____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hooray for Hollywood!

For anyone who complains about the length of the Oscars, I’m curious how many of them were watching the Super Bowl last month? Or every Sunday and Monday for the last, um, 45 years? The Red Carpet is my pre-game show. So maybe the ads aren’t as good, but if I can put up with football season and basketball season and baseball season and hockey season, then I think all the haters can be quiet for one day and let me have my movie stars.

I SO HEART movies!  And I LOVE the Oscars!  However, I don’t generally try to predict the winners.  Mostly because wanting-something-to-win-really-bad-because-I-really-like-it has not really proven to be a great predictor of winners.  At least not for me.

But I still enjoy a good show.  I remember the excitement of watching Titanic sweep the Oscars; it was not unlike watching Michael Phelps swim race after race at the 2008 Olympics, wondering if he could pull it off—Although Michael Phelps only won 8 gold medals, while Titanic won 11 Oscars, something that had previously only been accomplished in 1959 by Ben-Hur.   (Ok, 8 gold medals is still pretty frackin’ A-MA-ZING)  And ok, so James Cameron did his “King-of-the-World!” proclamation, which was a little over-the-top, but hey, after 11 Oscars for one movie, he probably kind of earned it.  And it was definitely memorable.

I remember Ben Affleck and Matt Damon winning for Good Will 
Hunting (Best Writing, Screenplay), and remember thinking I’d never before heard the “F” word used so much in a movie (or actually, even in real life).  And I remember them saying that they’d basically ripped off Jodie Foster’s Little Man Tate.  I remember Billy Crystal hosting, and Robin Williams winning (Best Supporting Actor, also for Good Will Hunting).  There seemed to be a bit of Academy déjà-vu in the air, as Billy Crystal, on the side-lines, watched his friend, Robin Williams accepted the award, I couldn’t help but wonder if long-time and frequent  host (18 times), Bob Hope, didn’t have a similar sensation when his good friend Bing Crosby won Best Actor for Going My Way in 1944.  Before Goodwill Hunting, I don’t think many people pictured Robin Williams as Oscar caliber—I think Crystal probably captured the moment best with a semi-self-depreciating remark he made after Rabbi Marvin Hier won Best Documentary Feature with The Long Way Home—“What a night when even your Rabbi wins an Oscar!” (—I had to google the film, but that line always stuck with me, as if Crystal, too, should have won something, and not to count him out yet, that he will take home his own Oscar someday.)

I remember Kevin Spacey winning Best Actor for American Beauty, and wishing that Annette Bening would win Best Actress, because she was VERY pregnant (baby was born two weeks later).

I was in France watching with my host-family when Shakespeare In Love won Best Picture—My host-sister and I had just gone to see it in the theater, in French, and to this day, I’ve never seen it in English—But I got the gist.  And I think my host-family was practically as excited as Roberto Benigni when he won Best Actor for Life Is Beautiful.  We were all on our toes, watching him jump up on his seat, and then watching him jump from seat to seat after they announced his name.

Bjork wearing a swan. (might have been a little more appropriate this year)(Black Swan)

I remember Halle Berry and Denzel Washington winning for Best Actress and Actor (Monster’s Ball, Training Day)—With Halle’s emotional speech and BEAUTIFUL gown, and Julia Roberts standing weirdly close behind Denzel as he gave his speech.

And Adrian Brody kissing Halle Berry the next year, as he accepted his (other) award.

I remember the war-time speeches—the question of whether or not there would even be an Oscars, though, in the end, the show did go on.

I love the montages and the tributes, taking time to appreciate the best of an art form, to celebrate, to honor those who may have been overlooked, and to remember those who have been lost.

And this year, I’ll add Melissa Leo’s F-bomb-dropping speech to the list (apparently, and astonishingly, the first instance during an award acceptance speech!), along with Kirk Douglas’s frail, yet flirty presentation; Billy Crystal and the late Bob Hope’s tribute to CGI; David Seidler’s “Late bloomer” comment (Best Writing, Original Screenplay, The King’s Speech), Steven Spielberg’s moving speech, putting into perspective what an amazing honor it is JUST. TO. BE. NOMINATED.  and how my dvr stopped recording at the precise moment Spielberg pronounced:  And the Oscar goes to…

Don’t worry, I googled it.  Apparently the Oscar went to The King’s Speech.  I had actually been hoping for True Grit, a movie that left me with a feeling of awe, a feeling that this movie was in a class above all others.  However, I did go check out The King’s Speech the other day, and I don’t hesitate to say all of its awards are well-deserved.  I had the urge to applaud when it ended (but there were like nine other people there and I would have felt silly).  Definitely a year that is truly an honor just to be nominated.

Thanks for the memories... ;)



Drackar said...

I have nothing against the Oscars, as such. it's really not something I can sit for hours and watch, but I can see why others can.

I did sit through most of it this year though...And every movie that won was freaking depressing. What's with that?

nymfaux said...

I totally know what you mean about the depressing part!!!--You can look back at past winners and see that it wasn't always that way--There were musicals and even animation--But somehow we've gotten it into our head that if it isn't "DRAMATIC" or "DEPRESSING" or something "emotionally charged" that it's not as good of a movie, or that as good acting, or writing, that it isn't "OSCAR worthy"
--Not that it's any LESS depressing, but I'd LOVE to see Harry Potter get something next year, because I think that the culmination of a body of work like that deserves something--Hey, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won--but I also know that not everybody wants to compare Rowling with Tolkein...

And though I can go either way on The Fighter, I've LOVED The King's Speech and True Grit!!!

Wilde.Dash said...

It wasn't the most exciting telecast this year (Franco really phoned that one in), but I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Super Bowl analogy. I always make that comparison and people just stare at me. They're clearly illiterate philistines. I mean, come on people! They may not choose the "right" winners 75% of the time, but it's a better indicator of where we stand as a culture than a bunch of dudes barely moving up and down a field...

I clearly have opinions on this.

nymfaux said...

yes--agree with you on Franco--Though Anne Hathaway definitely had some good moments!--I heard Whoopi Goldberg say she'd be willing to host with Billy Crystal... and also someone else suggested Russel Brand might be a good host for the future--I would DEFINITELY watch both of those shows!!!

I thought it was kind of interesting, because I think it was one of the most even-keeled shows I've watched, the steadiest pace--I watched the performances, and the speeches I expected to be good or boring, were pretty much what I expected--I didn't find myself fast-forwarding as much as usual, so I think I watched more of it, but it also missed out on a lot of the spontaneity that often makes the show so exciting.

--Also, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who's not as big on the Super Bowl lol :) (although, I was born a Packer fan, so I was vicariously for my home team!) ;)
-I'm not sure our country's love of watching a bunch of dudes running back and forth down a field isn't pretty indicative of where we are as a culture...But I just figure that there's room enough for both.

I do like what you said about the Oscars, in particular, being an indicator of what we value--It's a little bit of a time capsule in a way--We can look back at what we used to think was good, and see whether it has stood up through time--How many people today have heard of Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Sergeant York, (Alfred Hitchcock's) Suspicion, or The Little Foxes?--All nominated; all lost to How Green Was My Valley--Which isn't to say that it wasn't a good film, but for the most part, it's been lost in time, while the others are still lauded to this day.

So who knows what will happen?

nymfaux said...

I meant to say vicariously "happy"