Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 Oscars

So, another Oscar party draws to a close, and if you weren't here in person, I apologize for the smallness of our home. If i had my druthers, I'd have everyone here, but instead we have the two score or so that can fit.

Best picture and best director going to Birdman and Innaritu felt right, although slighting Michael Keaton didn't; where would this amazing movie be without his incredibly meta performance?

The Grand Budapest Hotel got more than its fair share of gold statuettes, considering it is a comedy from Q1 of the preceding year, and this gave me no small amount of satisfaction. In years to come, this movie may become the same sort of character litmus that Joe Versus The Volcano has, in that you are free to think the film is a greater or lesser work than I do, but if you hate it, then the odds of our becoming lifelong friends is greatly reduced.

In the end, films will win, creators will lose, but the best benchmark of any Oscars telecast should be its acceptance speeches. Sure, we got treated to more than our share of laundry list 'thank you's' including everyone from parents and hairdressers down to agents and the rest. Still, this year there were some standouts:
J.K. Simmons asking everyone to call their Moms, not to text' not to email, but to speak and to listen, and to be grateful, was brilliant.
Patricia Arquette using her time at the podium to push for female wage equality.
John Legend (who I already love from his Django Unchained track "Who Did That To You?"), along with Common gave the speech of the night talking about voting rights and the universal ideal of equality.
Graham Moore's speech as screenwriter for "The Imitation Game" that included "I tried to commit suicide when I was sixteen, and I'm still here."
Sure, it's easy to write off the Oscars as billionaires (esp. white billionaires) throwing recognition and statuettes at each other, but sometimes they remind us that art serves as a mirror that humanity uses to understand itself a little better, and I hope those of us in charge of making those important decision saw some of that tonight!

And in the end, our birthday boy, Earl J. Woods ended up with the most correct predictions (tied with me at 12!), but the Rev. James ended up walking away with the prize in our new new hat-based lotto format.

Another great Oscar party behind us at last!

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