From the Left



The Oscars honor our very own Joker

Jamie Stiehm on

Gerwig's homage to female virtues on the Civil War homefront -- centering on wise, kind Marmee and four March girls -- is based on an American literary masterpiece that only girls and women read. Pity men miss out. The story is a refreshing counterpoint of peace next to world war and the other blockbusters.

Beloved "Little Women" made the running for best picture, pleasing women across America. But if it wins the night's grandest award, we'll be amazed, Hollywood.

That brings us to narcissism, a signature Trump trait that director Quentin Tarantino, 56, apparently shares with Academy voters this violent season.

His "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" is a fond look at the industry town during a vicious patch -- the Charles Manson murders -- in 1969. The brutal deaths of actress Sharon Tate and others in their home, however, is no burlesque matter. Not even Brad Pitt redeems Hollywood's obsession with its own "golden age."

Tarantino's storytelling as an aggressive "man's man" or "bad boy" director is a pattern that works well in Hollywood. Yet you could get a permanent neck injury as an actress working for him, as Uma Thurman did. He's the favored nominee for best director -- "the director to watch here," so says The Washington Post.

Director Martin Scorsese made a dewy-eyed mob movie called "The Irishman," starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Like I care, really? Again, it's a movie made by men for men -- and white men at that -- celebrating a life of crime. We get to see that show every day in Washington; it looks like the Trump Cabinet.

Why see a movie about an aging gangster when we have one in the Oval from central casting?


Movies about truly inspiring characters of the past -- Mr. Rogers and abolitionist-freedom fighter Harriet Tubman -- got polite nods, Academy acting nominations for Tom Hanks and Cynthia Erivo. But it's not that kind of year in popular culture.

Trump took Hollywood by storm. That's no joke.


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