Jan 19 2016
Put the word Oscar into a word-association test and most of our political leaders won’t say “Wilde”, they’ll say “nomination”. Last week, when the Oscar nominations were announced, Room, which began as a story in Emma Donoghue’s head, got four and Brooklyn, which began as an idea in Colm Tóibín’s head, got three. Which is thrilling. The problem is that the flashbulbs get in politicians’ eyes. They forget that the big prizes are exercises in astronomy – we’re now seeing the light that set out decades ago from cold obscurity. They forget that their own proper place on the credits is down between the key grip and the caterer: their function is vital but it’s not glamorous. Their job is to create and sustain an environment in which other people will do interesting things. And that’s an environment largely populated by people struggling to find a voice and shouting to be heard.
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