheelhouse of expertise (looking at you, Sound Editing/Mixing!).

Even though covering the Oscars always means uncovering some real gems – foreign language, docs, and short films that I wouldn’t see otherwise – it also means talking about the same (white) (male) people over and over. When hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite and notices of Bechdel Test failures proliferate, it can be hard to find the joy in that process.

Moving forward with this blog, I want to put my efforts toward buoying voices that aren’t always heard and the faces that are often overlooked. My main objective is to cover films, plays, books, TV shows, and other works of art created and/or directed by women or people of color. Of course, inevitably, there will be exceptions to this rule, but even within those exceptions, I’ll note if those works pass the Bechdel Test and the Racial Bechdel Test.

The idea is not to “punish” works that don’t pass these tests (and really, how could *I* do that), but to make myself more aware of stories and artists that I might not be otherwise, due to lack of media and critical coverage of those individuals and works. This will also work as a constant reminder to myself that every dollar I spend counts. If I want to see more films directed by women, I need to buy tickets to those that are already out there, so that the industry recognizes that stories told by women do – of course! – sell.

I’m hoping this project will make writing about the arts a once again joyful process for me, and less of the (at times infuriating) chore it has been in recent years. And to that end, if you see or hear about something that you think would be of interest, please shoot me an email or drop a comment below.


4 comments on “Why I’m Not Covering the Oscars

  1. aaroncthomasphd
    January 18, 2016

    Yes yes yes and more yes.


  2. Winston Graysmith
    January 18, 2016


    First of all, it’s a pitty that you won’t be writing about the Oscars. I really enjoy your texts! But I do understand your reasons and most important, I do agree that people should watch more movies directed by women and other ethnicities. Usually, people complain a lot about the predominance of white men beahind and in front of the cameras, but the same people don’t do anything to try to change something about it. I think the movie industry will only change if the box office numbers show and prove it.

    I cover the Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA etc since 2011. It’s really an exausting job and money demanding, but I do it for the passion only. I don’t receive a single cent to write about movies, so that’s why I understand your cause. Looking forward to read your next posts!

    Greetings from Brazil!


    • Julie
      January 18, 2016

      Thanks, Winston! Send me a link – I’d love to read your stuff.


      • Winston Graysmith
        January 20, 2016

        Hi, Julie! Sorry that I took some time to reply! Well, I don’t know if you have the time and the patience, but the problem is that my blog is not written in English. It’s all in Portuguese! I may write and even talk to some people in English, but I don’t feel like I can express all my opinions and feelings about movies and life in general in this language. I don’t know… maybe someday in the near future!
        Anyway, if you have the abilities on the google translator, here it is:
        I wrote about the “White Oscars”, if you’re interested…
        I think I never asked you, but do you work with Arts in NY?

        Take care!


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This entry was posted on January 17, 2016 by in Award Predictions, Film, Oscar-Nominated, Theatre, Theatre Topics and tagged , , , .



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