Oscars 2014: Kim Novak and the unkind side of Hollywood

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Kim Novak is best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), considered by many the most important film in the history of cinema.

However, audience of the 86th Academy Awards seem to have forgotten about Novak's talent and career and, quite bleakly, preferred to focus on the face of the actress, who is now 81.

Time is not kind on human beauty, and we know that. But is is especially cruel on women such as the Hollywood stars, because it's especially their facial feature, immortalized by the camera and turned into an icon, that we expect to remain intact forever.

Of course, this is an impossibility, and I believe it both insensate and insensitive to have such an expectation and put such pressure on these ladies who are only humans after all, believe it or not.

Nevertheless, media and social media alike went bonkers after watching Novak presiding the Oscars ceremony in LA last Sunday: a shower of tweets and a river of unkind comments in the press pointed the finger at the actress' use of plastic surgery, and how it as allegedly turned into a 'wierd-o'.

The actress attended the awards to present Best Animated Short Film and Best Animated Feature Film, but her appearance has become the focal point of the eternal discussion on the so-called celebrity culture and the unfair place that it imposes on ageing actresses.

On one hand, cheap comments were flowing on the web and in the press: even tycoon of kitsch par excellence Donald Trump could not refrain from externalizing his remarks on the quality of Ms Novak's plastic surgery


On the other hand though, many wise people who have been in the entertainment business for long enough to acknowledge its darker aspects, were able to discuss the issue from a more mature point of view.

An examples for all, film blogger Farran Nehme recounted Ms Novak's background and the hardship she faced in her career, especially in the beginning when, at the hands of sexist and cruel producer Harry Cohn she was put on a diet and called 'that fat Polack' behind her back, despite her background being Czech.

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