A little while ago Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone mentioned a form of pushback that I’m calling the Perv Retort. If you’re a straight male columnist and you’ve gotten really riled up by the performance of a young and beautiful actress (like Blue Is The Warmest Color‘s Adele Exarchopoulos), it’ll be presumed by the community at large that you’re expressing a form of libidinal arousal and are therefore off-balance to some extent. Therefore your opinion has to be at least partly discounted because you’re probably using one hand to write and the other hand to do something else.
Same thing if you’re a gay male columnist and you’re really taken with a performance by a young male actor or a really good-looking actor in his 30s or 40s, even. It will be widely presumed that your perceptions have been colored by your day-dreaming about this actor in a certain context, and therefore your opinion about his performance being award-worthy goes right into the trash can.
If, on the other hand, you’ve gotten really riled up by a performance by, say, Judi Dench or Maggie Smith or Meryl Streep, you’re good to go and no aspersions will be cast.
So unless your straight-male praise is directed at guys or ladies of a certain age just go off in the corner and shut up and let the prediction-obsessed pulse-takers of the award-season realm (i.e., the Dave Karger contingent) set the stage and drive the conversation. Fair enough?
You want me to really cut to the chase? Okay, I will. The argument for Adele Exarchopoulos as a potential Best Actress contender is all but lost because…well, we know where you’re really coming from. It’s obvious. Because you’re being too strident. If you were a eunuch your arguments would be one thing but you’re not so that’s it. On to Brie Larson and the brand ladies!