COMMENT: So, Cate Blanchett, here’s the skinny – No Oscar For You; Molly Meldrum needs to shape up, not shut up

Cate Blanchett – lost in a word salad; Molly Meldrum needs to reclaim his public standing.

Dear Cate – did you proof read that speech?

It’s not a case of what Cate Blanchett was thinking when she delivered her fiery, defiant, utterly discombobulating acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Monday, but whether she was thinking at all.

Accepting the best actress award for her performance in Tár, Blanchett had this to say:

“Look, I would love it if we would just change this whole f***ing structure. It’s like, what is this? It’s this patriarchal pyramid where someone stands up here. Why don’t we just say ‘there is a whole raft of female performances that are in concert and in dialogue with one another’ and stop the televised horse race of it all because can I tell you every single woman – whether, you know, television, film, advertising, tampon commercials, whatever – you’re all out there doing amazing work that is inspiring me continually.

“So thank you. I share this with you all.”

Here’s the clip:

Sounds magnanimous and very in keeping with the sisterhood – but does it make any sense? Or is it just a steaming deposit of self-congratulatory, self-contradictory baloney?

Perhaps the latter.

It’s simple really. If Our Cate means what she said, why didn’t refuse the award? Why doesn’t she hand back all the awards she’s won? (That’s two Oscars, three BAFTAs, four Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild gongs, seven AACTAs and many others. That’d free up a lot of shelf space.) That’s what Tom Cruise did to voice his objections over the conduct of the Golden Globe awards by handing three statuettes back. So Cate’s got a heck of an example to follow.

As for her much-touted prospects of picking up a Best Actress Oscar for the massively overrated Tár, Blanchett, having talked the talk, is now in a prime position to walk the walk.

She needs to call the bods at Universal and tell them, “If you’re planning an Oscar campaign for me, save your pocket change. Because if you do, and I win, I’ll refuse it on behalf of all my fellow actresses.”

Speaking of which, they’ll have to do likewise if they support her, as we saw many doing during her anti-awards acceptance speech.

As for the colourful phrase “patriarchal pyramid”, it’s high time first-world women – especially the rich and famous ones – stopped railing against the society in which they have been free to flourish for being a “patriarchy” and instead turn their attention to places such as Afghanistan and Iran – real present-day patriarchies where women and girls are being murdered and oppressed every day.

To put it bluntly, if you’ve got a problem with “the patriarchy”, start where the hard work needs to be done.

That’s if you’re serious, of course.

So, let’s see how Cate Blanchett’s anti-awards, anti-televised horse race, Fight the Patriarchy stand flies when the crunch comes in a few weeks. Can’t wait to see her denounce the Oscars on the red carpet, then at the podium.


Molly needs to decide how and what we think of him

The time has clearly come for Ian “Molly” Meldrum to decide how he wants to define the final chapter of his life – as one of the most important figures in the Australian music industry or as a doddering buffoon.

The unscheduled sight of Molly lowering his pants and mooning the 30,000-strong audience at the Elton John concert at AAMI Park on Friday night (13 January) proved beyond any question that the much-loved music industry luminary, now 79, is at a crossroads.

While some were amused by his antics, many of those who had paid hundreds, if not thousands, to see Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road performance would have been especially miffed. They had come to see one of music history’s biggest acts, not an old man drop trou.

While some have shown leniency in deference to his larrakin legacy, the reaction from the public at large has been critical – and with good reason.

Never mind Molly’s history of loutish behaviour, this was simply humiliating, a mega-sized version of the drunken party guest putting a lampshade on their head for laughs.

Most prominent in the commentary over Molly’s behaviour has been actor and anti-cancer activist Samuel Johnson, who portrayed Molly in the 2016 mini-series Molly.

In the wake of Molly’s mooning, Johnson has stepped up, breaking his silence about Molly to point out his penchant for upstaging.

Notoriously, while Johnson was accepting his hard-earned Gold Logie win in 2017 Molly took over the microphone, nixing Johnson’s planned appeal for support for his anti-cancer charity Love Your Sister. Johnson says how Molly ruined what should have been his “million dollar moment”.

Appearing on Tuesday’s The Morning Show on Seven Johnson, clearly upset, voiced his frustration, saying how Molly’s Logie crash had cost his charity a million dollars and that “maybe it’s time to hang up your hat, mate”.

Most poignantly, and with genuine concern, Johnson nailed the issue by simply asking: “Is he OK? Who are his minders?”.

He then added: “He shouldn’t be allowed out in the PM, he’s sozzled by that time” saying how he hasn’t spoken to Molly since the Gold Logie incident, which Johnson refers to as “an absolute catastrophe”.

Many agree, that Molly should do himself and the rest of us a favour by staying out of public view, chiefly for the sake of his legacy and his frailty, exacerbated by the serious injuries suffered in 2011 when he fell off a ladder at home.

That’s one option.

The other is for Molly to reshape his latter-day image and reclaim the dignity his life-long devotion to music deserves, to behave like an elder statesman rather than a fool.

Those who have his ear are in a privileged position to help curate his public standing so it is in keeping with what his lifetime of work deserves. What Molly means to generations of people should be honoured and celebrated, not overshadowed by these humiliating lapses in judgement.

It’ll be immensely sad the day the clock stops, and it matters what image we hold of Molly when it happens. Painful as it is to admit, the one we have at the moment is not worthy.

Somebody do something. Or, as Samuel Johnson put it so concisely, just stop.