The Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences has decided who will take home
the Oscars this Sunday, but most of the actors, directors and filmmakers we
love don’t have any awards to give. Or they didn’t, until now.
We asked 12 of our
favorite women to name their own film awards. Some chose to recognize serious,
Oscar-worthy performances, and others made up awards for less-appreciated
categories such as Gayest Straight Character and Best Naked Knife Fight.
The result? Well, let’s
just say it would be a far more interesting and entertaining night at the
Oscars if the Academy listened to what the women in and behind lesbian
filmmaking have to say.
The envelopes, please …
Marlee Matlin was just 21 years old when she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Children of a Lesser God. Since then, she has written children’s books, appeared in more than a dozen movies and network TV shows, and, of course, starred for two seasons opposite Jennifer Beals in The L Word. Next month, Matlin will compete on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, and in late April, she will co-star with Jeff Daniels in Sweet Nothing in My Ear on CBS.
Favorite Film: “La Vie En Rose, hands down. What a performance by Marion Cotillard. What a story. I felt as if I were actually watching Edith Piaf on screen. For me, her transformation from young to old Edith Piaf was unprecedented in film.”
Role I Would’ve Killed For: “I would’ve loved Amy Ryan’s part in Gone Baby Gone. It really was heart-wrenching to see her character torn between her drug addiction and her baby daughter’s safety. Her performance was raw, naked and so present.”
Character Who Should’ve Been a Lesbian: “Javier Bardem’s character in No Country for Old Men. A great film, but the film had only one supporting role for a woman. So why not go all the way and make one of this year’s more memorable performances a lesbian? It would’ve been great. And I would’ve loved to play that, too!”
Most Emotional Film: “La Vie En Rose. Not only did I cry, I sat there with my mouth hanging open at the bravery of Marion’s performance. If they give her the Oscar on Academy Award night, they might as well throw the Kodak Theatre in with it. She deserves it all.”
Best Film to Tell a Story With Limited Dialogue: “There Will Be Blood. There were scenes that were shot like a silent film; the story was told entirely with the camera and actors’ faces and bodies. Don’t get me wrong — dialogue is important, but if I’m relying on a movie that’s not closed captioned or subtitled (Hear that Hollywood? It’s time you make movies accessible for 26 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people), I have to watch the actors’ faces, bodies. And 99 times out of 100, I see a good performance just by the way an actor moves and interacts with the other actors and their environment. And I know a good film by the way the director uses his/her camera and brings the story together on screen. Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis did just that in There Will Be Blood.“
Out bisexual Ellen Huang is a former film executive who created Queer Lounge, which gives audience
members, industry insiders and the press a social hub for discussing and
learning about LGBT film offerings at the Sundance Film Festival.
Best Scene: “Amy Adams popping out
of a sewer in a fluffy princess dress in Enchanted. I
love Amy Adams. She is definitely one to watch.”
Film I Wish I’d Written or Directed: “La Vie En Rose. Marion Cotillard gave one of the most inspired
performances ever — yeah, maybe even better than Meryl Streep!”
Biggest Industry Issue: “The Writers’ Strike had a lot of
impact. … It’s important that all of us support writers because every
line, every scene that you can recall in a great movie or TV series of years
past — someone wrote that!”
Biggest Box Office Hit Using the Worst Stereotypes of Gays and
Lesbians:I Now Pronounce You Chuck