Julie Delpy is an Oscar-nominee. She lost on Sunday night – she was one of the co-screenwriters up for Best Adapted Screenplay for her part in creating the script for Before Midnight, jointly with Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater. I thought the nomination for that script was a lovely tip of the hat from the Academy for this bizarre and delightful journey the three of them were on for twenty years, making an unconventional trilogy for these beloved characters. I’m not sure anyone thought they would win, but I hoped that they would be honored that their unconventional passion project had earned them recognition from the Academy. Well, maybe Ethan Hawke was pleased, but Julie Delpy was not. In an interview printed just a few days before the Oscars, Julie went OFF:
Complaints about the Oscars’ gender disparities are in no short supply, even from the nominees themselves. But “Before Midnight” co-star Julie Delpy, who’s a Best Original Screenplay contender for penning the movie’s script with Ethan Hawke and director Richard Linklater, thinks the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ rich, white, male-dominated voting body is so far gone that she doesn’t even care.
“We have the Golden Globes. If you could see it, you wouldn’t believe that there’s anything good about it. The same goes for the Oscars,” Delpy told So Film, via the Irish Independent. “It’s 90 percent white men over 70 who need money because they haven’t done anything in a long time. You just need to give them two or three presents and they’re in your pocket. It doesn’t mean anything to me, so I don’t really care if there are women in the selection process.”
The actress’ candid remarks are a departure from much of what’s said about the state of Oscar voting. A recent New York Film Academy infographic reported a 5:1 disparity in men working in film compared to women, while a Lee & Low Books chart spotlighted the paltry 23 percent of the Academy that’s female.
Delpy also bemoaned what she sees as the declining state of independent cinema, which she attributes to Hollywood heavyweights like Harvey Weinstein. “I think they love cinema, but they also like to take a movie and give it an added value, then kill everything left behind,” she said. “This has a lot to do with the Oscars. In the ’90s, there were real independent movies, but they have slowly been crushed by the majors. The minute they take over something, they crush it. … Every time I’ve become a part of the Hollywood mainstream, it’s been crap! Let’s be honest: 90 percent of movies made in Hollywood are crap.”
Okay! Thanks for playing, Julie. Here’s the thing: if you want to have an honest, no-BS conversation about gender disparity in Hollywood, have at it. But it complicates the issue when you’re complaining about gender disparities while promoting your work for which you’ve been recognized by the Academy. And it’s another thing altogether to say that Academy members are on the take. I’m sure some of them would like some money, but Julie is missing something very important: it doesn’t matter who you buy off, Academy members aren’t going to vote for you if you make such a big deal (publicly) about thinking the Academy is full of crap and you don’t care. Maybe she really doesn’t care. But then why even bother showing up? Why even go to the Oscars… and the Oscar after-parties? Because she does care.
Photos courtesy of WENN.