Only 5 women have ever been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director — and only one of those nominations happened in the past decade.
So this year, Natalie Portman decided to make a point. She wore a Dior-designed cape to the award show that was embroidered with the names of the women who were snubbed for Best Director nominations, including Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers); Greta Gerwig (Little Women); Lulu Wang (The Farewell); Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim); Alma Har'el (Honey Boy); and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
As Portman explained to the Los Angeles Times, "I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way."
I don't normally pay much attention to the Oscars, in part because I know that it's always going to be a disappointing Old Boys Club showing of the exact same kinds of movies every time. And, well, that's exactly what Portman's pointing out here. There are plenty of cynical things I could say about celebrity gossip and performative protest and all. But right now, I think it's just important: fuck yeah Natalie. Good on you. Here's hoping that it makes even a little bit of difference.
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While presenting the Oscar for live-action short film in 1988, Pee-wee Herman is interrupted by "giant robot mechanical monster," aka ED-209 from the 1987 film RoboCop. Then things get weird... in a good way. Just watch:
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Even if you don't win an Oscar (the golden statuette itself is only worth $1), if you're an Academy Award nominee you walk away with a gift bag filled with some seriously lavish schwag.
Town & Country reports that each one is stuffed with promotional gifts valued at $120K:
...the swag bag includes a variety of luxury items, from spa-grade cosmetics, to the advanced Quip electric toothbrush, a year-supply of fresh California oranges, an experience with a personal trainer, and 6-12-day travel packages to Tanzania, Greece, and Hawaii.
For the past 16 years, marketing agency Distinctive Assets has made the "'Everyone Wins' Nominee Gift Bag." Interestingly, the bag is unofficial and not presented at the awards ceremony itself.
The Washington Post reports:
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Each bag is big enough to fit a number of human bodies and heavy enough to risk back injury if you tried to lift it with poor form...
It’s difficult to behold the collection of gifts without contemplating class war. This year’s offerings include a slate of skin-care, weight-loss and anti-aging products designed to fend off the inevitable progression of human life, as well as something called “Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.” The bag features fancy chocolates from Chocolatines in flavors unknown to the proletariat such as “Champagne Diamond” and “Ginger Sake Pearl.” We sampled the “Pomegranate Balsamic Ruby” but couldn’t taste the ruby.
This year’s most expensive offering is a $40,000 luxury trip to Tanzania from International Expeditions...
Some of the bag’s gifts make strange bedfellows.