Oscars are accused of trolling Faye Dunaway by posting birthday tribute filled with clips from Mommie Dearest…even though notorious Joan Crawford biopic was snubbed for awards and disowned by its star
It was the infamous campy movie that was blamed for derailing Faye Dunaway’s illustrious career … but now the Academy Awards have finally chosen to celebrate it, 42 years later.
Oscars bosses raised eyebrows by sharing an 83rd birthday tribute to the star using only clips from her infamous 1981 movie Mommie Dearest.
Fans of the actress even accused the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of taunting Dunaway with his choice of the over-the-top Joan Crawford biopic, which she is known to dislike and forbids interviewers to mention .
One wrote at the bottom: ‘She would hate this so much, thank you.’
Oscars bosses raised eyebrows with a birthday tribute to Faye Dunaway made up of clips from her 1981 movie Mommie Dearest – which Academy Award bosses swore off and which the 83-year-old actress is known to dislike not. Dunaway can be seen in one of the Joan Crawford biopic’s many memorable scenes, berating his adopted daughter Christina for using wire hangers
Also included in the tribute was this scene, beloved by camp fans everywhere, where Dunaway’s Crawford bellows ‘Tina, bring me the axe!’ to her adopted daughter as she furiously chops down a tree after being fired from MGM
Dunaway won an Oscar in 1977 for her role as a ratings-obsessed TV executive in Network – but no clips from that movie were used in the controversial birthday tribute
Commenters on the tribute post were quick to flag the unusual choice of movie
Another said: ‘So epic the academy is putting it on her birthday… best present ever.
A third said: ‘This movie ruined her career and she loooooves the movie so much lol.’
And a fourth wrote: ‘I feel that whoever uploaded this will receive a very unpleasant voicemail.’
It was a reference to an angry voicemail Dunaway left for a journalist who once asked her too many questions about Mommie Dearest, instead of her other movies.
The Oscars tribute included all of the movie’s most memorable scenes – including this infamous confrontation between Joan Crawford and the bosses of Pepsi, on whose board she sat.
Dunaway (left) played the role of Joan alongside Mara Hobel (right), who played the role of Christina Crawford, dividing critics and making audiences weep with laughter
The movie was inspired by a memoir written by Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter Christina, pictured in 2019, who accused her mother of abusing her.
The Oscars’ Instagram tribute features many of the most campy clips from the movie, including Dunaway yelling ‘No hangers!’ before lashing out at his adopted daughter Christina, played by Mara Hobel, after finding the offending items in a cupboard.
Also present and correct was the moment where Dunaway screams ‘Tina, bring me the axe’, as a mad Joan destroys her rose garden after being told she is ‘box office poison’ and dropped by the boss of MGM Studios.
Dunaway’s Joan is seen yelling, “Don’t fuck with me, this ain’t my first time at the rodeo,” to members of Pepsi’s board in another oft-quoted scene.
Mommie Dearest is based on a tell-all book published by Joan’s adopted daughter Christina a year after her mother died in 1977, where she accused the Hollywood icon of being an abusive mother. Christina wrote the book after being disinherited by Joan.
The decision to celebrate Mommie Dearest is an odd one, as the Academy rejected the movie altogether for nominations after its 1981 release.
It ended up sweeping the boards at the Golden Raspberry Awards for worst movies, with Dunaway being the worst actress there.
Christina and Joan are in the picture together. Mother and daughter reportedly endured a rocky relationship, with Joan disinheriting her daughter after her death from cancer in 1977
Dunaway won a best actress Oscar for her role as a ratings-obsessed TV executive in 1976’s Network, but no footage from that movie was used.
She was also nominated for best actress for Bonnie and Clyde in 1968 and Chinatown in 1975 – but clips from those movies were also mysteriously absent.
Dunaway starred in Mommie Dearest and probably believes the poignant subject matter would earn her a fourth Oscar nomination.
The big budget movie featured beautiful sets and amazing costumes from legendary designer Irene Sharaff, who also worked on the original West Side Story, Meet Me in St Louis, Cleopatra and An American in Paris.
Dunaway was also applauded for her incredible physical transformation, which saw her use makeup and muscle contortions in her face to show an eerie resemblance to Crawford.
But her high hopes were dashed after the movie was released, with audiences dissolving into howls of laughter at its turbo-charged, campy scenes.
The movie quickly became a cult hit and remains extremely popular in the gay community.
Reviewers were divided on Dunaway’s performance – with both the New York Times and New Yorker heaping praise on her portrayal of Crawford.
However, Variety’s review was scathing, with its critic saying: ‘Dunaway doesn’t chew scenery. Dunaway starts neatly at every corner of the set in every scene and swallows it whole, costar and all.’
The actress is said to have been badly shaken by the Mommie Dearest debacle and moved to England with photographer husband Terry Richardson and their son Liam for much of the 1980s.
The couple separated in 1987 and Dunaway returned to the US.
Dunaway’s career never reached the heights of her 1960s and 1970s blockbusters, although Mommie Dearest has since been panned by many critics who praised the film and the actress’ stunning performance.
She did discuss the movie in a 1995 episode of Inside the Actors Studio, saying: I was never directed by directors, I’m sorry to say it became camp.’
In 2008, s Guardian interviewer recounted how during an interview with Dunaway he was forbidden to call Mommie Dearest.
Dunaway is cast in one of her most famous roles, as the infamous bank robber Bonnie Parker in the 1967 hit Bonnie and Clyde
Dunaway is pictured at the 2017 Oscars – where she and Warren Beatty mistakenly named La La Land winner Best Picture, instead of Moonlight
She later angrily ended the conversation after he questioned her about allegations that she threw a cup of urine over director Roman Polanski while filming Chinatown.
And in 2016, the actor told People she blamed the movie for damaging her career.
She said: ‘I think it turned my career in a direction where people would irrevocably have the wrong impression of me.’
Dunaway also claimed that her ferocious portrayal of Crawford tainted the public’s perception of her.
Accused of being difficult, the actress was fired from a Broadway-bound play in 2019 after allegedly creating a “hostile” and “dangerous” work environment.
Dunaway had one more major brush with Oscars fame – when she and Bonnie and Clyde co-star Warren Beatty mistakenly announced that La La Land won Best Picture in 2017, instead of the rightful winner Moonlight.
But unlike the fraught relationship between Joan and Christina Crawford, Dunaway’s son Liam is definitely one of her fans.
He shared the Mommie Dearest Academy tribute clip on his Instagram page on Saturday, writing: ‘@theacademy showing some love.’