Oh, have you heard about Mo’Nique?

Posted by · 9:31 am · January 27th, 2010

Mo'Nique at the 2010 Golden Globe AwardsYes, more of this.  But for the most part, this Vanity Fair/Little Gold Men piece from Mark Olsen on the season of Mo’Nique is spot on.  It reflects everything that is refreshing about her non-campaign campaign and, in quoting awards nut Tom O’Neil and unbalanced Mo’Nique basher Jeffrey Wells, it addresses the people she’s driven crazy along the way — the people who won’t really matter as her career (if she wants it to) skyrockets post-“Precious.”

(Seriously, who has Mo’Nique pissed off that can “pay her back someday,” as O’Neil puts it?  The elitist New york Film Critics Circle?  Come on.)

Knowing Olsen’s personal feelings on the film (he is no fan in the slightest) also makes the piece land just right for me.  Yeah, Olsen is a good journalist who doesn’t let bias show up in the course of his reporting, but I get the feeling he also believes that the need for breathless, saturated Oscar mugging is somewhat tacky, and the idea of someone like Mo’Nique coming along and bucking that trend, it’s exciting.

Writes Olsen:

When The New York Times’s David Carr, who has become a key anointer of Oscar talent with his awards-season profiles, wrote about Mo’Nique, the interview was not done in some hotel lobby or tasteful cafe in the media centers of Los Angeles or New York. Carr had to go to Atlanta. If you want me, Mo’Nique seemed to be saying, you have to come to me. And why not?

She did not attend the New York Film Critics Circle dinner, where she was bestowed a prize, but did attend The Los Angeles Film Critics Association dinner the night before the Golden Globes. At the Globes she picked up another award, and gave a movingly heartfelt speech that Drew Barrymore later declared onstage “set the bar” for thank-yous for the night. The next morning however, a photo from the red carpet began to circulate that showed Mo’Nique’s legs as being unshaven. At every turn, Mo’Nique seems to challenge, consciously or not, the very foundation of how a sleek, supplicating awards-season actress should look or behave.

He then goes on to quote O’Neil — who tries to make the case that, since Mo’Nique isn’t “among the gods of acting,” like past non-campaigners George C. Scott and Sean Penn, her behavior is somehow unacceptable — and Wells — who offers his trademark charm on the matter and wonders why he comes off racist, all the while claiming marks against Mo’Nique because her performance wasn’t “enjoyable” enough and “has no pizzaz.”  It’s still “award-calibre,” though, so who knows what point he’s trying to make (here or at any time throughout the season on the matter).

In any case, the matter has been written about ad nauseam and I really don’t think there will be anything to add after this.  It’s a nice summation, though I wish others had been quoted alongside the scorned.  But it’s well worth a read.  Have a look here.

→ 16 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

16 responses so far

  • 1 1-27-2010 at 9:36 am

    Theoriginal.andrew said...

    This is Eddie Murphy’s story part 2 when he was nominated for Dreamgirls. And I like Mo’Nique’s non-campaigning.

  • 2 1-27-2010 at 9:42 am

    sosgemini said...

    Cha know, O’Neal has become increasingly erratic with his reporting as he ages. His coverage this year has turned me off to the lot of what can be found on The Envelope. It’s sad because, O’Neal was the main reason I used to enjoy award show coverage online. The dude seriously needs some normal life experiences to balance his Oscar obsession. Sh*t ain’t that serious dude!

  • 3 1-27-2010 at 9:57 am

    billbil said...

    I think it’s great Mo’Nique is going it her way but I hope that doesn’t mean people are thinking Sidibe and/or Mulligan are embarrassing themselves by giving interviews and attending events. Hell, if I ever earned the outrageous good fortune of being nominated and winning motion picture acting awards, I’d see much of what Mo’Nique is supposedly shunning as all part of the experience and wouldn’t avoid it unless I had to. Plus, Mo’Nique has a “day” job, so to speak, whereas most actresses who are on the shortlist for awards are either usually filming or not working at all. And if they’re filming, often times it’s worth it to let them do the “tour” as promo for the new film – especially if the actor manages to mention their new work!! And, in some cases, isn’t much of the promo work part of the contract an actor signs to do a major motion picture? Again, I don’t mind people admiring Mo’Nique for being different – hell, she’s sure had more press than she probably would have otherwise – but I would hope people don’t turn around and lump all the non-Mo’Niques as media whores.

  • 4 1-27-2010 at 10:05 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    They aren’t embarrassing themselves and I agree, I hope that’s not the perception either. In fact, having done this for quite a while, I’d say there are a minimal amount of “media whores” each season. In most cases, people trust their publicists to guide them through it all, do this event, that interview, etc. And they see it as part of the job. But for others to bash Mo’Nique for not buying into that and letting the work stand for itself, I think it’s lovely. It’s not a strategy that can always be implemented, of course. And it might be more of a “story” if there were actual competition in the category this year.

  • 5 1-27-2010 at 10:07 am

    stylewriter said...

    @Theoriginal.andrew: I get the eddie Murphy reference and I would agree with you were it not for one major thing: she genuinely seems touched by the attention. Like Eddie Murphy she may not be hitting the talk shows or campaigning, she has hit just the right note in her acceptance speeched. Murphy, on the other hand, signaled the beginning of the end of his Oscar journey when he accepted what I think was the SAG award by saying “No, this is nice” while looking at the award like it were a pretty paperweight and acting like he was bored.

    There’s a difference between not wanting to play the game and not taking the awards seriously. Murphy acted through the entire season like he couldn’t give a damn so the Academy decided not to give a damn about his performance. I don’t think that will be the case with Mo’Nique.

  • 6 1-27-2010 at 10:26 am

    richard said...

    i totally agree with SOSGEMINI re tom o’neil.

    back in the day, his books on the various awards shows were the first time i ever found anyone with the same obsession as mine. he got me into this game. i met him once when i was catering the emmys, and i was thrilled. and i read his blog for years. but i finally stopped last year because his ego has become so huge and he’s lost himself. his writing now revolves around himself and his personal opinions of people in the industry.

    i love him for his inside scoops and devotion to the topic. but he does need to find some perspective. if he ever does, somebody let me know.

  • 7 1-27-2010 at 10:38 am

    Liz said...

    Seriously, does Jeff Wells not realize what a massive hypocrite he is? Tearing apart Mo’Nique for not campaigning and congratulating Carey Mulligan on “not playing the game.” What’s the difference?

    Oh, that’s right. Carey Mulligan is young, white, and thin.

  • 8 1-27-2010 at 10:41 am

    Ashley said...

    I don’t know why people are still talking about Mo’nique. She never said she was ungrateful for the recognition she is getting. All of her speeches have been extremely classy and appreciative. People have nothing better to talk about I guess because this ocsar season is havs been one of the worst and most boring.Why aren’t people talking about how Morgan Freeman has said that his 4? and possibly 5 Oscar nods have not helped his career (which is bs)?

  • 9 1-27-2010 at 10:47 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    You said it, Liz.

  • 10 1-27-2010 at 11:25 am

    Gustavo H.R. said...

    I’ve stopped reading O’Neill since that ridiculous post denigrating SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and its fans. The guy obviously went nuts.

  • 11 1-27-2010 at 11:32 am

    Faith said...

    So now Wells and other folks have to go after Mo’Nique because she supposedly didn’t shave her legs?! That’s like, a serious affront that should keep her from winning?! *shaking head* It must be nice to not have real problems, or NEWS for that matter.

    At this point, Wells would have a problem with Mo’Nique if she developed a cure for AIDS!!

    I would love to be a fly on the wall in Wells’ house when she wins the Oscar!

  • 12 1-27-2010 at 4:18 pm

    Hans said...

    I’m getting bored of the fact that every other O’Neill blog post is something like “See? SEE?? I was the first person in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD to call Inglourious Basterds as a frontrunner, and now everyone’s following me!”

    Or someting to that effect.

  • 13 1-28-2010 at 5:59 am

    jbf said...

    I used to go the Envelope almost every day, he was ont of the reasons I used to care about Oscar season, but latelly O’Neil has lost it.

    Every single comment that he made this award season was a disater. He made a big deal from this Monique story, he bashed Carey Mulligan for her speech when receiving the NBR award saying that another speech like that would cost her the Oscar. WTF? And now he is after Brad Pitt for not going to all award shows with Inglorious Basterd, he is saying that Brad is mad for not being nominated.

    The guy just care for petty things, he doesnt give a damn about performances any more. He would much prefer having Clooney winning instead of Bridges because his speeches are funnier.

  • 14 1-28-2010 at 6:06 am

    Mary said...

    @faith, I think Wells really damaged his image with this Monique disaster, I really think this hurt his career in a serious way. He just sounds like a insane person. People won’t forget all the fuss he made against this woman. iT was cruel, harsh and unbelievable.

    If I was Mulligan I would get a restraining order, but he seems to have moved on to Kristen Stewart now.

  • 15 1-28-2010 at 6:07 am

    Silencio said...

    I’ve always felt that Oscar mugging was tacky. I’m pleased that Mo’Nique is finding success without resorting to that. The sad reality though is that if there were even ONE other supporting performance that was on equal ground (or near it) with hers, she’d likely be losing more.

  • 16 1-29-2010 at 1:58 am

    the other mike said...

    In my opinion, Kris and Sasha Stone set the bar for awards coverage, they just come off as i dont know, normal. Some of these other characters, their egos are unf…nbeleiveable. its kinda humiliating having to watch some of the best actors out there having to pay penace to these douches so they can win an oscar.