The 95th Academy Awards were quite painful to watch for me, especially when it came to the nominations for Best Supporting Actress. I’m a fan of both Angela Bassett and Jamie Lee Curtis. Two powerful, beautiful phenomenal women rocking their game and both deserve to be rewarded. But there was viral attention focussing on Angela Bassett within seconds of her not collecting her much deserved Oscar. Did I feel for her? Of course, I did. Is the backlash justified? Well let’s discuss.
Black women have been underpaid and undervalued in the media – especially in Hollywood – for decades. Angela‘s work has proved itself for the last 20+ years; Boys in the Hood, Notorious, What’s Love Got To Do With It and, amongst other great films, Black Panther.
Jamie Lee Curtis is also a great actress, who could forget Trading Places, Freaky Friday, A Fish Called Wanda and, of course, True Lies. Jamie probably hasn’t had to work through the same obstacles as Angela and (possibly) had the privilege of mum and dad’s (Janet Lee and Tony Curtis) skills being passed down to her.
As midlife women let’s give credit where it’s due. Both of these women look amazing and it doesn’t seem as if they’re going to be stopping anytime soon. That in itself gives so much confidence to so many midlife women black and white, regardless of their chosen career. Hollywood and the workplace in general puts a ceiling above women once they reach 45/50 and the natural behaviour pattern was to hide, to think you’re no longer glamorous, your fashion sense is no longer a priority and as for self-care…. what’s that??? Not the case with these two ladies both 64, both well groomed, both clearly love themselves, and their bodies and take care of themselves inside and out.
So, let’s focus on these films. ‘Everything Everywhere’ focuses on generational trauma and ADHD, a very important subject which, as a midlifer, I would never have admitted to even experiencing either but we have a younger generation now who will discuss emotional, personal and family trauma, as well as ADHD. So as well as encapsulating Hollywood glam it spoke volumes with regards to socials issues. On the other hand I give props to Ryan Coogler and the whole Black Panther team and cast not forgetting, of course, Stan Lee who created the main character at a time when it was probably a very brave thing to do in Hollywood as a white man, and, let’s face it, the Black Panther films are unapologetically black
So I think it was only natural that Angela was disappointed, and I respect her for not hiding her disappointment, for being real. She’s only human, and she’s definitely not the first – and won’t be the last – to facially express how she feels at an Awards ceremony. Perhaps it was just Jamie‘s time bearing in mind both mum and dad never received Oscars, but although I was so torn, I have to be totally honest here and say I do wish Angela had picked up the award this year.