Mad Max: Fury Road at the Academy Awards

In early March 2016, I discovered I had a lot of feelings about Mad Max: Fury Road that I needed to express. I originally set out to write a post about people not clapping for Jenny Beavan, and it turned out that I had more to say than I thought. It became a series of posts from a bizarre conspiracy theory concerning Tom Hardy’s (presumably uncomfortable) mask to why Mad Max: Fury Road is a great film, and one with which I could empathise. In addition to loving the film, Jenny Beavan revealed herself to be someone I truly admire. I had a lot of fun writing these posts, and I’m hoping to do some more things like this in the future.

Part 1: The Vine that makes me never want to see The Revenant. It’s an introduction in which I write about the possible reasons why they didn’t clap: her clothes and the possible assumption they didn’t clap. I talk to my friend Amy about how people automatically assume costume design and fashion design are the same thing, and make my case as to why Fury Road deserved those awards.

Part 2: The Tom Hardy/Jenny Beavan conspiracy theory. Out of all the people who didn’t clap for Jenny Beavan, only one of them worked on Fury Road – Mad Max himself, Tom Hardy. The actor who was in the two most nominated films for the night didn’t clap for his costume designer, and the only reasonable explanation for this is that the metal mask thing was really uncomfortable.

Part 3: Why a film doesn’t have to be ‘high art’ to be great. The secondary factor that inspired these posts is the fact that I didn’t really like Birdman, and the more charitable reading of Inarritu not clapping (it turns out it was a delayed reaction, but it still doesn’t look good) is that he just thought his film (The Revenant) was better. I wrote about why Mad Max: Fury Road resonated with me, and how ‘action blockbuster’ and ‘good film’ aren’t mutually exclusive terms.

Part 4: Jenny Beavan doesn’t mind in the least if they didn’t clap. We get Jenny Beavan’s perspective on the whole thing. There’s a lot of clapping at the Oscars, so everyone takes a break now and then. Amy returns with some great insights into the world of costume design, and Jenny Beavan is my newest role model. She has a family who loves her, she’s a leader in her industry, and she’s comfortable in her body. She doesn’t need validation from applause. I want to be like her when I grow up.

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