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And That's Terrible

Bret Easton Ellis Attributes Kathryn Bigelow’s Success to Her Being a “Very Hot Woman.”

If there’s one thing I don’t like about Twitter, it’s how it’s given people an easy platform to say stupid things that they should have just kept to themselves. Case in point: Author Bret Easton Ellis tweeted that “Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she’s a very hot woman she’s really overrated.” And the follow-up: “Kathryn Bigelow: Strange Days, K-19 The Widowmaker, Blue Steel, The Hurt Locker. Are we talking about visionary filmmaking or just OK junk?”

Ahhh, I see what’s happening here. Ellis is framing his sexism against Bigelow, the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Directing (because obviously there’s no other explanation for a women achieving success in a male-dominated field than her sleeping around or mesmerizing guys with her boobs or something) as some ass-backwards defense of the integrity of the Oscars.

I agree with him that Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker isn’t visionary. But the Oscars are rarely about honoring visionary films. More often they honor quality films (The Hurt Locker) or Oscar bait films (The King’s Speech) or films that had millions of dollars spent on marketing them for awards season (The Artist). Most of the films that win best picture aren’t “visionary.” Coincidentally, most of the films that win best picture? All of them but The Hurt Locker, in fact? Directed by men.

Yet it’s Bigelow who draws Ellis’ ire. He sees an award-winning director whose films he doesn’t like, and instead of thinking “Well, OK, people must see something in her I do not, or they have different values when it comes to what movies they like” and moving on, he jumps to “Her success must be a result of preferential treatment because she’s a woman!”

It’s insulting. It’s painfully stupid. Also, Ellis? Bigelow’s new film, Zero Dark Thirty, was just named the year’s best by the New York Film Critics Circle. The latest film you’ve written, The Canyon, stars Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen. So any further statements of yours criticizing her skills as a moviemaker will be discounted by me. Just FYI.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Anonymous

    So Ellis is trying to start a Fake Director meme? Bad form.

  • Calum Syers

    I think Bret Easton Ellis calling anyone overrated isn’t so much the pot calling the kettle black as it is the pot running up to the kettle, shooting it in the knees and then drowning it in black paint. All the while screaming, “I’m a little teapot, mother fucker”.

    But seriously, his opinions are toxic.

  • J.S. MacDougall

    Doesn’t this guy spout off crap like this all the time?

  • Anonymous

    The only reason I hear about this guy is when someone is outraged by something stupid he says on twitter. I’m not saying he’s doing this just for attention, but he’s doing this mostly for attention.

  • Anonymous

    Bret’s the jerk who spent time tweeting about the ridiculousness of openly gay actors Matt Bomer and Neil Patrick Harris playing straight guys.

  • Anonymous

    Bret Easton Ellis would be considered a mildly interesting writer if he was a woman but since he’s a bro he’s really overrated.

  • Anonymous

    The headline really should have read “Bret Easton Ellis desperately attempts to generate buzz around self by poking popular Internet meme with a stick”

  • Anonymous

    Did he really just shit-talk Strange Days? Quit being jealous for not having a good idea since American Psycho!

  • Chanel Diaz

    By “visionary” he probably meant mostly-naked women selling themselves for sex to men. Idk, he doesn’t really seem to “get it” in general, so of course he attacks Bigelow for being a woman.

    He doesn’t even mention how sad it is how women ONLY have ONE Female Best Director Winner in the Oscars. OVERRATED? Try UNDERRATED. Instead of pointing at the true culprits of lack of respects towards women which leads to lack of women winners in anything, he contributes to this backwards state.

  • Chanel Diaz

    Sadly, that’s really true for people besides Bret Easton Ellis.

  • TracyFood

    Instead of “And that’s terrible,” I imagine this appearing in the category “And no one is surprised.” Also: sigh.

  • Anonymous

    Bret Easton Ellis sadly managed to convince a lot of people that he’s not merely another douche who thinks his opinions are challenging and contrarian.

    Though I have to add that I think joining movie and porn industry, as the latest film he wrote does, is brave and awesome and he shouldn’t be shamed for being part of it. Also it’s called “The Canyons”, plural.

  • Eli Keel

    Harrumph. And yet now a few more people are aware of his new movie. Advertising by way of misogyny.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Well, he sounds completely useless.


  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Avatar should have won.

  • Anonymous
  • Laura Truxillo

    Oh, seriously, that was him? This guy is a class act.

    On the other hand, anything that keep Matt Bomer away from 50 Shades of Crap can’t be all bad.

    (No, but seriously, this man is repugnant and his opinions are awful.)

  • GeekFurious

    Kathryn Bigelow is definitely not “hot” so… it is all talent. Granted, I hate the movie for which she received an Oscar but then my issues with it are about realism and not her directing. STRANGE DAYS, on the other hand… GENIUS!

  • Ladies Making Comics

    What a patoot.

  • Lucas Picador

    Ellis has a habit of acting like a jackass on Twitter. It’s working for him, i.e. it’s keeping him in the spotlight with stories like this. I like some of the guy’s novels, but he’s a clown as a media personality.

    As for Bigelow: 1) getting an Oscar should be an embarrassment, or at least a fluke, for a director who aspires to making serious movies; 2) Strange Days had some genuinely interesting visual bits that Bigelow deserves recognition for, otherwise I’m not blown away by her stuff; and 3) Bigelow will be mentioned by historians 100 years hence, perhaps unfairly, as being in the same category as Leni Riefenstahl: visually compelling film directors who dedicated their talents to casting war criminals and imperial death squads in a romantic light in order to curry favour with the regime in power.

    So, if this turns into a public Bigelow/Ellis throw-down, I’m happy to see them both tarnished.

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    Obviously they ignored his genius because he’s not pretty enough.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, isn’t this the tool that made the campy movie with Lindsey Lohan and a porn star? Why do you care what this dude thinks? His idea of a quality film involves Lindsey Lohan and a porn star in 40mm.

  • Anonymous

    It’s only brave and awesome if it’s well executed, and by the look of the trailer it isn’t.

  • Life Lessons

    “The Hurt Locker” is a frakking amazing movie. She deserved the Oscar hands down. Get over it Ellis. Get. Over. It.

  • Anonymous

    He also forgot Near Dark, which was a pretty damn good vampire movie.

  • Brian

    Aww, you’re hilarious.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It made more money, broke newer ground, and was a better all around film than Hurt Locker and it’s the only thing I have to say whenever Bigelow’s film comes up. To begin with,, at any rate.

  • Brian

    It didn’t break new ground in any way but a technical standpoint, and it won those awards. The story was bland and cliched, the lead actor utterly blah, and it was much longer than it had to be. Just as underwhelming as the Hurt Locker, only in a different way.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Agreed, completely, like Hurt Locker but record breaking, technically ground breaking, and award-winning. But the Academy doesn’t like Cameron, so they decided to give it to the lesser film, despite there being much better candidates that year, in order to promote a critical 21st century record.