Casting would like to thank the Academy® too!
I adore movies and nothing excites me more than Oscar Sunday! I have spent months seeing as many of the nominated films as possible. I’ve spent hours debating the merits of this years nominees with my friends and in the social media landscape. My DVR is set to begin watching pre-event, Red Carpet coverage as soon as it begins. I’ve printed my ballot and my selections have been made. There is just one thing missing.
My selection for the Best Casting in a Motion Picture. Why? Because this category doesn’t exist.
You see, every year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences awards the “Oscar” to those films, actors, producers, directors, writers, and technicians that have put together what they have deemed to be the best of the best. But this integral part of the movie making process will not be recognized tonight at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles (nor was it recognized during the Scientific and Technical Awards that were handed out on February 15th).
It is the ONLY opening film credit, shown alone on the screen (called a single-card credit) that does NOT receive its own Academy Award® nomination.
I learned this, and so much more about the casting process, in the documentary called, “Casting By” from Tom Donohue. In it, Donohue shares the story of the legendary casting great, Marion Dougherty and how her 50+ year career in television and films changed not only the Hollywood system of casting, but the lives and careers of actors like Clint Eastwood, John Travolta, Glenn Close, Mel Gibson, and Robert Redford. It is astonishing to watch the process by which Marion cast iconic movies like “Midnight Cowboy” and fought to break through racial stereotypes to put Mel Gibson and Danny Glover together in “Lethal Weapon”. The roster of actors and directors that participated in this project, and sung the praises of Marion and the casting process, are impressive to put it mildly.
I wanted to share this with you to add my voice to the many that love movies and feel this should be a category that is recognized tonight. This snub of the casting professional seems massively ridiculous. I don’t want to presume that this is a sexist issue; however, it IS curious that the majority of high-profile film directors are male and the majority of high-profile casting professionals are female.
See the film. Form your own opinions. And the next time you are at the movies, notice the “Casting By” credit and tip your hat to that hard-working professional. They deserve it!!