Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 Academy Awards Review:

I think it was the best Oscars in 20 years!

What can we do to ensure this again? Who can we write to praise?

The past few years I have been devastatingly disappointed with various efforts to change up the Oscars. From having people accept their Oscars in the isles (hideously lame) to turning the event into an Ellen show (even though I adore her, she made the show about her instead of the Awards and it was tasteless and self-indulgent).

Last night was stupendous. It was so well done.

I don't recall anyone being played off the stage because their speech was too long (so tacky and cruel). I presume this was because there was less presenter banter and fewer televised awards. Let's keep it this way!

I loved the combining of the nominated songs even if Peter did not.

Hugh was a delight (I am a huge Billy fan, love me some Whoopie and Steve and even liked Dave but Hugh might just be perfect). He entertained and as he said, brought more show and less biz into the festivities. He stayed out of the way and we nearly forgot there was a host until he would pop up and entertain us again.

The musical number felt a bit disjointed but I give it an A for ambitious, valiant effort. I am NOT fan of Beyonce but was so glad to see someone with her body type next to all the anorexic twigs on the carpet. Angelina's arms are scary thin. Natalie Portman is the size of my daily afternoon snack, she's the fourth meal at Taco Bell. And most the dames were nothing much past silicone on bone. But I still love a parade.

I was very impressed with the entire look and feel of the show and ESPECIALLY the way each nominee was given a few minutes of spotlight by prior recipients to be recognized, honored and truly celebrated for being nominated. Class act all the way!

I cried more in this show than I did in all the others combined and that's saying something since the Oscars are my annual self-pity party for my lost dreams and personal deficits ranging from physical challenges and financial losses to career failures and familial abandonments. But I like to cry. I find it cathartic and now that I am a mom (role model) I can't break down and cry as a release as much as I used to without frightening my child and making her feel that her mother is emotionally unstable. I think the ones who cry are the most stable because there is no combustible components in them ready to explode as they always have a slow leak, letting it all drain out.

But I missed the acceptance speeches that make me have the "ugly cry" like Halle Berry's, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s and that Italian guy who jumped on the chairs. But just looking into the weepy eyes of thinner, richer, more successful people than myself was good enough. I was touched that they were touched...and a tiny bit pained at the loss four out of five of them knew they would experience.

For many actors this is a life long dream come true, a few minutes to bask in the glory isn't asking too much even if other deserving members of the industry in more technical areas of production have to sacrifice a public acceptance speech for it. If those people wanted to be in the spotlight they wouldn't be working behind the scenes. They get mentioned. They get an award. I think that's enough. Let the actors, writers and directors give the speeches, it's usually more inspirational and entertaining for all of us and isn't that what this self-absorbed, magical, circus is all about: being inspired and entertained (if not also inducing self-loathing)?

While I am not a fan of SLUMDOG mania, I get it and expected it would win. I was happy with all the awards and like usual, thought most everyone nominated deserved to be.

Hated the dresses with seat belt straps across them. I prefer the classic gowns.

But I always enjoy seeing people get all dolled up in uncomfortable boning and high pointed heel shoes while I sit in my sweats, cozy as can be feeling for a few simple hours that I have it better than them in one small but significant way no matter how impermanent. And sure, while I wish I had the abundance of Kate Winslet: she's authentic, talented, beautiful, young, wealthy, successful and has a husband and children….I bet she doesn't have time to make the memorable scrapbooks for her kids that I have which hopefully will mean something to them if they don't get destroyed in a fire, flood, Tsunami or earthquake.

Life is a trade off. I dreamt my entire life of living the dream I watch others live and my life isn't over so the dream lives on… but I also bask in the glory of my simple life in this moment of now. My life of having the priviledge of putting my child to bed each night and staying at home all through the night should she wake, reading to her, dancing with her, cooking and cleaning for her, being in a mom's group because she made me a mom, bloggling and Facebook-ing about her and me and life, going to ballet classes, home schooling, scrapbooking, care giving for family and friends, baking from scratch, walking on the beach without photogs taking unflattering pictures of me in my scraggly swimsuit and privacy wherever I go while wearing comfortable clothes and shoes.

My award is the string of simple pleasures I wear in lieu of diamonds and pearls…

…and someday It would be nice to hang it on an Oscar.