Julie Stalmer 9:30 a.m., Jan. 17
Actress from The Actress Reacts to Pro-Hugo Defense
The following Facebook encounter took place between an industry-insider friend, we'll call him "Kappy," and an actress who has a small role in the odds-on favorite to take home this year's best picture Oscar, The Artist.
"Kappy's" Facebook wall has been plastered of late with nothing but praise for Hugo and almost equal doses of scorn for The Artist. At times, "Kappy" uses his love for Hugo as a sole means of attack. Normally I cannot endorse the act of praising one film at the expense of another, but in the case of Marty I say bite 'em, claw 'em, scratch 'em, put heads in vices, do whatever you gotta' do to bring another honor, even an Academy Award, His way!
The actress, hereupon referred to as "Ann," has this to say in response to what she views as "Kappy's" misapplied enthusiasm:
We don't know each other, but you friend requested me last year, and I accepted. I'm sure you saw that we have many mutual friends in common as I am an actress.
I wanted to tell you politely in a private message that I think it's in rather poor taste to be criticizing the fan fare and recognition that "The Artist" and it's cast and crew and director are receiving. Martin Scorcese (SIC!) is an incredible director and "Hugo" it a terrific movie, but there are people in our community (myself being one of them) who worked very hard on "The Artist" and love and respect and care about Michel and Jean and Berenice and Thomas, etc. and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that your negative comments about the film are rather offensive. As your "friend" I would like to suggest that this is not the community that you want to alienate especially in your position. I'm sure Heidi Levitt and Michael Sanford aren't thrilled to see you bashing a film that they sunk a lot of time and heart and soul into.
I think it's best to view the awards as a gorgeous celebration of our industry. Everyone is a winner. And I feel really good about the fact that "Hugo" and "The Artist" are being recognized and celebrated in the way that they are - it gives me faith and hope that movies can be popular without a lot of gratuitous sex and violence. And that if we just tell stories from our hearts, the public will go and love it.
I hope you take my message with the care and consideration with which I mean it. I obviously could have just "unfriended" you so I wouldn't be bothered by your comments, but I wanted to take the time and trouble to perhaps steer you in a better, more productive direction with your love for Marty who has had an incredible career and whom I know for a fact is thrilled for Michel and friends for "The Artist."
Hard work alone does not a best picture make. Do you know how arduously the crew struggled to find Martin Lawrence temporary housing inside Big Mommas' fat suit? Those poor germokes didn't even get a best costume nod! "Ann" knows for a fact that Marty is thrilled over the success of his competition, yet she fails to spell His name right. And she has the audacity to indicate that Kappy might never again find work in Hollywood?!
We are in complete agreement, Ann, when it comes to viewing awards gala as gorgeous celebrations of the industry where everyone is a winner. Sadly, this kind of thinking only happens in movies. Come Oscar night, it's only about winners, the losers names destined to live on in the form of Trivial Pursuit answers. Come to think of it, the same applies to the Oscar recipients. I can't call to mind the names of last year's best supporting actor or actress.
Kappy comes back swinging:
Sorry. But if I don't like something, it is my inalienable right to say I don't like it. And I think "The Artist" is the most overrated film of the year, a film completely bereft of original ideas, and I am not the only one who thinks this. Last I heard, this is America and you have the freedom to say whatever you want, whether or not it is popular or unpopular. I refuse to shutter my opinions on any subject just because someone may disagree with me. I believe it was Voltaire who said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I believe not saying how you feel is a form of censorship, which I will not be a part of. I am happy for you being a part of "The Artist" and I am sure the director, cast and crew are all lovely and talented people. However, worthy of a Best Picture/ Best Director Oscar I truly believe it is not. But this is my own opinion. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter what I think, to be honest.
I do appreciate your letter and wish you the best of luck in your career.
Thanks for sharing, Kappy, and kudos for draping you argument in shades of good-old American red, white, and blue. That will teach Harvey Weinstein's freedom fries-eating collaboration workers a thing or three. I cannot believe that the Academy has not learned its lesson and that they will actually bring Marty all the way to Los Angeles only to send Him back home empty-handed.
More like this:
- Don't forget this Sunday's Live Oscar Blog! — Feb. 20, 2013
- There's Always Hope for Tonight's Live Oscar-Blog — Feb. 26, 2012
- Oscar Picks and Shovels — Jan. 24, 2012
- Hugo Receives 11 Academy Award Nominations — Jan. 24, 2012
- Now Is the Time for All Good People to Come to the Aid of Their Marty! — Nov. 19, 2011