Move over Abraham Lincoln and Jennifer Lawrence, boobs are having their best year yet. Even this year's divisive Oscar host Seth MacFarlane performed a song about it (as ridiculous as it was). And boobs haven't just been winning this year. There's been a boob sighting in almost every other movie for years. Chances are, if you're an actress of any caliber, you've flashed your rack in a film. And I'm getting sick of it.
Don't get me wrong, obviously sex scenes and other movies of the gratuitous nature call for a flash or two (or ten), and it would make sense to go there for the scene. My problem, so eloquently proclaimed by Andy Samberg at the recent Independent Spirit Awards, is that there seems to be a real lack of dick on screen. He was specifically leading up to a joke about Shame star Michael Fassbender's lack of, um, presence this year, but I am going to go even further and say that this is a general problem every single year.
I mean, if said sex scene calls for nudity, wouldn't it mean that both the woman and the man put on their birthday suits? I'm just saying.
I'm not really advocating for more full frontals on the big screen, but I am asking for more of a balance. Obviously, Hollywood is not accepting of equal opportunities in any capacity, but it just seems like a glaring omission. If we can't have similar casting opportunities for men and women or actors of diverse ethnicities or even weight, can the male actor be called to put out as at least half as often as a woman is on screen? It's really the least Hollywood can offer at this point.
I'm sure male readers of this post will say something about the fact that there are several gratuitous peaks at men on the big screen, and even bring up last year's Magic Mike. There are two things wrong with that argument: 1) While Magic Mike is a movie about strippers, no one actually strips past their thongs, and 2) It's not enough that you imply nudity or sex; actresses aren't asked to imply at all. Their lady parts leave nothing to the imagination. In essence, female nudity is direct; male "nudity" is implied and tasteful to the point that any other way would be obscene and slapped with an NC-17 rating (like Shame was).
But speaking of the Steve McQueen film, the fact that we are still making jokes about catching a glimpse of male anatomy in a movie that is nearly two years old may mean we're not
mature enough ready to accept full male frontal in cinema. Which is pitiful because, how old are we?
Perhaps the worst part about this whole female nudity overdose in film is that each time a woman bares her tatas or her hoo-ha, her performance is called 'brave." Granted, it probably takes guts (or a shot of something) for a woman who's not already an exhibitionist to unveil herself in that way in front of millions of strangers. But that doesn't always constitute a good performance. That said, it seems as though many critics are letting a splash of nudity get in the way of their summation of films.
For instance, The Sessions, a rather emotionally manipulative film despite its good acting, was mainly hailed for Helen Hunt's performance of a sex surrogate whose nudity nearly encapsulated her performance. As you may already know from my review last year, I was neither moved nor entertained by the movie or performance. But that's neither here nor there, because Hunt has an Oscar nod under her belt for her portrayal.
If we're holding performances with nudity in a higher regard, where is Michael Fassbender's Oscar nomination for Shame, a movie so vulnerable and taboo that it lived up to its own name? Oh, that's right; it's now a punchline.
Dear Hollywood, grow up. Here's hoping next year is the year of the dick.