Cate Blanchett is not a lock to win Best Actress at tonight’s 86th Annual Academy Awards ceremony. However, the Australian actress has been picking up trophies left and right including a Golden Globe, virtually every critic award, an Independent Spirit Award, and the Screen Actor’s Guild Award.
Her competition tonight includes: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Street (August: Osage County.)
But let’s say that Blachett’s winning ways continue, and she wins the Oscar for her heartbreaking portrayal of the titular character in Woody Allen’s film Blue Jasmine. The question everyone is asking is whether or not Blanchett will thank director and writer Woody Allen or mention his name at all in her acceptance speech.
Allen has been working, almost non-stop, in Hollywood without issue for the past several decades. His work was hardly even interrupted when his daughter Dylan accused him of sexually molesting her 21 years ago. The police couldn’t find enough evidence against Allen, and the charges were dropped. Most people forgot about the incident, and Allen continued to woo A-List actors into doing his low-budget films like nothing ever happened.
That is until February 1 of this year when Dylan, now 28-years-old, renewed her claim that Allen molested her as a 7-year-old. And she did it by posting an open letter in the New York Times for all the world to see. And in that letter, Ms. Farrow goes after Hollywood and all the people that continue to work with her estranged father. She even calls out Cate Blanchett by name:
But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.
What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?
Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.
Woody Allen subsequently published a letter of his own, denying the allegations. He put most of the blame on Dylan’s mother Mia Farrow, “Not that I doubt Dylan hasn’t come to believe she’s been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?”
So if Blanchett wins the Oscar tonight, will she thank Allen? The controversy surrounding the director has never been so high. No doubt, the actress is in a tough spot. She did thank him last night at the Independent Spirit Awards, she also thanked him when she took home the Golden Globe. She was even keeled and tactful at the Santa Barbara Film Festival when asked about the situation, “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some resolution and peace.”
It is of course unfortunate for Blanchett that she even has to deal with this conundrum, especially considering her performance in Blue Jasmine is truly one for the ages. It is perhaps not only the best female performance in a film this year, but maybe even the best performance of any actor in the past decade. If she wins, she should be celebrated not scrutinized. But there will be backlash either way. If she thanks Allen, many people will be upset that someone who could have possibly committed a horrendous crime over two decades ago, and got away with it, is receiving praise during the Super Bowl of movies, the Oscars. If she doesn’t thank him, it will look like she’s condemning him and telling the world that she thinks that he’s guilty.
Of course, the Academy may decide to punish her because of Allen’s potential sins and give the award to Adams, who is the dark horse in the competition. Speculation aside, we will have to tune in tonight to see how the whole thing plays out.
Image via Wikimedia