Jenny Beavan is better than all of us. This article in The Hollywood Reporter states that Inarritu did clap, but his reaction was delayed. This whole issue has been blown out of proportion (including by me), and I’ve learned a lot from it. About 10 days ago I wrote that I was going to be stepping back from the blog for a month or two. Personally it’s been a huge relief, but I don’t know if I would have written about this issue so passionately if I felt I had to. I didn’t write a review of Fury Road when I first saw it, but it turns out it had a greater impact on me than I’d realised. I got to look at the issue from a number of different perspectives and made up a bizarre conspiracy theory about Tom Hardy’s disdain for Beavan based on that metal thing he had to wear. Now we come to what Jenny Beavan has to say on the whole thing, which is presented in full in the THR article. The person whose opinion matters most is hers – if she’s not offended, I won’t be either (although I still have absolutely zero desire to see The Revenant).
Jenny (we’re on a first name basis now) on why it doesn’t matter that people didn’t clap, because it turns out that Awards Shows are basically a really fancy school speech night. You clap for all the nominees, when someone receives their award, and then when they finish their speech.
I just think I was quite slow. It is so easy to trip, even though I was wearing a sensible pair of boots. I just wanted to take it slowly. And, honestly, I didn’t clap the whole time [during the ceremony] — your hands get tired. We had done a huge amount of clapping by that time. They didn’t have to! I don’t mind in the least if they didn’t clap. I felt really good, I felt the warmth, I was so proud of doing the film for George and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, really.
From earlier in the article, why she chose to wear what she did:
I am a real jeans person. I have clothes to dress up in, but [the Oscars] was a really conscious thing of not just doing the plain black suit. I am British with a slightly rebellious character; I always have been. But, actually, in truth, you’ve seen me. I’m short, I’m fat. I really would look ridiculous in a gown. What I was actually wearing at the Oscars was sort of an homage to Mad Max — a kind of biker outfit. I thought, “If I can’t beat them, or if I can’t sort of join them, then why not try doing something a little bit fun?” And George [Miller] loved it. The [vegan] leather jacket had the Immorten Joe symbol on the back and I was just giving a little wink to Mad Max.
I want to be Jenny Beavan when I grow up. She’s perfectly comfortable with who she is, and that’s great. She knows she’s good at her job, this is her second Oscar, and the best part is that her costume was an homage to her film. This award was particularly momentous for Beavan, because it’s the first time she’s designed non-period costumes for a film, and she did a great job. I asked my friend Amy about this, because wearing clothes that are an homage to the production she’s worked on is something I can imagine her doing, and I love it.
There’s a lot to unpack here, which I won’t do, but Amy provides some good insight into the industry (yes, you should blog more). I’m glad I thought to ask her questions about this before I published these posts, because they’d be different without that perspective.
Jenny Beavan is a leader in her field, and she doesn’t care about what people she doesn’t know think of her. She’s married with a family, and her daughter is married. She’s happy, and I wish her all the best. There are much worse role models than Jenny Beavan. Just to emphasise how great she is, here’s a statement she made about the ridiculous dress code (which of course only applies to women) at the Cannes Film Festival.
I think it may have said to wear black tie, but you know nothing about whether you must wear heels, not like in Cannes where apparently any woman who walks down the red carpet has to wear heels. I was furious about that! I mean, come on, it’s crazy.
Notes: This is the last piece in my Mad Max series, I’ve had a lot of fun writing these, and I’ve enjoyed talking to people about them as well.