The only thing funnier than this ridiculous position is to see it invalidated at the box office.
One of the requirements to being accepted as a journalist in Hollywood is doing your part to virtue signal to left on a regular basis. (Full disclosure – this writer is not accepted by Hollywood.) It is a constant slog on an almost weekly basis where one needs wade through a stretch of activist muck while reading about an entertainment property. Writers cannot help sometimes in broadcasting their social viewpoints while delivering a review.
Hannah Elliot, from Bloomberg News delivered her critique of the recent theatrical release, ‘’Ford Vs Ferrari’’, and as takes go it is a scalding one. ‘’It’s a beautifully shot film that will be enjoyable for modern car buyers and enthusiasts alike — engines rev, tires squeal, stopwatches click. But what I saw is a devastating picture of the lack of diversity that permeated the industry in the 1960s.’’ You can already see where this is going –in a ditch, wheels up.
”Picture this,’’ says Ms. Elliot, by word of caution, ”During all 152 minutes of the film…men dominate the screen for 98% of the time, by my unofficial count.’’ I will give you now, the RedState reader, a moment to collect yourself at this SHOCKING revelation.
There are numerous reasons why this kind of analysis is asinine, the first being this is a period piece. It is centered in the 1960s, and inside the male-dominated worlds of automakers and auto racing. The simple fact is that women were not prominent fixtures in either world, in that era. Word of warning for Hannah: You do NOT want to watch any episodes of ”Mad Men”.
The other reason this is a ridiculous analysis of the film is that in the Movie Matt Damon plays the role of legendary auto builder Carroll Shelby, and Christian Bale portrays British race car driver Ken Miles. When your movie is based on the real-life events of a pair of straight white males you are bound to have a film occupied primarily by straight white men. Why the sexualities of anyone involved is of concern is not explained, and for that, we maybe should be grateful.
Elliot goes into grand detail about the life of Carroll Shelby to explain why she feels he is a man unworthy of being lionized in cinema. He had a questionable career after his time at Ford Motors, he went through half a dozen marriages, was prone to lawsuits, and just prior to his death he was being sued over a rape allegation involving someone else. Possibly damning details, except exactly none of it has any bearing on the film. The film is set 50 years ago, and it concerns what took place in that timeframe.
What is great however is while Ms. Elliot bemoans all of the social boxes that have gone unchecked in the film she was completely invalidated by the general public. She notes how all the women in the film are either silent secretaries, doting obedient wives, or pretty podium playthings in the winners’ circle. ”This is a film celebrating those nostalgic golden days when white men ruled,” she declares. Well, this past weekend those white men ruled again, and did so when poised against a female option.
”Ford Vs Ferrari” debuted last Friday at the same time as ”Charlie’s Angels”, a film that was not only populated with a female cast but one imbued with a bold and forward-facing female message. It is exactly the kind of film Hannah Elliot would be praising for all of its diversity and inclusiveness. And it got drubbed at the box office.
”Angels” had been seeing lowered expectations ahead of its release, with predictions taken down to about $12 million for its debut. The film bombed, earning only a little more than $8 million. ”Ford Vs Ferrari” meanwhile was expected to see returns in the $20-25 million range. By the end of the weekend it surprised most with a haul in excess of $30 million.
I believe it is safe to say that studio executives in Burbank will not be phoning Ms. Elliot for advice on the next scripts to approve for production.