Last week I watched the film Shakespeare in Love with my daughter (the last time I had seen the film was shortly after it had come out to theaters). Its a really cute film and while I thought Gwyneth Paltrow did an excellent job as the lead actress in the film, I’m not necessarily sure it was such a great role that she deserved an Oscar for it.
If you haven’t seen the film there are a couple of love scenes in the film, nothing over-the-top or extremely gratuitous but to put it gently, Paltrow was definitely not shy in her role.
The day after we watched the movie I stumbled across an article by Jamie Lee Curtis posted in the Huffington Post titled “And the Oscar goes to….Hell” Curtis, no stranger to being naked on the camera, lamented hearing Seth MacFarlane’s song about seeing actresses “boobs” in movies. Curtis quite loudly declares how ticked off she was by MacFarlane’s song and she seems to think that the boob song somehow demeaned the positive elements of great acting in film.
Curtis admits to getting naked on film (how could she not!) but says that she never wanted to, she didn’t like doing it, and wishes she didn’t have to do it in order to be a successful actress.
Its too bad that Curtis thought the only way she could further her career was to sacrifice her standards. Contrary to popular belief, there are actresses who have had successful careers and haven’t gotten naked on film; maybe they are not the norm, but there are definitely A-level actresses that don’t (Isla Fischer & Jessica Alba come to mind).
This post of mine is a bit of a continuation of an earlier post I wrote about how our country is too obsessed with nipples & breastfeeding.
In the same regard, I believe our country is too obsessed with nudity in art. Its really not that big a deal if you ask me. Nudity in art has been around as far back as the dawn of humanity. Back when Ugg first picked up a rock and started scratching at the cave wall there have always been depictions of the male and female form in all their glory.
Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and pretty much all the famous artists that hardcore religious people love, all painted and sculpted nudes. And for the learning impaired among my religious audience, those painters usually used live models when they were painting; that meant (get ready for a shocker) the models were naked.
Its unfortunate that Curtis wasn’t a strong enough woman to turn down roles that went against her personal preferences and standards.
However, just because there are people like Curtis who seem to be a little too highly wound up over nudity, it shouldn’t mean that nudity has no place in art, film, and theater. Right?