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The best films about men from 2019 were directed by women – and smeared by Oscars

There is no catchy hashtag like #OscarsSoWhite to see the frustration and disappointment of the films being run by highly talented women excluded from the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nomination categories for the 2019 ceremony , But there should be. #OscarsSoMasc? #OscarsSausageFest?

What is annoying about omitting female filmmakers from the Best Picture and Best Director categories has to do with the content of the nominated films as well as with the behind-the-scenes talent: with few and a few variations exceptions, each candidate for the grand prize is about men, big men, men with the weight of the world on their shoulders or the lifelong burden of identity in their heads, maybe both. Vice Bohemian Rhapsody Green Book A star is born BlacKKKKlansman, and even Black Panther is dominated predominantly by male characters who are after power, Prestige, personality or just looking for personality. Maybe it follows that they are led by men ̵

1; which, of course, are all.

But this is a casual misogynistic bunk: the best movies of 2018, rolling up their sleeves and shooting them all in macho-gray matter, are all run by women. Lynne Ramsays They were never really here Debra Granik's Leave No Trace and Chloé Zhao's The Rider were the lead actress of the men bait images and with greater precision than the actual best movies in the category "Best Picture". No disregard of BlacKkKlansman or Black Panther ; No hatred for Roma who, apart from the woman, also contained sharp insights into the behavioral health of men. It's not that these films are bad or the exploration of masculinity. Rather, it's the films of Ramsay, Granik and Zhao.

 [19659005] "You were never really here"

Amazon Studios

Everyone is also his own animal. You were never really here The feeling of living in someone's waking nightmare with soul-raving self-confidence Leave No Trace inhabits the experience of struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder both for the person concerned and for the outside observer, and The Rider asks what compels people to push their boundaries. In search of a dream, they can not let go. The trauma is the common thread that binds the trio. These filmmakers put it under the microscope mistreatle this trauma, but just as determined to justify it on the canvas.

Of the three Leave No Trace the gentlest chord hits. The film is shown in a public park in Portland, Oregon, where Iraq war veteran Will (Ben Foster) lives off the land with his daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) until the authorities discover her, bring her into social services, and try to Will relieve his suffering. His PTSD drives the storyline, but Granik fuels his story with the kindness of strangers.

They were never really here goes in the opposite direction: Ramsay, who adapted the Jonathan Ames novella, throws Hitman tropics on the stove and pours them with gasoline. She takes care of her protagonist Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) while Granik takes care of Will, but Ramsay's film is much more merciless. Like Will, Joe fights PTSD, the product of his Gulf War service, and his career as an FBI sales representative. He also lives on the margins of society and interacts exclusively with his mother (Judith Roberts) and his trader McCleary (John Doman). McCleary gives him work, every task has a rescue mission for girls in tow. Joe finds her, kills her kidnappers with a hammer and brings them home safely. He is cruel as the grizzly bears defending their young.

The Rider falls between Leave No Trace and They were never really here as a portrait of male psychological stress, a reenactment of real-life events instead of stock-substance fiction , Brady Blackburn is the main character, Brady Jandreau, the actor who plays him, but both had the same end-of-career accident: a skull fracture suffered during a rodeo. Another film and director could populate the story with professional actors. Zhao lets Jandreau, his family and friends tell their own stories as Blackburn resigns with his new riding-restricted life. As Granik investigates Will's identity out of civilization and exorcises Ramsay Joe out of his mind, Zhao sees that Brady's identity is separate from his livelihood.

The damage inflicted on Will, Joe, and Brady in these films not only affects men, but the combination of male subjects with female directors leads to effects that might otherwise be overlooked. Hitman films are cheap goods. Less widespread are Hitman films, which are so marked by the intellectual stability of their protagonists. Every Minute of They were never really here is spent in the endless cacophonic cycle that is Joe's suffering. His world is filled with horrors on street corners, in hotel rooms, in the house he shares with his mother. Joe's memories haunt him with every child he saves, with every monster he kills. (It's no coincidence that his favorite weapon is a hammer, the breakthrough he suffered as a boy.)

Joe can not escape his past. Will not either, but Boy he tries to rid himself of the net, teach Tom how to look for survival and occasionally sell painkillers given to him by the VA. When the state intervenes and brings the two home, Will visibly becomes uncomfortable over time. He walks with Tom to trackless forests and they reach a figurative crossing. She wants to stay among the people. He can not or not or both. Granik does not treat Will's careless desire for loneliness as noble. She considers it tragic not to judge or reward his self-imposed isolation.

Brady, on the other hand, exists among his peers, even though he is not quite there in a crowded room . His impulses set him on a path of self-destruction. The doctors ask him not to ride. To compensate, he trains other riders and breaks in horses. He still rides against orders and pays his stubbornness with a fit. Zhao breaks the clash between his limitations and his dreams. What is a cowboy without a horse and spurs? If Brady can not drive, what can he do? And what is he ultimately? The rider lets manhood dangle on a thread. Brady invests so much in himself that he would rather risk finding the alternative. Maybe he is nobody. Maybe he is still a cowboy.

The Rider and Leave No Trace echo Oscar nominees. The Rider takes over after Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler and Black Swan . Leave No Trace feels like the petite cousin of Granik's 2010 film, Winter's Bone which was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2011, including a Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, who immediately got her Hollywood license. There is only one major (and old) academy for They were never really here Martin Scorseses Taxi driver but Ramsay is a master filmmaker, so damn.

These Sterling movies share a lot with the Oscar favorites that nobody can stop talking about. Bradley Cooper questions male jealousy, compounded by alcoholism, about the female success of A Star Is Born . Adam McKay studies the power-hungry patriarchy in Vice . With Black Panther Ryan Coogler shows the audience the pain that fatherless boys can carry to masculinity.

The films by Granik, Zhao and Ramsay, however, have more skill than their male helmets. If the Oscars need to reward grizzly performances with big-swinging performances, they should reward for at least egalitarian lines (a pipe dream, perhaps, but still). Since April, Reign's hashtag has brought AMPAS a step closer to race and ethnic equality each year, and in 2015 they were fooled. In 2019 they made the same stupid mistake of sexual representation.

That would be annoying every year, but it is particularly embarrassing today as the demand for recognition of female talent gains urgency. Without the attached credits, however, this work stands alone and deserves the same attention that was awarded to the 2018 nominees, some of whom were equally celebrated, but others less: You Were Never Really Here The Rider and Leave No Trace are 89 percent, 97 percent and an amazing 100 percent at Rotten Tomatoes. (The box office is another disappointing affair; taken together, they make up a fraction of A Star Is Born 's domestic gross, but the Academy finds many other limited releases for the champion.) These are highly successful films both objective and subjective measures. The failure of the Academy to acknowledge this is as much a rejection of its purpose as proof that the institution is not in contact with its own multi-faceted industry.
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