All things considered, it was a pretty good weekend for Greta Gerwig—and her push to win an Oscar next month in the best adapted screenplay category. Her adaptation of Little Women crossed the $90 million mark at the domestic box office, on its way toward a worldwide gross of more than $150 million. She was visibly moved when her film got a standing ovation during a screening in Los Angeles. And she got to introduce Demi Lovato‘s powerful performance during the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. But with Oscars voting set to open on Thursday, perhaps Gerwig’s biggest push for a trophy came courtesy of Melissa Villaseñor and Saturday Night Live.
During Saturday’s edition of Weekend Update, Villaseñor appeared alongside co-anchor Colin Jost to perform what she claimed were award-nominated original songs for all the top movies, including Joker and The Irishman. The joke: that many of the biggest Oscar nominees in the best picture category are about “white male rage.” All but Little Women, in fact—which scored six nominations including best picture, but failed to land Gerwig among the five best director candidates.
Sang Villaseñor: “Little Women, big performances, but Greta Gerwig snubbed because of white male rage.” In response, the Saturday Night Live crowd cheered wildly.
Saturday Night Live is not the first or even third institution to point out that this year’s most celebrated Academy Award contenders focused on angry men and grappled with aging masculinity, to varying levels of depth and introspection. As Mark Harris wrote for Vanity Fair: “Three of the four most-nominated movies—The Irishman, Joker, and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood—are stories about white men who feel culturally imperiled. The fourth, 1917, is about white men who are literally imperiled. It is no accident that those movies have arrived at this particular cultural moment. And while Academy voters don’t necessarily have to eat whatever the industry is feeding them, they usually don’t look too far afield for alternatives, and this year, what the industry was not feeding them was Black Panther or BlacKkKlansman.” Meanwhile, at Vulture, Rachel Handler provided readers with a handy checklist to tell the Oscar nominees apart (What Is a White Man Mad About in This Oscar-Nominated Movie?). For the New York Times, critic Manohla Dargis noted the trend of perceived male trouble all the way back in December. But while those pieces generated significant conversation online, none came with a studio audience cheering in approval for Gerwig. As voters prepare to let their voices be heard on the matter, this kind of public adulation can’t be discounted.
More Great Stories from Vanity Fair
— Vanity Fair’s 2020 Hollywood cover is here with Eddie Murphy, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lopez & more — Who would defend Harvey Weinstein? — Oscar nominations 2020: what went wrong—and did anything go right? — Greta Gerwig on the lives of Little Women—and why “male violence” isn’t all that matters — Jennifer Lopez on giving her all to Hustlers and breaking the mold — How Antonio Banderas changed his life after nearly losing it — From the Archive: A look at the J. Lo phenomenon
Looking for more? Sign up for our daily Hollywood newsletter and never miss a story.
The post Saturday Night Live Zings Oscars’ ‘White Male Rage’ Fixation and Greta Gerwig Erasure appeared first on Vanity Fair.