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Oscars 2011: Single Fathers and the Vanishing Mothers

One of the threads running through this year’s Oscar race is the single father who must pull things together for the sake of his kids.  This is especially poignant in three films – Moneyball, The Descendants and We Bought a Zoo.  It’s even funnier that it happens to be George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, the Oceans gang, but also the Sexiest Men Alive troika.  Remember how Clooney and Pitt were campaigning for Damon?

Another thing they have in common, other than caring for their children – all three have daughters, only Damon has a son — is that they cry.  Both The Descendants and We Bought a Zoo, those tears are brought on by their personal relationship. In Moneyball, the tears are more about happiness, disbelieving happiness that things worked out, for once, in Billy Beane’s life.  Of all three of these characters, only Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane is digging himself out of failure.  Clooney and Damon have suffered blows — leaving them to raise their children alone.  But Pitt isn’t raising a child so much as he’s trying to, finally, making something of himself.

Women don’t figure in much to any of these three odes to fatherhood.  They only figure in as influences, forces to be reckoned with, but they are gone.  The men are left to fend for themselves.  This year’s Oscar race is not really about women.  Only one film, The Help, is about women.  And thus, it stands in stark contrast to the themes offered up in the Best Picture race thus far.   If you want to drift out of the mainstream and into the fringe you will find stories about women, about mothers – but even if you do that you start to see how hard 2011 is on mothers.  If they aren’t in a coma, dead or remarried, they are potentially raising mass murderers (We Need to Talk About Kevin) , they are not mothering their children (The Help), or thwarting their son’s sexuality (J. Edgar), or shrinking in the face of a domineering father, while offering a safe haven (Tree of Life).  The one strong mother thus far is Emily Watson in War Horse.  She’s there, she’s supportive and she’s a good mother.  Imagine that.  Another interesting film about a mother is Another Happy Day, which features a great performance by Ellen Barkin but is also so flawed it, too, won’t figure prominently in the race save, perhaps, a nod for Barkin.  Still, that Another Happy Day was made at all is kind of miraculous.

Oren Movermen’s Rampart features not one but two mothers.  They’re well cast, independent, thinking women.  But some have criticized the film for having these two wives because it seems so strange to have two, living next door to each other.  Still, it is an appreciative choice.

Carey Mulligan plays a single-ish mother in Drive — she’s a good mother, protective of her child, but utterly helpless too.   Still, one can’t really look at 2011 and not think about her.

Stories about single dads are all the rage this year partly because films don’t really get made without a strong male star driving them.  Even women as sexual beings seems mostly absent.  They are receptacles for lived out addiction in Shame. None of the strong male leads have relationships at all — the love is muted in The Artist, and never realized in The Descendants, Moneyball or We Bought a Zoo (although there is a hint of what might be).  War Horse has the one mother character but no other romantic female — not even the horse gets to find a mate. And forget about the male lead ever laying eyes on a woman (except briefly in that car, women and the pleasures they afford, are missing).

Only one film explores female sexuality and does it very well — David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, and that seems to have been made for a different era, not the sexually blank themes we’re seeing today.  But Keira Knightley is allowed to explore her own sexuality, explore her own thinking and teaching, and eventually become a mother.   Her role is really the center of A Dangerous Method – the male characters are there to drive her character’s motivations, not the other way around, which is commonplace now.

Sadly, strong female-driven films do not exist in Oscars 2011 without The Help and A Dangerous Method.  Those stories now thrive on television – HBO and Showtime.  There, all of the great characters and actors dwell, both male and female but especially women – who are allowed to explore themes without having to worry about the bottom line.  And we know that bottom line is more and more about young boys than ever before. What drives the box office are family films, animated films and comic book movies.  And what a shame that is.

It isn’t that some of those movies aren’t good.  It’s that it’s sad that the film industry is moving so swiftly in this direction, driven by profit.  And isn’t it strange that dramas are so few and far between? Both War Horse and We Bought a Zoo have been family-fied, made to appeal, really, to kids as well as adults.  And while that’s fine and well for families — I am a mother — one wonders how great these movies could have been if adult themes had been allowed in.   While Hugo is a family film, it is also not smoothed over for the sake of kids, made shorter, zippier, more easily digestible.  And for that, it becomes one of the best films of 2011.

With so many family films and animated films it becomes harder and harder to find actual adult stories.  This is one of the reasons Shame stands out.  Sure, in Europe and other foreign countries they haven’t surrendered the telling of stories to serve an adolescent demographic. You’ll find films that still explore the human experience in Korea, Iran, France — but they’re harder and harder to find in mainstream American film.

The notion of the family film in the Oscar race is nothing new.  It’s been around for many many decades.  It’s just that one laments the days when it wasn’t a requirement.  Finding great films that speak to adults as well as children is kind of difficult now, especially since we’re all still judging films on their box office take. Perhaps it’s time to stop paying attention to box office now that we see what kinds of films drive it.

So if just getting regular films that appeal to adults at all even produced, it is even harder now to find films that are female driven, featuring wholly developed characters who are mothers and other things too.  That might be why it looks the way it looks this year, and why I hope people acknowledge how rare a success The Help really is, despite its politics, despite its street cred.  The other successful film this year with a female-driven narrative was Bridesmaids.  And in it, Jill Clayburgh plays Kristen Wiig’s mom.  Not only is she wonderful in the part, not only does she look her age, beautifully lined splendor of a wise and older face, but it reminds of a different era, when a movie like An Unmarried Woman, about a single mother, was enough for a Best Picture nomination.

Meanwhile, I’m into these men, these single dads who cry, these superheroes who want to save the world and make it a better place.  All three of them do in their own way.  Clooney in The Descendants is there for his kids in the end, and he’s committed to preserving their future by preserving their heritage.  In We Bought a Zoo, Matt Damon is going to be there for his kids, working hard to penetrate the wall to get to them, and he’s developing a wildlife refuge at the same time.  In Moneyball, Pitt’s Billy Beane sacrifices a future as a much higher paid manager just so he can be with his daughter, watch her grow up, and also stick by the team he’s grown up with.  That kind of loyalty in a profit-driven sport is rare.  It’s like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life rare.  George Bailey sacrificed his own world travel plans to stay in Bedford Falls, run the old Building and Loan and be there for his family.  Maybe he wasn’t the greatest man who ever lived but he was, by all accounts, the richest man in town.

85 Comments on this Post

  1. Isn’t it disheartening to think, then, that one of this year’s best female roles was barely even a female role. Albert Nobbs is one of the best developed, strongest female roles this year, even in a film not quite as thoroughly developed. Is this what actresses have to do? Just as the character had to disguise herself as a man, do actresses have to write their own screenplays and play men on screen?

    That’s perhaps a little gloomy though. This year’s Best Actress race is extremely strong.

  2. Isn’t it disheartening to think, then, that one of this year’s best female roles was barely even a female role. Albert Nobbs is one of the best developed, strongest female roles this year, even in a film not quite as thoroughly developed. Is this what actresses have to do? Just as the character had to disguise herself as a man, do actresses have to write their own screenplays and play men on screen?

    That’s perhaps a little gloomy though. This year’s Best Actress race is extremely strong.

  3. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Just as the character had to disguise herself as a man, do actresses have to write their own screenplays and play men on screen?

    yikes, what a thought. Have we come full-circle from the days of the Globe Theater when all the female roles were played by teenage boys?

    in fact, I saw someplace last week (Twitter probably) that leading ladies have only 10% of the lines in Shakespeare’s plays. Leading Men have 90% of the lines in Shakespeare’s canon.

    and not only that: of the 6 most important leading roles for females in Shakespeare’s plays — 5 of them cross-dress.

    Cleopatra (Anthony & Cleopatra)
    Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
    Rosalind (As You Like It)
    Viola (Twelfth Night)
    Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

    Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) is alone among Shakespeare’s major heroines in never dressing like a man.

    (oddly enough, transvestite stage acting was an English thing. Actual female actresses were totally acceptable throughout the rest of Renaissance Europe.)

    so how’s that for a hijack tangent?

  4. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Just as the character had to disguise herself as a man, do actresses have to write their own screenplays and play men on screen?

    yikes, what a thought. Have we come full-circle from the days of the Globe Theater when all the female roles were played by teenage boys?

    in fact, I saw someplace last week (Twitter probably) that leading ladies have only 10% of the lines in Shakespeare’s plays. Leading Men have 90% of the lines in Shakespeare’s canon.

    and not only that: of the 6 most important leading roles for females in Shakespeare’s plays — 5 of them cross-dress.

    Cleopatra (Anthony & Cleopatra)
    Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
    Rosalind (As You Like It)
    Viola (Twelfth Night)
    Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

    Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) is alone among Shakespeare’s major heroines in never dressing like a man.

    (oddly enough, transvestite stage acting was an English thing. Actual female actresses were totally acceptable throughout the rest of Renaissance Europe.)

    so how’s that for a hijack tangent?

  5. julian the emperor

    So, basically, Ryan, we should accuse Shakeapeare for Hollywood’s inability to come up with exciting, thorough, well-rounded female characters?;)

  6. julian the emperor

    So, basically, Ryan, we should accuse Shakeapeare for Hollywood’s inability to come up with exciting, thorough, well-rounded female characters?;)

  7. Oh dear Ryan. I hate Much Ado About Nothing. This isn’t good. Although perhaps Shakespeare was only responding to restrictions – if you’re limited to casting male actors, wouldn’t you write fewer female roles? As accustomed as contemporary audiences may have been to seeing men play women on stage, it must nevertheless have been a challenge for the actors and a distraction for the audience.

  8. Oh dear Ryan. I hate Much Ado About Nothing. This isn’t good. Although perhaps Shakespeare was only responding to restrictions – if you’re limited to casting male actors, wouldn’t you write fewer female roles? As accustomed as contemporary audiences may have been to seeing men play women on stage, it must nevertheless have been a challenge for the actors and a distraction for the audience.

  9. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    julian the emperor, don’t be silly
    we can’t blame Shakespeare.
    blame Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

    The fault is not in our movie stars,
    But in ourselves

  10. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    julian the emperor, don’t be silly
    we can’t blame Shakespeare.
    blame Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

    The fault is not in our movie stars,
    But in ourselves

  11. Brett Ratner

    * transvestite stage acting was an English thing *

    Shakespeare is for [deleted]

  12. Brett Ratner

    * transvestite stage acting was an English thing *

    Shakespeare is for [deleted]

  13. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Does Michael Shannon cry in Take Shelter?

    This year stands in stark contrast to last year’s films revolving around absent fathers…
    Winter’s Bone
    Inception
    True Grit

    fathers who saw themselves as struggling failures…
    The King’s Speech (cried)
    Shutter Island (cried)
    Biutiful (cried)

    and strong mothers…
    Black Swan
    The Kids Are All Right
    Animal Kingdom (er…)

  14. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Does Michael Shannon cry in Take Shelter?

    This year stands in stark contrast to last year’s films revolving around absent fathers…
    Winter’s Bone
    Inception
    True Grit

    fathers who saw themselves as struggling failures…
    The King’s Speech (cried)
    Shutter Island (cried)
    Biutiful (cried)

    and strong mothers…
    Black Swan
    The Kids Are All Right
    Animal Kingdom (er…)

  15. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Interesting that one of the GOP “debates” was specifically designed to give each of the candidates an opportunity to cry his wittle eyes out.

    Right about now, John Boehner is kicking himself. And crying.

  16. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Interesting that one of the GOP “debates” was specifically designed to give each of the candidates an opportunity to cry his wittle eyes out.

    Right about now, John Boehner is kicking himself. And crying.

  17. For me, what is notable isn’t that they’re playing fathers without a spouse, but that, specifically they do not have a leading lady; in this construct, you can include Leonardo DiCaprio in “J. Edgar.”

    The only other sure-bet nominee who has a traditional romantic leading lady is Jean Dujardin in “The Artist,” but that flick is from France, where romance remains a central element in most films.

    Interestingly, younger actors seem to be ok with starring in romantically-driven films; the best exemplar of this is Ryan Gosling: all three of his 2011 films — “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Drive,” and “The Ides of March” — had a female romantic foil for Goslling — respectively, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Evan Rachel Wood. I think the outcry of People magazine not selecting him for Sexiest Man Alive is a result of his penchant for playing traditional romantic leads.

  18. For me, what is notable isn’t that they’re playing fathers without a spouse, but that, specifically they do not have a leading lady; in this construct, you can include Leonardo DiCaprio in “J. Edgar.”

    The only other sure-bet nominee who has a traditional romantic leading lady is Jean Dujardin in “The Artist,” but that flick is from France, where romance remains a central element in most films.

    Interestingly, younger actors seem to be ok with starring in romantically-driven films; the best exemplar of this is Ryan Gosling: all three of his 2011 films — “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Drive,” and “The Ides of March” — had a female romantic foil for Goslling — respectively, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Evan Rachel Wood. I think the outcry of People magazine not selecting him for Sexiest Man Alive is a result of his penchant for playing traditional romantic leads.

  19. well, the interesting fact is that the three roles seem to have a core in common, making it more likely that votes can split between Damon, Clooney and Pitt. Damon and Clooney are already Oscar winners (Damon for his writting, 14 years ago, Clooney as supporting more recently). That makes me think that Pitt, whose performance in Tree of Life might help unless is also nominated (and even in that case, it may help) will be the frontrunner among the three for both nomination and victory, but, however, clarifies the possible Leo di Caprio win for J Edgar, in yet another biopic performance winning Best Lead Actor (The King’s Speech, Capote, Shine, yawn….). Or maybe we finally see good Woody (Harrelson) be an Oscar winner. Something he already deserved ages ago, oddly enough, for another biopic, The People vs. Larry Flynt.

    Anyways, what a line up…

  20. well, the interesting fact is that the three roles seem to have a core in common, making it more likely that votes can split between Damon, Clooney and Pitt. Damon and Clooney are already Oscar winners (Damon for his writting, 14 years ago, Clooney as supporting more recently). That makes me think that Pitt, whose performance in Tree of Life might help unless is also nominated (and even in that case, it may help) will be the frontrunner among the three for both nomination and victory, but, however, clarifies the possible Leo di Caprio win for J Edgar, in yet another biopic performance winning Best Lead Actor (The King’s Speech, Capote, Shine, yawn….). Or maybe we finally see good Woody (Harrelson) be an Oscar winner. Something he already deserved ages ago, oddly enough, for another biopic, The People vs. Larry Flynt.

    Anyways, what a line up…

  21. Jodie Foster and Hilary Swank won Oscars for playing very masculine characters (and in my opinion, both actresses are a little one-note in that way). America likes its masculinized females. Makes Melanie Griffinth’s Oscar nominated work in Working Girl seem like such an anomaly. She really embraced that character’s softness and femininity.

  22. Jodie Foster and Hilary Swank won Oscars for playing very masculine characters (and in my opinion, both actresses are a little one-note in that way). America likes its masculinized females. Makes Melanie Griffinth’s Oscar nominated work in Working Girl seem like such an anomaly. She really embraced that character’s softness and femininity.

  23. For strong female-driven films that will or should be in the Oscar race, (aside from The Help and A Dangerous Method) don’t forget Martha Marcy May Marlene, Albert Nobbs, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn, Young Adult, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Melancholia, Tyranosaur, Another Happy Day, The Lady, Higher Ground, W.E., Sarah’s Key, and Bridesmaids.

  24. For strong female-driven films that will or should be in the Oscar race, (aside from The Help and A Dangerous Method) don’t forget Martha Marcy May Marlene, Albert Nobbs, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn, Young Adult, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Melancholia, Tyranosaur, Another Happy Day, The Lady, Higher Ground, W.E., Sarah’s Key, and Bridesmaids.

  25. @ Mark Johnson

    A Dangerous Method has seemingly opened rather well this weekend. Box Office Mojo has its estimated /theatre average gross at over $45 million which, while not amazing, is better than I had expected. It may have a chance at remaining strong in the Oscar race after all.

  26. @ Mark Johnson

    A Dangerous Method has seemingly opened rather well this weekend. Box Office Mojo has its estimated /theatre average gross at over $45 million which, while not amazing, is better than I had expected. It may have a chance at remaining strong in the Oscar race after all.

  27. ouch Paddy that should read 45 thousand
    it is still a recession after all, no?

  28. ouch Paddy that should read 45 thousand
    it is still a recession after all, no?

  29. Love Ocean’s 11 and love these 3 actors! None have won an Oscar though, right? (unless you count Damon’s for co-screenwriting Good Will Hunting)

  30. Love Ocean’s 11 and love these 3 actors! None have won an Oscar though, right? (unless you count Damon’s for co-screenwriting Good Will Hunting)

  31. unlikelyhood

    Ryan: Your hijacking needs correcting.

    of the 6 most important leading roles for females in Shakespeare’s plays — 5 of them cross-dress.

    Cleopatra (Anthony & Cleopatra)
    Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
    Rosalind (As You Like It)
    Viola (Twelfth Night)
    Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

    Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) is alone among Shakespeare’s major heroines in never dressing like a man.

    Oh, come on, Ryan. Who did you link this from before checking it?

    Juliet
    Lady MacBeth
    Ophelia and Gertrude
    Titania, Queen of the Faeries
    Tamora, Queen of the Goths

    …and there are lots more. I question that 90% thing too – it feels more like it should read that 90% of the total lines are spoken by men (including various pages and guards and other walk-ons).

    Someone on some other site said that Bugs Bunny cross-dresses in over half his cartoons. Someone else quoted Kevin Sandler, who wrote a book, and counted 37 cross-dressings in 162 Bugs Bunny cartoons ever. What the first person should have said was: Bugs cross-dressed a lot. That’s fine. You should have said something similar.

    We now return to your regularly scheduled thread.

  32. unlikelyhood

    Ryan: Your hijacking needs correcting.

    of the 6 most important leading roles for females in Shakespeare’s plays — 5 of them cross-dress.

    Cleopatra (Anthony & Cleopatra)
    Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
    Rosalind (As You Like It)
    Viola (Twelfth Night)
    Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

    Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) is alone among Shakespeare’s major heroines in never dressing like a man.

    Oh, come on, Ryan. Who did you link this from before checking it?

    Juliet
    Lady MacBeth
    Ophelia and Gertrude
    Titania, Queen of the Faeries
    Tamora, Queen of the Goths

    …and there are lots more. I question that 90% thing too – it feels more like it should read that 90% of the total lines are spoken by men (including various pages and guards and other walk-ons).

    Someone on some other site said that Bugs Bunny cross-dresses in over half his cartoons. Someone else quoted Kevin Sandler, who wrote a book, and counted 37 cross-dressings in 162 Bugs Bunny cartoons ever. What the first person should have said was: Bugs cross-dressed a lot. That’s fine. You should have said something similar.

    We now return to your regularly scheduled thread.

  33. @ scott

    clooney won best supporting for syriana

  34. @ scott

    clooney won best supporting for syriana

  35. Speaking of The Descendants, it had a $7 million three-day weekend this weekend while only playing in around 400 theaters.

  36. Speaking of The Descendants, it had a $7 million three-day weekend this weekend while only playing in around 400 theaters.

  37. julian the emperor

    Lady Macbeth certainly is a fully realized, strong female character…Although I guess you could argue that it is a slightly misogynistic portrayal. Could argue does not read as should argue, mind you.

    Bugs Bunny cross-dressing in 37 out of 162 cartoons is trivia information of the day. Thanks for that one, Unlikelyhood. That information is now holding a prominent position in my personal notebook…:)

  38. julian the emperor

    Lady Macbeth certainly is a fully realized, strong female character…Although I guess you could argue that it is a slightly misogynistic portrayal. Could argue does not read as should argue, mind you.

    Bugs Bunny cross-dressing in 37 out of 162 cartoons is trivia information of the day. Thanks for that one, Unlikelyhood. That information is now holding a prominent position in my personal notebook…:)

  39. The last mother movie I liked, at least off the top of my head anyway, was Changeling. She wasn’t manly or anything and I thought it was a great movie. The whole point of it was how easy it is to dismiss women as crazy bitches. Women get dismissed. It happens all the time. In fact, I personally dismissed them this year. When The Help was in theaters I avoided it like the plaque, and pretty much ignored Bridesmaids outright. Neither film appealed to me at all. AT ALL. And I really hope The Help doesn’t get nominated because I don’t want to have to watch it.

  40. The last mother movie I liked, at least off the top of my head anyway, was Changeling. She wasn’t manly or anything and I thought it was a great movie. The whole point of it was how easy it is to dismiss women as crazy bitches. Women get dismissed. It happens all the time. In fact, I personally dismissed them this year. When The Help was in theaters I avoided it like the plaque, and pretty much ignored Bridesmaids outright. Neither film appealed to me at all. AT ALL. And I really hope The Help doesn’t get nominated because I don’t want to have to watch it.

  41. “War Horse is probably not going to figure strongly in the Best Picture race like some of the other films”

    So, did you not like War Horse then, Sasha? It seemed like such a sure bet for Oscar attention, I would be shocked if it didn’t get in. Hope you’re wrong about this one.

  42. “War Horse is probably not going to figure strongly in the Best Picture race like some of the other films”

    So, did you not like War Horse then, Sasha? It seemed like such a sure bet for Oscar attention, I would be shocked if it didn’t get in. Hope you’re wrong about this one.

  43. unlikelyhood

    Thanks Julian!

    Antoinette said: “I avoided it like the plaque”

    Brush your teeth a lot do ya?

    I personally hope The Help sneaks in to BP. A BP nod is always also the Academy saying “More like this please” and we do need more like that please.

  44. unlikelyhood

    Thanks Julian!

    Antoinette said: “I avoided it like the plaque”

    Brush your teeth a lot do ya?

    I personally hope The Help sneaks in to BP. A BP nod is always also the Academy saying “More like this please” and we do need more like that please.

  45. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    it feels more like it should read that 90% of the total lines are spoken by men

    That’s right. That’s what I meant, and I thought that’s what I wrote:
    ‘”leading ladies have only 10% of the lines in Shakespeare’s plays. Leading men have 90% of the lines”

    Except, yes, obviously 10 + 90 = 100% so it’s wrong to suggest the only lines in all Shakespeare’s plays are spoken by the lead characters.

    As I said, I think I saw this on Twitter last week and 140 characters isn’t enough to express much nuance or precision.

    All the same, it only took one swing at Google to find this:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/21480471/How-Do-Shakespeare-s-Plays-Depict-Women
    (middle of page 2)

    No male lead has as few words as the average female lead—who has only 10% of the lines in Shakespeare’s plays.

    unlikelyhood, when I write this up for my PhD thesis, I’d like for you to proofread it. Thanks.

  46. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    it feels more like it should read that 90% of the total lines are spoken by men

    That’s right. That’s what I meant, and I thought that’s what I wrote:
    ‘”leading ladies have only 10% of the lines in Shakespeare’s plays. Leading men have 90% of the lines”

    Except, yes, obviously 10 + 90 = 100% so it’s wrong to suggest the only lines in all Shakespeare’s plays are spoken by the lead characters.

    As I said, I think I saw this on Twitter last week and 140 characters isn’t enough to express much nuance or precision.

    All the same, it only took one swing at Google to find this:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/21480471/How-Do-Shakespeare-s-Plays-Depict-Women
    (middle of page 2)

    No male lead has as few words as the average female lead—who has only 10% of the lines in Shakespeare’s plays.

    unlikelyhood, when I write this up for my PhD thesis, I’d like for you to proofread it. Thanks.

  47. @unlikelyhood Well if I had an edit button… lol I’m always doing stuff like that.

  48. @unlikelyhood Well if I had an edit button… lol I’m always doing stuff like that.

  49. unlikelyhood

    Anytime Ryan! :)

    Sasha’s OP deserves more thoughtful attention. Clearly A-list screenwriters are mostly men, and men are mostly interested in men, and these days the themes of the TNT show “Men of a Certain Age” are resonating. Damn, even Almodovar is orienting around a hair-graying man. I know we’d love an Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore or A Woman Under the Influence right about now, and I also lament the ongoing absence. Mike Leigh *tried* last year – no one (in Oscarland) was listening.

    But Sasha’s larger point that US films all seem to be “family films” and not speaking to adults kinda interests me. I say this to my undergrads when I introduce them to Ingmar Bergman – and I’ve got plenty of prestigious authors to support me – that where Americans were once interested in “adult” stories by the likes of Bergman and Kubrick, now we aren’t. But then the undergrads watch The Seventh Seal and go, uh, this is a fantasy! This guy is playing chess with Death! (Dr. Strangelove is seen as Mad magazine-ish.) So I sorta lose that argument. What I mean is…there are always way more family-friendly films than films that really only adults can get. It was true back in the early decades of Oscar, and it’s true now.

    But I still appreciate adult concerns (let’s say, for example, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) and still wish there were more such pictures.

  50. unlikelyhood

    Anytime Ryan! :)

    Sasha’s OP deserves more thoughtful attention. Clearly A-list screenwriters are mostly men, and men are mostly interested in men, and these days the themes of the TNT show “Men of a Certain Age” are resonating. Damn, even Almodovar is orienting around a hair-graying man. I know we’d love an Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore or A Woman Under the Influence right about now, and I also lament the ongoing absence. Mike Leigh *tried* last year – no one (in Oscarland) was listening.

    But Sasha’s larger point that US films all seem to be “family films” and not speaking to adults kinda interests me. I say this to my undergrads when I introduce them to Ingmar Bergman – and I’ve got plenty of prestigious authors to support me – that where Americans were once interested in “adult” stories by the likes of Bergman and Kubrick, now we aren’t. But then the undergrads watch The Seventh Seal and go, uh, this is a fantasy! This guy is playing chess with Death! (Dr. Strangelove is seen as Mad magazine-ish.) So I sorta lose that argument. What I mean is…there are always way more family-friendly films than films that really only adults can get. It was true back in the early decades of Oscar, and it’s true now.

    But I still appreciate adult concerns (let’s say, for example, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) and still wish there were more such pictures.

  51. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    and I’ve got plenty of prestigious authors to support me – that where Americans were once interested in “adult” stories by the likes of Bergman and Kubrick, now we aren’t.

    unlikelyhood, my turn to pin you down with some facts. (although we still pretty much agree)

    I would suggest that Americans are as interested as we ever were in deep difficult movies (which is to say, not all that much.)

    There has always been a comparatively limited — but devoted — audience for intensely adult movies.

    Let’s look at a year when we can compare career highlights of Kubrick and Bergman.
    1964 — Dr Strangelove and The Silence (1963, but released in the US, 1964.)

    Top grossing movies of 1964 (family films in bold)

    Mary Poppins… $102 mil
    Lady & the Tramp… $93 mil
    My Fair Lady... $72 mil
    Goldfinger… $51 mil
    The Carpetbaggers… $28 mil
    From Russia with Love… $28 mil
    A Hard Day’s Night… $12 mil
    Father Goose… $12 mil
    A Shot in the Dark… $12 mil
    What a Way to Go… $11 mil
    The Unsinkable Molly Brown... $11 mil
    The Pink Panther… $10 mil
    Send Me No Flowers… $9 mil
    Good Neighbor Sam… $9 mil
    Viva Las Vegas… $9 mil
    Becket… $9 mil
    ** Dr Strangelove… $9 mil
    Zorba the Greek… $9 mil

    (notice that even aside from those purely family-friendly films, parents in 1964 could bring the kids along to 95% of those movies, right?)

    I can’t nail down the precise box-office numbers for The Silence, but the highest grossing foreign films of 1964 were
    Mafioso… earned a grand total of $270 thousand
    Contempt … $150 thousand
    A Woman is a Woman… $100 thousand

    can we agree that The White RIbbon and The Silence are comparable adult films?

    average ticket price in 1964 was 93 cents.
    so about 150,000 Americans paid to see Godard’s Contempt in 1964.
    is it fair to guess about the same number paid to see The Silence?

    in 2009, The White Ribbon earned $2.2 mil in the US
    average ticket price in 2009, $7.50
    so around 300,000 Americans paid to see The White Ribbon in 2009

    Shall we now look for a Dr Strangelove equivalent in 2009? a comparable bold stylish satire with political teeth featuring an all-star cast? Would Inglourious Basterds work as a fair parallel?

    1 million Americans paid to see Dr Strangelove in 1964
    16 million Americans paid to see Inglorious Basterds in 2009

    is it unfair to compare Tarantino and Kubrick?
    How about let’s go really artsy and obscure, compare Kubrick and Tom Ford
    fine then: 1.2 million Americans paid to see A Single Man
    (roughly the same number of American butts-in-seats for Dr Strangelove as there were for A Single Man)

    Plenty of Americans still go see adult films. I’d say more now than 50 years ago.
    When studios make movies for grownups, grownups still buy tickets.

    It’s just that kids today buy many many more tickets.

    (how many teenage boys do we think we going to theaters to see Goldfinger in 1964. A lot, no doubt.
    But there were not 300 million teenage boys lining up for James Bond or Inspector Clouseau in 1964.)

    footnote, 1967:

    American critics were respectful, but perplexed by Persona. Variety, always with an eye toward the box office, noted, “Bergman has come up with probably one of his most masterful films technically and in conception, but also one of his most difficult ones….It appears mainly for special usage and arty spots abroad.”

    let’s be generous and say 200,000 Americans bought a ticket to see Persona. (I think that’s a stretch)

    Here’s a measure of American moviegoer taste in 1967: the same year 200,000 Americans paid to see a Bergman film, 118 million tickets were sold for A Jungle Book. And 36 million grownup Americans paid $1.20 to see Valley of the Dolls.

  52. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    and I’ve got plenty of prestigious authors to support me – that where Americans were once interested in “adult” stories by the likes of Bergman and Kubrick, now we aren’t.

    unlikelyhood, my turn to pin you down with some facts. (although we still pretty much agree)

    I would suggest that Americans are as interested as we ever were in deep difficult movies (which is to say, not all that much.)

    There has always been a comparatively limited — but devoted — audience for intensely adult movies.

    Let’s look at a year when we can compare career highlights of Kubrick and Bergman.
    1964 — Dr Strangelove and The Silence (1963, but released in the US, 1964.)

    Top grossing movies of 1964 (family films in bold)

    Mary Poppins… $102 mil
    Lady & the Tramp… $93 mil
    My Fair Lady... $72 mil
    Goldfinger… $51 mil
    The Carpetbaggers… $28 mil
    From Russia with Love… $28 mil
    A Hard Day’s Night… $12 mil
    Father Goose… $12 mil
    A Shot in the Dark… $12 mil
    What a Way to Go… $11 mil
    The Unsinkable Molly Brown... $11 mil
    The Pink Panther… $10 mil
    Send Me No Flowers… $9 mil
    Good Neighbor Sam… $9 mil
    Viva Las Vegas… $9 mil
    Becket… $9 mil
    ** Dr Strangelove… $9 mil
    Zorba the Greek… $9 mil

    (notice that even aside from those purely family-friendly films, parents in 1964 could bring the kids along to 95% of those movies, right?)

    I can’t nail down the precise box-office numbers for The Silence, but the highest grossing foreign films of 1964 were
    Mafioso… earned a grand total of $270 thousand
    Contempt … $150 thousand
    A Woman is a Woman… $100 thousand

    can we agree that The White RIbbon and The Silence are comparable adult films?

    average ticket price in 1964 was 93 cents.
    so about 150,000 Americans paid to see Godard’s Contempt in 1964.
    is it fair to guess about the same number paid to see The Silence?

    in 2009, The White Ribbon earned $2.2 mil in the US
    average ticket price in 2009, $7.50
    so around 300,000 Americans paid to see The White Ribbon in 2009

    Shall we now look for a Dr Strangelove equivalent in 2009? a comparable bold stylish satire with political teeth featuring an all-star cast? Would Inglourious Basterds work as a fair parallel?

    1 million Americans paid to see Dr Strangelove in 1964
    16 million Americans paid to see Inglorious Basterds in 2009

    is it unfair to compare Tarantino and Kubrick?
    How about let’s go really artsy and obscure, compare Kubrick and Tom Ford
    fine then: 1.2 million Americans paid to see A Single Man
    (roughly the same number of American butts-in-seats for Dr Strangelove as there were for A Single Man)

    Plenty of Americans still go see adult films. I’d say more now than 50 years ago.
    When studios make movies for grownups, grownups still buy tickets.

    It’s just that kids today buy many many more tickets.

    (how many teenage boys do we think we going to theaters to see Goldfinger in 1964. A lot, no doubt.
    But there were not 300 million teenage boys lining up for James Bond or Inspector Clouseau in 1964.)

    footnote, 1967:

    American critics were respectful, but perplexed by Persona. Variety, always with an eye toward the box office, noted, “Bergman has come up with probably one of his most masterful films technically and in conception, but also one of his most difficult ones….It appears mainly for special usage and arty spots abroad.”

    let’s be generous and say 200,000 Americans bought a ticket to see Persona. (I think that’s a stretch)

    Here’s a measure of American moviegoer taste in 1967: the same year 200,000 Americans paid to see a Bergman film, 118 million tickets were sold for A Jungle Book. And 36 million grownup Americans paid $1.20 to see Valley of the Dolls.

  53. unlikelyhood

    Every time you say “adult films” I giggle at the idea of porn. Somehow I think this giggle relates to the larger topic. I like films with mature themes, but I also give free license to the asinine kid inside me. Everyone does. Maybe everyone always did.

    Love the statistics. Though 64 is a sort of loaded year, because if anything ever did tarnish the reputation of family films, it was the five-year glut of bad musicals and bloated sillinesses that followed the Sound of Music (1965). Sure, it’s an over-simplified way of looking at film history, but there’s still a kernel of truth to it: the late 60s was really the only time that the biggest hits of the period – Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, The Dirty Dozen, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch – came from films with low budgets while the big-budget extravaganzas struck out. Prior to that, if you spent more, you often made more, and that rule came back, obviously, after Star Wars. Somehow mucho dinero = family-friendly and poco dinero at least can = not so family-friendly. Why must that be?

    Peter Kramer in The New Hollywood makes your point that cheese never really went utterly out of style; Disney rereleases and Gone With the Wind did bangup business in the Nixon administration. Did you read (you and Sasha’s buddy) Mark Harris’ Pictures at a Revolution? He makes a great case that the 007 movies were forerunners of the adult movement to come, because they were made outside the system, and they pushed the envelope on sex and violence…he has some other reasons that I don’t remember, but he basically lambastes the studios for learning all the wrong lessons from those films and credits the New Hollywood (or whatever it’s called) for learning the right ones.

    No doubt there was an exciting movement there in the late 1960s and early 1970s, partly because Hollywood wanted in on the sex and violence that the Europeans were using to their advantage, partly because the moguls were dying and their studios taken over by business majors who didn’t know better, and partly because – and Harris isn’t as good on this point – the new studio heads (and some savvy directors and stars) decided they needed college kids, who at the time were known (at least by Time and Life and Newsweek) to favor alienated-ironic themes of the likes of Salinger, Heller, Sartre, Camus, Albee, Heinlein…very UNlike the way young people are known today. When Robert Evans or Mike Nichols or someone on their level was talking about a “youth revolution,” they meant films that the don’t-trust-anyone-over-30 crowd wouldn’t find ridiculous – these days, the same sentiment would only apply to tweens and fantasia like Harry Potter and Twilight. We’ve come a long way baby.

  54. unlikelyhood

    Every time you say “adult films” I giggle at the idea of porn. Somehow I think this giggle relates to the larger topic. I like films with mature themes, but I also give free license to the asinine kid inside me. Everyone does. Maybe everyone always did.

    Love the statistics. Though 64 is a sort of loaded year, because if anything ever did tarnish the reputation of family films, it was the five-year glut of bad musicals and bloated sillinesses that followed the Sound of Music (1965). Sure, it’s an over-simplified way of looking at film history, but there’s still a kernel of truth to it: the late 60s was really the only time that the biggest hits of the period – Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, The Dirty Dozen, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch – came from films with low budgets while the big-budget extravaganzas struck out. Prior to that, if you spent more, you often made more, and that rule came back, obviously, after Star Wars. Somehow mucho dinero = family-friendly and poco dinero at least can = not so family-friendly. Why must that be?

    Peter Kramer in The New Hollywood makes your point that cheese never really went utterly out of style; Disney rereleases and Gone With the Wind did bangup business in the Nixon administration. Did you read (you and Sasha’s buddy) Mark Harris’ Pictures at a Revolution? He makes a great case that the 007 movies were forerunners of the adult movement to come, because they were made outside the system, and they pushed the envelope on sex and violence…he has some other reasons that I don’t remember, but he basically lambastes the studios for learning all the wrong lessons from those films and credits the New Hollywood (or whatever it’s called) for learning the right ones.

    No doubt there was an exciting movement there in the late 1960s and early 1970s, partly because Hollywood wanted in on the sex and violence that the Europeans were using to their advantage, partly because the moguls were dying and their studios taken over by business majors who didn’t know better, and partly because – and Harris isn’t as good on this point – the new studio heads (and some savvy directors and stars) decided they needed college kids, who at the time were known (at least by Time and Life and Newsweek) to favor alienated-ironic themes of the likes of Salinger, Heller, Sartre, Camus, Albee, Heinlein…very UNlike the way young people are known today. When Robert Evans or Mike Nichols or someone on their level was talking about a “youth revolution,” they meant films that the don’t-trust-anyone-over-30 crowd wouldn’t find ridiculous – these days, the same sentiment would only apply to tweens and fantasia like Harry Potter and Twilight. We’ve come a long way baby.

  55. julian the emperor

    That last one was a good post, Ryan. And I think your point is a valid one. I don’t buy into this line of thinking; the cultural pessimism thing (“everything used to be much better” blah blah blah). That line of thinking is more often than not based on a massive distortion of reality on the part of the one who utters the concern and, frankly, often has to do with a generation gap issue.

    Thanks for the Variety sum up regarding Persona. Another one for my notebook, then…:)

  56. julian the emperor

    That last one was a good post, Ryan. And I think your point is a valid one. I don’t buy into this line of thinking; the cultural pessimism thing (“everything used to be much better” blah blah blah). That line of thinking is more often than not based on a massive distortion of reality on the part of the one who utters the concern and, frankly, often has to do with a generation gap issue.

    Thanks for the Variety sum up regarding Persona. Another one for my notebook, then…:)

  57. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Every time you say “adult films” I giggle at the idea of porn. Somehow I think this giggle relates to the larger topic. I like films with mature themes, but I also give free license to the asinine kid inside me. Everyone does. Maybe everyone always did.

    I’m the same way. We’re not alone.

    Still trying to scour around to find exact box-office numbers for The Silence in 1964, I ran across this:

    The Silence was even discussed in the Swedish parliament, when the right-wing member of parliament, Birger Isacson, asked the minister in question why censorship was being successively liberalised. He claimed that young people regarded The Silence as a superior form of pornography, travelling miles “to see the blatant sex scenes, elements of perversion and sick depravity.”

    One point of special interest to football fans is that when the legendary Italian team AC Milan was in Sweden to play a friendly match against IFK Norrköping in November 1963, the entire team was bussed up to the Röda Kvarn cinema in Stockholm to see this notorious film. Their Swedish coach Nisse Liedholm acted as interpreter. The Milan players liked the film a great deal, especially the direction and cinematography, and Ingrid Thulin’s performance in particular. The sex scenes, however, they thought were “a bit on the strong side”.

    The film’s international launch caused a similar furore, and consequently it was also an export success for SF [*Svensk Filmindustri ]. The Silence received the dubious distinction of being labelled a semi-pornographic film; In the USA, posters for the film featured a review from the New York Daily News: “On incest, self-defilement and nymphomania, this Bergman latest is the most shocking film I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe my eyes.” In New York it went on release in cinemas including the Rialto, notorious for its striptease shows.

    and yet, with all that going for it, The Silence still couldn’t lure more than 200,000 pervs into theaters in NY and LA.

    (The Silence sold 1.5 million tickets in Sweden)

  58. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Every time you say “adult films” I giggle at the idea of porn. Somehow I think this giggle relates to the larger topic. I like films with mature themes, but I also give free license to the asinine kid inside me. Everyone does. Maybe everyone always did.

    I’m the same way. We’re not alone.

    Still trying to scour around to find exact box-office numbers for The Silence in 1964, I ran across this:

    The Silence was even discussed in the Swedish parliament, when the right-wing member of parliament, Birger Isacson, asked the minister in question why censorship was being successively liberalised. He claimed that young people regarded The Silence as a superior form of pornography, travelling miles “to see the blatant sex scenes, elements of perversion and sick depravity.”

    One point of special interest to football fans is that when the legendary Italian team AC Milan was in Sweden to play a friendly match against IFK Norrköping in November 1963, the entire team was bussed up to the Röda Kvarn cinema in Stockholm to see this notorious film. Their Swedish coach Nisse Liedholm acted as interpreter. The Milan players liked the film a great deal, especially the direction and cinematography, and Ingrid Thulin’s performance in particular. The sex scenes, however, they thought were “a bit on the strong side”.

    The film’s international launch caused a similar furore, and consequently it was also an export success for SF [*Svensk Filmindustri ]. The Silence received the dubious distinction of being labelled a semi-pornographic film; In the USA, posters for the film featured a review from the New York Daily News: “On incest, self-defilement and nymphomania, this Bergman latest is the most shocking film I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe my eyes.” In New York it went on release in cinemas including the Rialto, notorious for its striptease shows.

    and yet, with all that going for it, The Silence still couldn’t lure more than 200,000 pervs into theaters in NY and LA.

    (The Silence sold 1.5 million tickets in Sweden)

  59. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Though 64 is a sort of loaded year

    I didn’t pick it because it was loaded though. I chose it trying to find a year when Kubrick and Bergman both had milestone films in American theaters.

    It’s easy to look back on past years, past decades, and remember them as chock full of masterpieces. But that’s just because we don’t have film professors reminding us of all the sillyass junk that most people in the 1960s were flocking to see instead. (We’ve got TCM to remind us about that.)

    The Great Race, 1965
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ErYCh_2BFk
    sold 25 million tickets

  60. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Though 64 is a sort of loaded year

    I didn’t pick it because it was loaded though. I chose it trying to find a year when Kubrick and Bergman both had milestone films in American theaters.

    It’s easy to look back on past years, past decades, and remember them as chock full of masterpieces. But that’s just because we don’t have film professors reminding us of all the sillyass junk that most people in the 1960s were flocking to see instead. (We’ve got TCM to remind us about that.)

    The Great Race, 1965
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ErYCh_2BFk
    sold 25 million tickets

  61. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    1965 box-office champs

    $163 mil – The Sound of Music
    $111 mil – Dr Zhivago
    $63 mil – Thunderball
    $31 mil – Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
    $28 mil – That Darn Cat!
    $25 mil – The Great Race

    family-friendly films dominated then too

    Serious films of 1965 that barely made a blip on the box-office radar
    Repulsion
    Darling
    Pierrot le Fou
    Juliet of the Spirits
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
    The Battle of Algiers

    none of the movies made for American grownups in 1965 took place in America!
    oh wait… The Cincinnati Kid

  62. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    1965 box-office champs

    $163 mil – The Sound of Music
    $111 mil – Dr Zhivago
    $63 mil – Thunderball
    $31 mil – Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
    $28 mil – That Darn Cat!
    $25 mil – The Great Race

    family-friendly films dominated then too

    Serious films of 1965 that barely made a blip on the box-office radar
    Repulsion
    Darling
    Pierrot le Fou
    Juliet of the Spirits
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
    The Battle of Algiers

    none of the movies made for American grownups in 1965 took place in America!
    oh wait… The Cincinnati Kid

  63. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Thanks for the Variety sum up regarding Persona. Another one for my notebook, then…:)

    julian the emperor, I lifted that quote from the TCM website.

    So that was a playful jab about TCM reminding us that silly movies have been around forever. (they broadcast The Great Race a week ago).

    TCM is an oasis on cable TV. When I’m not watching MSNBC or HBO, it’s TCM playing as screensaver.

  64. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Thanks for the Variety sum up regarding Persona. Another one for my notebook, then…:)

    julian the emperor, I lifted that quote from the TCM website.

    So that was a playful jab about TCM reminding us that silly movies have been around forever. (they broadcast The Great Race a week ago).

    TCM is an oasis on cable TV. When I’m not watching MSNBC or HBO, it’s TCM playing as screensaver.

  65. TCM… where would we be without it? Certainly worse off.

  66. TCM… where would we be without it? Certainly worse off.

  67. Yawn- Mark’s post shows the evidence against this article’s main point. There are plenty of female-driven films in this year’s Oscars. Literally, every Best Actress contender comes from a movie where there is no male co-lead. You dismiss The Help as having mothers who don’t care for their children, but you neglect to mention that they leave the job up to other mothers. You also forget to mention that a main criticism of the film was that there were no men in the film who were looked upon favorably.

    Then, as other pointed out, last year’s films saw the complete opposite phenomenon- tons of present mothers, absent fathers.

    In our world of superhero films, action films, and bro comedies, I’ll give you that there is a gender imbalance in Hollywood. But to me, the one place where that isn’t as noticeable is the Oscars.

  68. Yawn- Mark’s post shows the evidence against this article’s main point. There are plenty of female-driven films in this year’s Oscars. Literally, every Best Actress contender comes from a movie where there is no male co-lead. You dismiss The Help as having mothers who don’t care for their children, but you neglect to mention that they leave the job up to other mothers. You also forget to mention that a main criticism of the film was that there were no men in the film who were looked upon favorably.

    Then, as other pointed out, last year’s films saw the complete opposite phenomenon- tons of present mothers, absent fathers.

    In our world of superhero films, action films, and bro comedies, I’ll give you that there is a gender imbalance in Hollywood. But to me, the one place where that isn’t as noticeable is the Oscars.

  69. Looks like this year’s Oscars will have good looking actor nominees. :)

  70. Looks like this year’s Oscars will have good looking actor nominees. :)

  71. Unlikelyhood, if you watch Men of a Certain Age you might possibly note that it had as many if not more female fans than male fans.

  72. Unlikelyhood, if you watch Men of a Certain Age you might possibly note that it had as many if not more female fans than male fans.

  73. Not a big awards contender but both kids in Super 8 were being raised by single Dads and that felt unusual to see in a Summer blockbuster.

  74. Not a big awards contender but both kids in Super 8 were being raised by single Dads and that felt unusual to see in a Summer blockbuster.

  75. Hope you guys don’t mind, but might I take this space to plug my own blog? That’s a bit shameless, yes, but I’m such a devoted reader of Awards Daily, I hope this isn’t too shameless :D

    It’s just a little Oscar blog, nothing much, certainly nothing on the sort of scale as this site, and rest assured I will remain faithful to this site. But if y’all wouldn’t mind popping over to have a wee look, I’d be so happy.

    http://screenonscreen.blogspot.com/

  76. Hope you guys don’t mind, but might I take this space to plug my own blog? That’s a bit shameless, yes, but I’m such a devoted reader of Awards Daily, I hope this isn’t too shameless :D

    It’s just a little Oscar blog, nothing much, certainly nothing on the sort of scale as this site, and rest assured I will remain faithful to this site. But if y’all wouldn’t mind popping over to have a wee look, I’d be so happy.

    http://screenonscreen.blogspot.com/

  77. Jamesintoronto

    I was watching the PBS doc on Woody Allen recently and it made me nostalgic for a time when films were made for adults. Annie Hall was a film aimed squarely at smart and sophisticated adults, something that mainstream Hollywood would seems loathe to do today. Damn those teen boys! (just kidding, not really).

  78. Jamesintoronto

    I was watching the PBS doc on Woody Allen recently and it made me nostalgic for a time when films were made for adults. Annie Hall was a film aimed squarely at smart and sophisticated adults, something that mainstream Hollywood would seems loathe to do today. Damn those teen boys! (just kidding, not really).

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