Want to Win Best Actress? Try an Oral Sex Scene!

BlogHer Original Post

As the camera focuses on the many talented women nominated for Golden Globe awards as they walk down the red carpet on Sunday, two things might be on viewers minds: 1) what is she wearing? and 2) I know what she looks like when someone goes down on her.

Because some critics have noted that according to the recent successful films and lauded female performances, it has been The Year of Cunnilingus in Hollywood.

I, for one, can get down with that.

Jeffery Wells of Hollywood of Hollywood Elsewhere reported this when the Golden Globe nominees were announced:

This morning a critic in a discussion board pointed out that at least three of the six actresses nominated by the BFCA for Best Actress received on-screen oral pleasuring in their respective films -- Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, Natalie Portman in Black Swan and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.

It's true, lots of buzz, so to speak, surrounding the portrayal of a lesbian relationship in The Kids are All Right, the ballerina-on-ballerina oral sex scene in the R-rated Black Swan, and a similar Blue Valentine scene with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling that set off a rating controversy when it was initially given an NC-17 rating. Not only did we see a fair bit of cunnilingus in the theater last year, but we also talked about it, and it's been linked to award success. Hadley Freeman at The Guardian suggests: "Yet as we enter film awards season this year, a new trick has entered the fray. Cunnilingus: it's this year's disabled/abused/gay/mental illness/foreign accent!"

Looking over the list of Golden Globe nominees who have been nommed, I'm going to count female oral sex goddess Halle Berry in the trend, too, even though her scene is from a previous year. This year she's been nominated for her performance in the oral sex-free Frankie & Alice, but Halle received an Oscar in 2002 for her performance in the gut wrenching Monster's Ball -- where one of the few scenes showing pleasure of any kind, and a pivotal scene in the storyline, famously showed Billy Bob Thorton answering her request to "make me feel good."

So that makes four actresses on the red carpet who we've seen with a head between her legs.

Make that five -- Tilda Swinton isn't up for a best actress award, but the amazing I Am Love is nominated as Best Foreign Film. In it Tilda's character's dead life is rescued through an affair with a young lover, a Master Chef who is also apparently masterful at pleasuring women as they lie on grassy hillsides. The Italians do like to dine al fresco.

Whoa, make that six -- if we broaden our analysis to include televised muff dives. Julianna Margulies is up for best actress in a drama for The Good Wife, which courted some controversy when Chris Noth's character Peter, inspired by Alicia's powerful court presence, bowed to her in a sexy act of Good Husbandry.

And these are just the ones I've seen and remember. So yeah, it looks like there's plenty of carpet munching represented on the red carpet this year. Sounds like an excellent drinking game if you ask me. Shots if they hit the spot!

But what does it all mean. Scripting oral sex performed on a woman is sometimes used by filmmakers to show that a character is a sexy, free-seeking rule-breaker (i.e. Black Swan, 9 1/2 Weeks, Y Tu Mama Tambien), has tremendous sexual power (remember Kate Winslet commanding Harvey Keitel in the excellent Holy Smoke?) or simply as a way to focus on the character receiving extreme pleasure instead of giving it (Monster's Ball). Or, you know, a way to show she's queer (so Julianne Moore and Mila Kunis should get some credit here) or to borrow that lesbian chic in the way that girl-on-girl kisses during award shows has become de rigueur.

Is the cinematic cunnilingus trend a cultural indicator or a coincidence? Is Hollywood pushing boundaries, or is the world ready to acknowledge that receiving oral sex is just one of the more delicious things in women's lives? Is it a ploy to court male audiences -- the "Mila Kunislingus effect " that Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky counted on to bring men to a film about ballet?

Or does another big film from last year give us a clue. Love and Other Things tells the story of a Viagra salesman, playing on contemporary problems of getting it up, which can be seen as symbolic of the decline of America's financial prowess. Are women in media getting so much head because it's super hot and empowering to see sex that isn't dependent on medicine sold via email spam to get someone off?

I know one thing, I like this development and I'm happy to raise a glass to ring in the Year of Cunnilingus during award show season by rooting for Natalie, Annette or Michelle to win. I'm even ready to endure the inevitable oral sex jokes from annoying Golden Globe award show host Ricky Gervais on Sunday. I have confidence that if he goes too far, one of those fine, talented, powerful women will put him in his place and let him know we've had enough by giving him the George Costanza tap.

Who do you think will get the nod from the Golden Globes as Best Actress?

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight

Contributing Editor Deb Rox currently has that Sodomy song from Hair stuck in her head. She blogs at Deb on the Rocks and will be Tweeting Sunday night. She plans to compare the award winners' "oh I won?!" faces with their movie "o" faces. Should be interesting.

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