The question was brought up on Twitter recently whether or not the Academy can deal with sex, specifically gay or lesbian sex and whether or not it effects the film’s so-called Oscar potential. Oscar potential, by the way, is a phrase I’ve always defined as: whether the film is good or not. Nothing else should matter. By Oscar potential, people usually hedge their bets, as in, “It’s not an Oscar movie,” or “An animated film can’t win Best Picture,” etc. It’s not really about whether or not it CAN. It can. But will it, and what will be the reasons it will or it won’t.
Either way, someone proposed the idea that the lesbian scenes were too intense for the AMPAS and that it would somehow hurt Natalie Portman’s chances in the race. Although I will reserve judgment until I actually see the film, but it strikes me that sex doesn’t matter if the film is good enough. If the film is kind of lame but the sex scenes (gay or straight) are great, it’s probably not going to get very far in the race.
On the other hand, and I know it’s early in the morning, my best friend and I have long believed that there is an “anal sex rule.” But after I brought it up on Twitter it silenced the dialogue completely, so perhaps it’s better if I just keep it to myself.
So I pose the question to you. Does sex, when it is as intense as it reportedly is in Black Swan, make any difference at all in how the film is judged in terms of its so-called Oscar Potential?