I love film. I am a film/television reviewer at ScreenThoughts.net, where I gave Greta's Barbie a thumbs down. I didn't like the first twenty minutes, which I felt would cement young girls' belief that the Barbie 'look' was a ticket to fabulous self.
All that being said, I also mentioned that Greta Gerwig is a great director. Her vision of the film was brilliantly executed with a high level of difficulty; I'd give it a 10.
One of the big things that was wrong with the film, from my POV, was the way Mattel got to produce the film and be portrayed as silly, rather than evil, which I think they are. Their investment earns them 5% of the film's earnings. More than $1.4 billion has been taken in for the film. You run the numbers. Talk about a conflict of interest! Did you know that the original Barbie was a porn doll found in Switzerland? Or, that Barbie has brought in more dollars for Mattel than all the superheroes for boys, and yet this is the first film made for Barbie? The Mattel leadership team is 43% women and 57% men? So Barbie was carrying the heavy lifting for the company, but the boy dolls were getting all the glory on the screen.
Additionally, let's not forget that Barbie was the biggest box office film, bringing people back to theaters, possibly, alongside Taylor Swift's "The Era's Tour," saving AMC from certain demise.
So, when the Academy Award nominations were announced - and I've never seen them as anything other than a men's pat on the back in the locker room of Hollywood, you can't make this up - Barbie received a total of eight nominations. But, wait before you think things are changing in Hollywood...
Ken was nominated, but Barbie wasn't.
Greta, whose direction for this film will be taught in colleges, including the coveted Yale, did not get nominated.
Then, I had an epiphany.
It's the plot that Greta wrote, and is often the case in business. The women do the heavy lifting, and the men have control over the fruits of their labor. And they pat themselves on the back as the ones who created it all.
If there ever was a time for women to make a statement to the Academy, it's now. Perhaps they shouldn't show up. Maybe they should all dress as Barbie, and every woman should thank Greta and Margo for the work they did to keep film alive on the big screens in the years to come, rather than talk about what they are wearing.
Make no mistake, while things are getting better every year for women in business, it's still a fight to the finish.
--Christine Merser, Managing Partner, Blue2 Media