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Mystery Solved: The Curious Case of Carol

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  • AMG
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    #216874

    Carol looks set to be shut out of the winners circle from all of the top awards bodies this year, despite being highly nominated, and considered one of the best films of the year.

    Many are asking why? But is it because of the way it ends? Naturally, spoilers for Carol and other LGBT Films of recent years may follow.

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED ABOUT SPOILERS!!!

    Looking at previous years in which LGBT have done well with awards bodies, one thing sticks out – death.

    Milk – Oscar Best Actor win for Sean Penn = ends in a death
    A Single Man – BAFTA Best Actor win for Colin Firth = ends in a death
    Beginners – Awards run sweep of Supporting Actor for Christopher Plummer = ends in death
    Dallas Buyers Club – Actor and Supporting wins for McConaughey & Leto = ends in deaths
    The Danish Girl – largely predicted win for Supporting Actress for Alicia Vikander = ends in a death

    And these are just in the most recent of years! Even Black Swan, in which Portman has a single lesbian sex scene, the multiple Best Actress winner across organisations ends up dying!

    Now look at Carol, widely expected to go 0 across the board = ends rather happily.

    So, question – if Carol had ended differently, say Therese kills herself because Carol can’t be with her. Or even Carol can’t live a lie, and is trapped by her husband, so ends it all; would Carol have won more awards by now, and would it be the frontrunner for any of the top Oscars? Plus, would it be in for Best Picture/Director?

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    FilmGuy619
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    #216876

    To me, it’s quite tragic that if an actor wants to win an Oscar for playing gay or trans, they have to play someone who dies because that always tends to be the case. Also ask Hilary Swank and Tom Hanks who won their first Oscars for playing gays who die at the end. Even Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in The Imitation Game dies off-screen. 

    But if Carol had ended tragically, it probably would’ve gotten that Best Picture nomination. I’m glad the filmmakers didn’t make the ending tragic. It’s just a shame that a gay film has to end in tragedy to get in major recognition. If that weren’t the case, then films like Blue Is The Warmest Color, Pariah, Pride, and Weekend would be more embraced.

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    Bradley Weir
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    #216877

    The Kids Are Alright? That didn’t end in a bloodbath.

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    kazzia
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    #216878

    The Kids Are Alright? That didn’t end in a bloodbath.

    And didnt win a single oscar.

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    Anonymous
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    #216879

    Is Capote the exemption to the rule?

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    babypook
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    #216880

    Is Capote the exemption to the rule?

    Perhaps, but in this case, there are some mitigating circumstances. Capote, was a real person and a celebrated one with influential friends. Also, front and centre, was the issue of the Death Penalty, which deflects from the homophobia so rampant in our global society.

    If the film had showed Capote’s rather slow death, could it have been a true player in the hunt for Best Picture? Particularly if his death were portrayed as an ignominous one.

    We’ll likely never know, but there it is.

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    james alexander clim
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    #216881

    Well… Duh!! Tom has been mentioning this rule about gay films and performances for years now. It’s sad. Hopefully, diversifying the Academy would mean recognition for “non-traditional” films like Carol, Weekend or Pariah. 

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    Volcarocka
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    #216882

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Carol is a good movie that came out in a year where other films happened to be better. It has nothing to do with death or LGBT or anything other than it being good enough to be recognized but not good enough to win. Sometimes movies are good but not good enough to win Oscars, but people only complain when they’re LGBT films.

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    AMG
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    #216883

    Yes, but look at other winners in that time period who’ve won and had deaths of the character and we have:

    SPOILERS

    Winslet, Ledger, Waltz I, Day Lewis, Hathaway and Waltz II.

    So of the 8 years of winners and 1 for current nominees (assuming frontrunners win) the 4 openly LGBT portrayal winners all died. It totals 5 if you include Portman, and 6 if you include frontrunner Vikander in the Trans-centric Danish Girl.

    That’s 6 of 36 winning performances. Of the remaining 30, just 6 are of characters to die. It clearly shows something is going on about voters only giving the Oscars to LGBT roles if they die. It isn’t a case of ‘they love to see everyone be killed on screen’ given the low number of the non-LGBT winning characters dying in their films!

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    Andrew Carden
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    #216884

    William Hurt, Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks also died in their Oscar-winning LGBT turns.

    Robert Preston, James Coco, Felicity Huffman, Annette Bening, among others – survivors and losers.

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    ziggy
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    #216885

    Let’s also not forget about Jared Leto’s stereotypically tragic destiny in Dallas Buyers Club.

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    Patrick
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    #216886

    This has been heavily studied in Gender/Sexuality Studies in regards to film. Most LGBT films aren’t released wide and don’t do well at the box office unless one of the LGBT characters dies.

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