Who is Winning the Oscars?

Jenny Beavan wins Oscar, guys in audience not impressed

512950468-actress-cate-blanchett-watches-as-jenny-beavanCate Blanchett watches as Jenny Beavan celebrates with her Oscar for Best Costume Design for Mad Max: Fury Road, in the press room during the 88th Oscars in Hollywood on Sunday.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

One of the most striking moments in last night’s Academy Award ceremony was the apparently cold reception that Best Costume Design winner Jenny Beavan received from the crowd as she walked down the aisle to claim her prize for Mad Max: Fury Road. In a Vine that has now been viewed more than 11 million times, none of seven men sitting along the aisle are seen clapping for her.

Eventual Best Director winner Alejandro González Iñárritu keeps his arms crossed and virtually glares at Beavan as she tromps down the aisle. Spotlight director Tom McCarthy covers his mouth and giggles. Steve Golin, a producer of The Revenant and Spotlight, looks her coldly up and down, and otherwise doesn’t move a muscle.

What was going on here? One charitable interpretation is that Beavan was seated in the back of the room along with the other technical-award nominees, so perhaps the front-of-the-room elites had finished clapping by the time she worked her way to their section. Maybe Iñárritu, whose grouchiness read as the most extravagant, was mad that his movie didn’t win. Poor guy.

The less-charitable interpretation, and one it’s awfully hard to avoid, is that they were taken aback by her appearance. Beavan was wearing baggy black pants, a faux leather jacket emblazoned with a skull inspired by Mad Max’s Immortan Joe, and a scarf that she later said was meant to recall an oil rag. The first impression she made was of a woman who hasn’t realized the Oscars are a formal affair.

More to the point, Beavan’s entire appearance reads as a cheerful middle finger to Hollywood. Her hair is a huge gray wedge with scraggly bangs, a style she appears to have been wearing for decades. Her teeth are imperfect, she doesn’t seem to wear makeup, and her physique suggests she doesn’t do grain bowls or barre. She swung her arms as she tromped down the aisle, beaming all the way.

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