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Super Social Analysis: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and LGBT in Movies

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Interestingly enough, the girl who played Clove tried out for Katniss.

She was one of the ones they said was too young. They also said she was too old to be Prim.

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I don't remember the details, but there was a lot of criticism that a number of post racial/bi-racial/olive skinned/curly haired characters in both book series went default white in the movies.

I didn't think Divergent had the same problem, did it? Christina nor Uriah were made white in that, and Tori was Asian.

 

I loved that Creed explored 21st century African-American culture in Philadelphia, a city that is currently undergoing gentrification but also having strong poverty and education woes. From the motorbikes popping wheelies, to those wonderful murals, "jawn", to Adonis helping Bianca with her hair...it was great to watch. If there is a sequel, I would like them to address the gentrification issue, because as this article argues, Rocky I had this undercurrent of white flight fears in 1970's Philadelphia. Now, it's reversed, with black neighborhoods feeling tension about white people moving into their neighborhoods.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I think the problem also had to do with the casting call. They were only looking for a Caucasian actress. That was what Lionsgate was asking for. And if you have ever watched any of those videos on YouTube about who else could have been cast as Katniss, the only ones that look small and dark haired and dark eyed are dismissed immediately by there age (they were too young, which is bs if they wanted a stunted looking Katniss ) and the rest are almost all blondes with blue eyes.

Yes, I think the big problem with The Hunger Games had to do with the racially exclusive casting call. It's true that Katniss' race isn't made explicit in the books - I'll mention here that Suzanne Collins used to acknowledge that it's implied that she's most likely mixed race; but as soon as the casting controversy picked up steam, she reversed course and started toeing the party line and saying how it was nothing that hair dye and makeup couldn't fix - so it's not that Katniss should absolutely, positively, 100% should have been a WOC. But her race was left ambiguous and there was nothing to indicate that she was 100% white either. (No, Prim having blond hair is not proof.) So why was casting limited to white women? People tried to defend the casting by saying that they cast based on merit, but how can they say that when WOC weren't even given a chance? And then to add insult to injury, the cast & crew basically tried to strawman the objections by acting as though people were just being unreasonable book purists who were unhappy about eye color. Which was definitely the case for some people - remember Harry Potter fans who were pissy because Daniel Radcliffe didn't have green eyes? - but that hardly accounted for the entire controversy. 

Edited by galax-arena
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Katniss had olive skin as well as dark hair.

 

That's your problem right there. "Olive" is one of the most subjective adjectives you can use to describe a person's coloring. It can mean pretty much anything and fit any ethnic background. 

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Well in addition to the Olive skin the idea with the Hunger Games was that it takes place so far in the future that "races/ethnicities" have been mixing for decades so the idea is that the people of Panem look more "multi-cultural" and darker skinned. 

 

Then there was also the issue of racism in regard to Rue, a character that is pretty much described as "black/African American" and from an area of Panem that was traditionally "black/African American", then you have the shock and not so subtle racism of those who had an issue with the character being black while simultaneously not realizing that the character was Black in the book.  That to me was the more telling side of it. 

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That's your problem right there. "Olive" is one of the most subjective adjectives you can use to describe a person's coloring. It can mean pretty much anything and fit any ethnic background.

I agree. Personally, I imagined someone who looked like Alicia Vikander in the role and she's Swedish. It's the idea that there were no woman /teen girls who identify as anything other then Caucasian that had this opportunity. This also locks those actresses out of the chance of being seen and remembered /considered for anything else in the future.

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I watched The Princess and the Frog the other night, for the first time since I saw it in theatres.  I think it's quite a good movie -- watching it reminded me, though, of how the directors must have been besieged by a zillion studio notes about all the different messages they had to convey and all the pitfalls to avoid, often ones that are a bit at odds with each other.  Both because it was the first Disney "princess" movie made after the Disney Princess line became a thing, and the first movie with a black female lead, they had to address a ton of baggage on both fronts.  So, e.g., the prior movies have been criticized oftentimes for the girls' lack of interest in anything but romance, so we've got Tiana's main plot being about wanting to work really hard and open a restaurant; but they'd catch hell if the first black princess had no love interest, so she's got a romance too.  It's a wonder it all works as well as it does.

 

It's also quite atypical for the "princess" movies in that it's set in the recognizable modern world (or, I guess, the recent past).  They gingerly hint at racial discrimination, since they couldn't ignore that outright, but at the same time too much would swallow the movie (and, again, a concern the other movies don't have; nobody worried about whether Beauty and the Beast was an accurate representation of the life of a 17th century French peasant).

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That movie had a guy who was cursed to become a bull-werewolf and a whole castle full of people who had been turned into animated household objects. I wasn't really holding out for a high standard of realism while watching it.

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I agree. Personally, I imagined someone who looked like Alicia Vikander in the role and she's Swedish. It's the idea that there were no woman /teen girls who identify as anything other then Caucasian that had this opportunity. This also locks those actresses out of the chance of being seen and remembered /considered for anything else in the future.

Right, I clicked through one of those "18 Actresses Who Tried Out For Katniss" slideshows last week and several ended up in other YA movies, some from the same studio. Even if someone wasn't right for Katniss, purely on an acting level, they get on the studio's radar for other projects. Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for Bella in Twilight, which was made by Summit/Lionsgate, like The Hunger Games.

Given the reaction from some corners to Rue being black, even though the book all but spelled it out, if the movie had cast an actress who wasn't strictly white as Katniss, but a blonde and fair Prim, even more brains would have broken and heads exploded. The studio probably would've urged the director to "explain" onscreen how two biological siblings ended up looking so different from each other, ethnically. Kids grow up watching Disney and Nickelodeon shows that completely handwave/ignore this issue and still manage to be very popular, but movie studios often pander to the absolute idiots of the world, because they want their ticket money, too. But sometimes I think Hollywood is very insular and uses "Middle America" as an excuse not to change.

Edited by Dejana
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Given the reaction from some corners to Rue being black, even though the book all but spelled it out, if the movie had cast an actress who wasn't strictly white as Katniss, but a blonde and fair Prim, even more brains would have broken and heads exploded. The studio probably would've urged the director to "explain" onscreen how two biological siblings ended up looking so different from each other, ethnically.

I hate that everything has to be brought down for the most ignorant of audience members to accept. Okay not everyone lives by or know personally biracial people and families but in this age of media no one can Google this;

https://www.google.ca/search?q=racially+diverse+twins&oq=racially+diverse+twins&aqs=chrome..69i57.20022j0j4&client=tablet-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=Or4fvyU9SWlIVM%3A

Or this;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1103391/Mixed-race-couple-birth-black-white-twins--second-time.html

???

Edited by raezen

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That's your problem right there. "Olive" is one of the most subjective adjectives you can use to describe a person's coloring. It can mean pretty much anything and fit any ethnic background.

I suppose olive can be defined pretty broadly, yet olive is not a word that springs to mind when I think of Jennifer Lawrence.

 

...But sometimes I think Hollywood is very insular and uses "Middle America" as an excuse not to change.

Fixed.

OK, perhaps I overstated things. Apparently there are a distressingly large number of people who think that, because of the color of his skin, Idris Elba wouldn't make a fantastic James Bond. Yet I believe, or like to believe, that "Middle America" is more enlightened than Hollywood thinks, or wants to think, it is.

Not that I'm Mr. Englightened or believe that every movie should be an implicit Ode to Diversity, but I'd rather Audra McDonald be cast as the Mother Abbess of an Austrian convent in the 30s than focus on historical accuracy.

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I suppose olive can be defined pretty broadly, yet olive is not a word that springs to mind when I think of Jennifer Lawrence.

And yet, they can get away with it because even the whitest of people is only one tan away from having "olive" skin*.

It works the other way too. I remember when they were casting the Dornish characters in Game of Thrones. In the books the Dornish are a more racially diverse people than the rest of Westeros, but the characters in question were described as olive skinned and the books' author explicitly compared them to Spaniards or Italians. A lot of people were pissed because when they read "olive" they pictured light skinned black people or Indians.

* Assuming of course, that they don't belong to the subset of white people that need to slather themselves in sunscreen before so much as thinking about the beach

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I always assumed the Dornish were like Moroccan or Arbabic, the horse riding, the "spicy" food, the heat, the clothes, a more desert like geography. 

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Interestingly enough, the girl who played Clove tried out for Katniss.

 

The girl who played Clove is Isabelle Fuhrman, who was also in Orphan playing the psychotic Esther. I'm wondering if Furhman would have been considered an improvement over Lawrence, since she's at least familiar with playing characters with full-on emotional problems.

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The girl who played Clove is Isabelle Fuhrman, who was also in Orphan playing the psychotic Esther. I'm wondering if Furhman would have been considered an improvement over Lawrence, since she's at least familiar with playing characters with full-on emotional problems.

Heh. That might have been interesting.

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Looking at the 18 actresses for Katniss thing, many of them wouldn't be considered anyone's definition of olive skinned.

 

I pictured Dorne as Moorish Spain.

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IMO Scott Rudin came out looking like a complete asshole for what he said behind Angelina's back, especially when you read her side of the e-mails and they are incredibly friendly and cooperative.  Just goes to show you how perception counts against women.

 

Yeah, this. And that not only is Scott Rudin, who has a fair amount of say about what work woman actors get and how much they get paid for it, contemptuous of women, he was a cheerful participant in the racist e-mail exchange that got Amy Pascal fired. Unless he had more than 12 upcoming projects in the works before all that happened, I don't think his career has suffered an equivalent amount.

Edited by Julia
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This is me being extra-sensitive and I honestly try not to be, but I have noticed (maybe just in my head) a strange pattern in sci-fi movies-the actors of color are more and more likely to play under heavy makeup or performance capture: see Zoe Saldana and nearly all the Nav'i in Avatar, Lupita Nyong'o in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now, incredibly, Idris Elba in the new Star Trek: Beyond trailer. No, not kidding.

 

http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/star-trek-3-beyond-image-21.png

 

Someone as good looking as Idris Elba and you hide him under pounds of makeup?!?! I know this could be good for his career and all, but still. I find this sort of...hmmm.

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This is me being extra-sensitive and I honestly try not to be, but I have noticed (maybe just in my head) a strange pattern in sci-fi movies-the actors of color are more and more likely to play under heavy makeup or performance capture: see Zoe Saldana and nearly all the Nav'i in Avatar, Lupita Nyong'o in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now, incredibly, Idris Elba in the new Star Trek: Beyond trailer. No, not kidding.

 

Sofia Boutella, who played Gazelle in Kingsman, has also been cast in Star Trek: Beyond.

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Yeah I like the idea that Russell works casts Lawrence not because she's young but that's she's the only one who can put up with him.

 

Emma Stone has had the same problem with older leading men and this quote from a negative review of Aloha pretty much sums it up:

 

And for Stone, these roles are becoming a trap. It makes every older white writer/director feel like a creep, watching them make these movies where the entire point seems to be "Scamper around in front of my camera, you adorable thing, so the world can see you through my eyes." Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. I can buy McAdams and Cooper as age-appropriate, but Stone feels like she is so much younger than Cooper that he just comes off as a sad, broken old man who is attracted to her youth like a vampire, not because of who she is as a person.

 

Edited by VCRTracking
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And for Stone, these roles are becoming a trap. It makes every older white writer/director feel like a creep, watching them make these movies where the entire point seems to be "Scamper around in front of my camera, you adorable thing, so the world can see you through my eyes." Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. I can buy McAdams and Cooper as age-appropriate, but Stone feels like she is so much younger than Cooper that he just comes off as a sad, broken old man who is attracted to her youth like a vampire, not because of who she is as a person.

 

Y'know, not that anyone cares what I think, but I'm really uncomfortable with the idea that Bradley Cooper is "sad, broken, and old", particularly if we extrapolate from that and presume that's that what makes Rachel McAdams (37) seem age-appropriate for him. Forty is apparently not the new twenty after all, its the new seventy.

 

Meanwhile, we've got eighty-six year old Barbara Walters telling Cooper how "screwable" she finds him, which is something that would never in a thousand years fly if the roles were reversed. And its not even that I fear for Cooper's delicate sensibilities, but seriously. If we extrapolate further, Jennifer Lawrence is two years younger than Emma Stone, who turned twenty-seven in November. I'm intrigued by the notion that JL seems older than ES and therefore not as "Ick, ick, ick," when paired with Cooper in a movie. Granted, gingers age at about half the normal rate as everyone else, but Stone isn't really a ginger, she's a blonde. So I'm not sure this writer is actually paying her a compliment when they say she seems so much younger than decrepit BC. To hear them tell it, he's got one foot in the grave (or is that in a coffin, since he's a vampire and all) and the other on a banana peel.

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To be fair the "ick" part was referring to Cameron Crowe and presumably other directors *cough* Woody Allen, who cast in her May December romances. Here's the part just before the quote I posted:

 

Then there's Emma Stone. Poor Emma Stone. Imagine being so effervescent that directors and writers stop even trying the moment you're cast. "What? We've got Emma Stone? Well, then, no need to write anything. She's charming." She plays an unplayable character here, a Manic Pixie Dream Fighter Pilot, and the weird combination of hard-nosed military and silly romantic that Crowe tries to create simply doesn't gel. She tries to bring her scenes to life, but they are so patently false that she just keeps slamming into the text like it's a wall. This is a common problem for her. The "Spider-Man" movies feature entire scenes where she never delivers any real line of dialogue, but her own personality is enough to fool you into thinking you just saw a scene involving a character. "Aloha" leans on the adorable side of her personality real hard, and sure enough, she is adorable. But in so many ways, I find this disrespectful to both the audience and the actor. She is a compelling performer, so write something compelling for her.

 

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Y'know, not that anyone cares what I think, but I'm really uncomfortable with the idea that Bradley Cooper is "sad, broken, and old", particularly if we extrapolate from that and presume that's that what makes Rachel McAdams (37) seem age-appropriate for him. Forty is apparently not the new twenty after all, its the new seventy.

 

Meanwhile, we've got eighty-six year old Barbara Walters telling Cooper how "screwable" she finds him, which is something that would never in a thousand years fly if the roles were reversed. And its not even that I fear for Cooper's delicate sensibilities, but seriously. If we extrapolate further, Jennifer Lawrence is two years younger than Emma Stone, who turned twenty-seven in November. I'm intrigued by the notion that JL seems older than ES and therefore not as "Ick, ick, ick," when paired with Cooper in a movie. Granted, gingers age at about half the normal rate as everyone else, but Stone isn't really a ginger, she's a blonde. So I'm not sure this writer is actually paying her a compliment when they say she seems so much younger than decrepit BC. To hear them tell it, he's got one foot in the grave (or is that in a coffin, since he's a vampire and all) and the other on a banana peel.

I think JL is the poster child for this.  People, myself included have been complaining about JL and Bradley being age inappropriate every time they play a couple on screen.  IMO, the criticism in the past hasn't been about Cooper being too old, it has been about JL playing/being cast as characters who are supposed to be at least a decade older than she is.  Namely her taking over two roles from Angelina Jolie who actually is age appropriate to Bradley Cooper.

 

I think the difference with Emma and Jennifer is that we were introduced to Emma playing teens and young women, very age appropriate roles.  With Jennifer she has always played some variation as "older" either in age or characterization.  Even in Winter's Bone where she plays a late teen. She is essentially "an adult" character.  Also I think the genre of movie definitely plays a part as well.  Emma is known more for comedy, and JL for drama.  For example, if "Aloha" were a heavy drama I don't know if the same criticism would be there.

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I think JL is the poster child for this.  People, myself included have been complaining about JL and Bradley being age inappropriate every time they play a couple on screen.  IMO, the criticism in the past hasn't been about Cooper being too old, it has been about JL playing/being cast as characters who are supposed to be at least a decade older than she is.  Namely her taking over two roles from Angelina Jolie who actually is age appropriate to Bradley Cooper.

 

I think the difference with Emma and Jennifer is that we were introduced to Emma playing teens and young women, very age appropriate roles.  With Jennifer she has always played some variation as "older" either in age or characterization.  Even in Winter's Bone where she plays a late teen. She is essentially "an adult" character.  Also I think the genre of movie definitely plays a part as well.  Emma is known more for comedy, and JL for drama.  For example, if "Aloha" were a heavy drama I don't know if the same criticism would be there.

 

Except this criticism is about Cooper's age, IMO, since why else bring up that he comes off like a vampire opposite fresh-faced Stone? If they were talking about simple acting styles, the article would have had a different feel to it, but they weren't.

 

I'll admit that Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence do tend to play different types of characters. Even Katniss Everdeen could qualify as an 'old soul' despite her youth, and I'm not sure Emma would have been able to pull off the role, although I do think she can do drama given the chance. But if we're going to restrict the discussion to the matter of age, Jodie Foster was fourteen when she was in Taxi Driver, and her Iris was a forty-year-old woman in a girl's body. Despite that, among the scores of criticisms I've seen of Martin Scorsese over the years, I don't think I've ever seen someone accuse him of perving on women young enough to be his daughter.

 

I don't know, maybe I'm just reacting to the idea that men can't help being "icky" when younger women are around, and if Cooper (or the fifty eight year old Cameron Crowe, for that matter) were Al Pacino's age I might have a different reaction. But even with that possibility, now that Leonardo DiCaprio has decided to adopt Jack Nicholson's persona at the age of forty-one, I'm not sure age is the relevant thing. DiCaprio was born a couple of months before Cooper, so that he's elected to behave like a seventy eight year old man pretending he's twenty-five seems like a worthier subject for scrutiny, not to mention ridicule.

 

As for Angelina Jolie, didn't she drop out of a couple of movies due to her health issues, not because Lawrence "stole" those roles from her? I could swear she was slated to be in Silver Linings Playbook[ but then had to bow out because of her medical problems. I mean, I guess the idea that JL is secretly scheming to take parts that could go to older actresses fits in with the idea that BC is some dirty old man glomming onto the youngest woman he can find, but it doesn't feel true, if that makes sense.

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As for Angelina Jolie, didn't she drop out of a couple of movies due to her health issues, not because Lawrence "stole" those roles from her? I could swear she was slated to be in Silver Linings Playbook[ but then had to bow out because of her medical problems. I mean, I guess the idea that JL is secretly scheming to take parts that could go to older actresses fits in with the idea that BC is some dirty old man glomming onto the youngest woman he can find, but it doesn't feel true, if that makes sense.

 

I think it was just scheduling with her directing commitments, and honestly I can not imagine how hard that movie would have sucked with Angie and Bradley paired up, the part actually worked better with a younger actress IMO, it added to the complimentary nature of the two characters, a young cynical been through too much woman, and an emotionally bruised and immature older guy. I honestly couldn't imagine any age appropriate woman putting up with Cooper's characters shit.

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Sarah Silverman was a contender apparently.

Eta; the Taxi Driver comparison doesn't hold because Harvey Keitel was suppose to be a sleazy pimp who prayed on a girl. And as old as she acted at times her childishness was showing in her breakfast with De Niro when De Niro tells her what Keitel really says about her and she is just spooning sugary things on toast.

Edited by raezen

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A Scottish actor has been cast to play a Japanese character in the Absolutely Fabulous film.  Margaret Cho has noticed and is keeping pressure on the producers to change that.

 

http://www.themarysue.com/abfab-yellowface/

In principle, I agree that casting Anglo/Caucasian actors as Asian characters is crappy.  However, I hesitate to criticize this particular casting choice without knowing whether or not the character is really supposed to be Asian.  It's entirely possible, considering the source material, that the character is actually someone non-Asian who is just posing as a Japanese fashion designer.  In other words, I need more info before I condemn it out of hand.

Edited by proserpina65

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I think JL is the poster child for this.  People, myself included have been complaining about JL and Bradley being age inappropriate every time they play a couple on screen.  IMO, the criticism in the past hasn't been about Cooper being too old, it has been about JL playing/being cast as characters who are supposed to be at least a decade older than she is.  Namely her taking over two roles from Angelina Jolie who actually is age appropriate to Bradley Cooper.

It also annoys me how JL plays off this sort of sexist ageism as a joke. Of course she can afford to brush it off because she's benefiting from it right now. I'd tell her to wait and see how she feels once she's older, but honestly I feel like she has a good chance of becoming the next Meryl Streep in being untouchable and getting role after role, so she'll probably stay clueless.

 

I liked how Anne Hathaway acknowledged that she felt like it was hypocritical for her to complain about ageism when she was happy enough to benefit from it when she was younger. Although I was a bit :-\ at her defeatist attitude.

 

ETA: IIRC, Natalie Dormer has been rather dismissive about Hollywood ageism too, which makes me want to shake her. She's already in her early thirties, and she's not going to be a JLaw or Streep (and I say this as someone who likes Natalie a lot more than the other two). Watch out, Nat, you're going to be a victim of it sooner or later and you'll be singing a different tune. And man, it annoys me when people only care about feminism/sexism when it directly affects them.

Edited by galax-arena
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Except this criticism is about Cooper's age, IMO, since why else bring up that he comes off like a vampire opposite fresh-faced Stone? If they were talking about simple acting styles, the article would have had a different feel to it, but they weren't.

 

I'll admit that Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence do tend to play different types of characters. Even Katniss Everdeen could qualify as an 'old soul' despite her youth, and I'm not sure Emma would have been able to pull off the role, although I do think she can do drama given the chance. But if we're going to restrict the discussion to the matter of age, Jodie Foster was fourteen when she was in Taxi Driver, and her Iris was a forty-year-old woman in a girl's body. Despite that, among the scores of criticisms I've seen of Martin Scorsese over the years, I don't think I've ever seen someone accuse him of perving on women young enough to be his daughter.

 

I don't know, maybe I'm just reacting to the idea that men can't help being "icky" when younger women are around, and if Cooper (or the fifty eight year old Cameron Crowe, for that matter) were Al Pacino's age I might have a different reaction. But even with that possibility, now that Leonardo DiCaprio has decided to adopt Jack Nicholson's persona at the age of forty-one, I'm not sure age is the relevant thing. DiCaprio was born a couple of months before Cooper, so that he's elected to behave like a seventy eight year old man pretending he's twenty-five seems like a worthier subject for scrutiny, not to mention ridicule.

 

As for Angelina Jolie, didn't she drop out of a couple of movies due to her health issues, not because Lawrence "stole" those roles from her? I could swear she was slated to be in Silver Linings Playbook[ but then had to bow out because of her medical problems. I mean, I guess the idea that JL is secretly scheming to take parts that could go to older actresses fits in with the idea that BC is some dirty old man glomming onto the youngest woman he can find, but it doesn't feel true, if that makes sense.

I think you misunderstood me.  I wasn't saying or implying that JL "stole" those specific roles from Angelina Jolie (SLP, Serena) I was using the distinction/coincidence that the age disparity was a direct result of casting JL not a specific trait of the character.  Tiffany in SLP is supposed to be older than Bradley Cooper by a couple of years.  Now the movie doesn't specifically address her age, but we are lead to believe that JL is supposed to be playing someone older than her actual age but obviously not old enough for the age the character is actually "supposed" to be.

 

I may have misunderstood the criticism, my understanding was that by hiring "younger" actresses and pairing them up with older men that the direct result is that you are making the "older male actor" come off as lecherous while watching them on screen.  While the behind the scenes there seems to be a trend from Directors/Producers/etc to hire these younger actresses despite the evident age gap without realizing the disservice it does to the movie.  Now I agree with you that I don't necessarily think that it stems from some sort of fantasy from the director/producer, or I should say no more than any other time in Hollywood.

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I think it was just scheduling with her directing commitments, and honestly I can not imagine how hard that movie would have sucked with Angie and Bradley paired up, the part actually worked better with a younger actress IMO, it added to the complimentary nature of the two characters, a young cynical been through too much woman, and an emotionally bruised and immature older guy. I honestly couldn't imagine any age appropriate woman putting up with Cooper's characters shit.

That is an interesting take on it.  Not sure if you know but the character of Tiffany is based on Angelina Jolie, or I should say the "idea" of Angelina.  The author didn't actually know her when he wrote the book.  He was just a huge fan and wrote Tiffany with Angelina as an inspiration for the character.  If you happen to read the book the influence is pretty evident.

 

Anyway, Angelina and Mark Wahlberg were the ones who would of been paired up together.  She was out before Mark so she wouldn't of been paired up with Bradley regardless.  Also there is a slight variation with the character of Tiffany since JL was playing her.  Angelina's version would of been closer to the book, where Tiffany is just as damaged but her deception of Pat is a much bigger plot point.  In the movie it is Tiffany and the parents coming together to get Pat to move on, in the book it is a little bit more dramatic. 

 

Now I happen to love JL in the movie and think she did deserve the Oscar, but I am always curious to see Angelina's version.

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ETA: IIRC, Natalie Dormer has been rather dismissive about Hollywood ageism too, which makes me want to shake her. She's already in her early thirties, and she's not going to be a JLaw or Streep (and I say this as someone who likes Natalie a lot more than the other two). Watch out, Nat, you're going to be a victim of it sooner or later and you'll be singing a different tune. And man, it annoys me when people only care about feminism/sexism when it directly affects them.

 

Honestly, Natalie Dormer's career isn't based around being the sweet young ingenue or the fuckable vixen. I can't see age being as big of a deal for her, especially given that she can always go to British films/tv, which tend to not follow the "you're done at 35" deal.

 

I also kind of wonder if it's less about "age", and more about "fresh face". Because if you think about it, Anne Hathaway has been around since she was a teenager. Same with Reese Witherspoon. Contrast that to people like Jessica Chastain, who got her fame later in life. She's technically too "old" for Hollywood, but because she's a relatively fresh face, she's still getting lots of roles because Hollywood hasn't decided they're sick of her yet.

 

Not saying the ageism isn't real, it very much is, but I wonder if it's a little more nuanced than just "it's over at 35". I also feel like people who got into their fame later, like Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, or Meryl Streep, instead of hitting it as a teenager or in their early 20's, seem to have a better time with staying relevant as they age.

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But ageism in movies is still very real, even if perfectly beautiful blonde actresses like Dormer, Rachel MacAdams, Reese Witherspoon, etc. don't exactly feel it.

 

Jennifer Lawrence fully admits that her BFF David O. Russell casts her as characters much, much older than she actually is (in that recent Entertainment Weekly where she's on the cover).  She's a perfect looking blonde actress.  I won't comment on her talent but it doesn't surprise me that this director decided that this incredibly perfect looking specimen should be his muse.   Oh, what a coincidence!  She's perfect looking and has a perfect body, and she's cast in movies as playing anywhere from age 16 to 60.   Maybe fresh white face would be a better descriptor.  She also says that when she's very old she fully expects David O. Russell to cast her as young characters, too.  Ha.... We'll see if his interest in you lasts that long.

 

To me the sexism/ageism is so obvious when you see the extremely old male stars being paired with love interests who are 20 or more years younger, or when you see actresses playing mothers to actors that are older than they are.  I think in many cases a bad or unknown young actress is preferable to directors over a good older actress.

 

I remember when "Focus" came out, Will Smith talked a LOT about how he is 47 years old (I guess 46 at the time of the movie) and that his love interest in the film is played by Margot Robbie, who was 23 or 24  (a fucking age difference of 23 years!).  (His wife) Jada Pinkett told him straight up, you better start hitting the gym immediately because you are going to be standing next to this incredibly young woman.  At least he went on talk show to talk show admitting it.  I remember admiring him for that.  What low standards for Hollywood I have!

 

I think woman like Sandra, Julianne, and Meryl are few and far between.  Actually, I think I KNOW it, considering that Meryl is considered maybe North America's greatest actor.  Sandra is charismatic beyond belief.  These are the exceptions to the rule.  Extremely strong and talented women who didn't let Hollywood beat them down.  

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Jennifer Lawrence fully admits that her BFF David O. Russell casts her as characters much, much older than she actually is (in that recent Entertainment Weekly where she's on the cover).  She's a perfect looking blonde actress.  I won't comment on her talent but it doesn't surprise me that this director decided that this incredibly perfect looking specimen should be his muse.   Oh, what a coincidence!  She's perfect looking and has a perfect body, and she's cast in movies as playing anywhere from age 16 to 60.   Maybe fresh white face would be a better descriptor.  She also says that when she's very old she fully expects David O. Russell to cast her as young characters, too.  Ha.... We'll see if his interest in you lasts that long.

 

"Perfect looking"? By whose standards? Yes, Lawrence is attractive, and I suppose some gentlemen do indeed prefer blondes, but even 'beautiful' is subjective, to say nothing of 'perfect'. And if anything, her youth is working against her, since one of the running themes is that she's too young for this role or that role. I guess its a good thing they paired her with Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games, since he's an age-appropriate 23 to her 25. God knows the whole debacle over her not having olive skin is never going to go away; imagine if they'd decided to go against book canon and put her with Woody Harrelson's Haymitch, since Harrelson is a positively doddering fifty-four. The horror, the horror....

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She's tall, thin, small waist, long legs, full breasts, blonde, blue eyed, white and her face is blemish free.  Yes, beauty is obviously subjective.  But she is perfect looking by Hollywood standards.  Nobody could ever suggest that JL is the least bit unconventional or quirky looking, I'm sorry.  

 

"She's too young for this role or that role" but she's landing them anyway.  That's the entire point.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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She's tall, thin, small waist, long legs, full breasts, blonde, blue eyed, white and her face is blemish free.  Yes, beauty is obviously subjective.  But she is perfect looking by Hollywood standards.  Nobody could ever suggest that JL is the least bit unconventional or quirky looking, I'm sorry.  

 

"She's too young for this role or that role" but she's landing them anyway.  That's the entire point.

 

YMMV, but I think her face is the one thing about her that's somewhat less than standard/conventional looking, at least to me (although part of that might depend on what her hairstyle is...I personally think she looks FAR better with longer hair than shorter hair, like the haircut she had when she won her Oscar). 

 

Of course, I'm a straight chick, so I might not be the best person to point this out. :P

 

Otherwise, though, I agree. 

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I think JL is the poster child for this.  People, myself included have been complaining about JL and Bradley being age inappropriate every time they play a couple on screen.  IMO, the criticism in the past hasn't been about Cooper being too old, it has been about JL playing/being cast as characters who are supposed to be at least a decade older than she is.  Namely her taking over two roles from Angelina Jolie who actually is age appropriate to Bradley Cooper.

 

Using Angelina Jolie as an example in this contexr is kind of funny to me since in real life Jolie is actually married to someone 12 years older than her.

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I don't know if Jennifer Lawrence is actually considered "thin" by Hollywood standards:

 

Was Jennifer Lawrence Too Fat For the Hunger Games?

 

I remember when the first time I was watching Say Anything, circa 2005 when celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Brittany Murphy (R.I.P.) were absolutely bone-thin and had starved off their curves, and I kept thinking as I was watching it, "Wow, Diane Court looks kind of fat." Then I went, "Wow, what the fuck is wrong with you?" But the truth is that a size 0 seemed pretty mandatory back then, and that pressure I think is part of what destroyed Lindsey Lohan, who had a curvy body but was called a fat cow and then spiraled into whatever she did to get and maintain an unnatural size 0. I'm pretty glad that Jennifer Lawrence has actually kind of battled against the lollipop head look.

Edited by methodwriter85
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Meanwhile, we've got eighty-six year old Barbara Walters telling Cooper how "screwable" she finds him, which is something that would never in a thousand years fly if the roles were reversed.

This interview didn't happen the way the media played it out. I learned while poking around the thread for the View that Barbara Walters was responding to Bradley Cooper saying an agent once told him he wasn't 'fuckable ' and she responded to that with the 'screwable' comment. Sounds a little different in context. I was really starting to wonder if BW was getting senile .

Eta, technically all the kids were too 'fat' for the HG, because all of them looked like they were fed every day. Three times a day even. But that other look is really hard to achieve without breaking child labour laws. Of course that might be why they had been so adamant to have actors over 18 for the main roles but I guess in the end physical fitness might have taken priority and getting starvation thin would definitely affect their performance in a physical role.

Edited by raezen

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Using Angelina Jolie as an example in this contexr is kind of funny to me since in real life Jolie is actually married to someone 12 years older than her.

Well, I think the higher you go up in age the smaller the issue becomes.  No one complains about a 40 year old Angelina being paired up with a 52 year old Brad.  There is also the issue of the character and/or changing the character to fit someone younger. 

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