Academy Awards and Film Disability

Million Dollar Baby was heavily criticized by disability groups for promoting the view that being paralyzed was worse than being dead. This, of course, was also the case for the less-critically-successful Me Before You. You can see an archive of such responses here.

For Shape of Watersee Sara Nović at CNN. She writes:

Critics have been quick to declare the film a positive representation of disability — Elisa is employed, independent and a sexual being, a rarity for a group of people often portrayed in movies and books as childlike and asexual. Then again, the only one who finds her sexually desirable is a semi-human sea creature.

Also problematic is Hawkins’ American Sign Language, her only mode of communication in the film, which is abysmal — halting, stilted and not at all like someone who’d been signing since she was a child.

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