Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

“Why is This Night different from All Other Nights?”


No. I’m not talking about Passover. I’m talking about tonight’s telecast of the Academy Awards. Oscar. And Oscar is all wet. And not just because Los Angeles is expected to get it’s 1,000th day of consecutive rain showers.
Maybe it is because no one was sure it was going to happen at all due to the writer’s strike. It could be the nominated films themselves. “No Country for Old Men” (the likely Best Picture winner) ain’t exactly “Dreamgirls” nor is “There Will Be Blood” “Chicago” (O.k. so I like musicals, I’m a gay stereotype.) Nope, we have a bunch of dark & unapproachable films this year. One major annoyance to me is that the usually wonderful Cate Blanchet is nominated for Best Actress for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” One of the worst pictures of the year mainly do to Cate’s over wrought & self-indulgent performance, not to mention Clive Owen’s heavy handedness with the self tanner. (Is it me or has there been a film every single year depicting a British monarch? Wanna an Oscar? Play a queen!) But thankfully this award will likely go to Julie Christie, or my personal fave; Marion Cotilliard for her portrayal of Piaf.

I also think part of the reason for the lack of excitement of not downright disinterest; is the 24/7 celebrity culture we’re living in. If you miss tonight’s show don’t worry, ACCESS & ET will be playing the clips & the “exclusive interviews” all week long, I’m sure. By the time a film or performance is nominated we’ve seen about 25 interviews plugging it. It wasn’t always like this.

In the pre- Britney era, you pretty much only saw celebrities (no one really says “Stars” anymore, do they?) when they were working, that is, on screen. Or perhaps chatting with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show & the occasional scandal flare up in The National Enquirer. So you sort of HAD to tune in to the telecast of the Academy Awards if you wanted to see stars. And see them you did. In all their glory. Because everyone showed up. Or sometimes famously didn’t show up, as in the case of Marlon Brando & George C Scott. All the legends came & strolled down the red carpet. It may not have even been officially “red” back then. Women wore their own clothes & jewels; or if they borrowed them certainly didn’t brag about the fact. There were no stylists. Ladies may have had “the studio” do their hair & makeup but no one talked about that. Actually, Grace Kelly who won a Best Actress Oscar for “The Country Girl”, had to do her own hair in the limo on the way to the ceremony. She was working late, racing to the theatre, and her “coiffure” failed her. She simply took a few roses from a corsage given her & tucked them in her pinned up hair & never looked more breathtaking. Though, Judy Garland still should have won that year for “A Star is Born”

You can tell I have a lot of Oscar trivia stuffed in my head. I can’t help it. I only learned about the “situation in the Middle East” after Vanessa Redgrave was booed during her acceptance speech (Best Supporting Actress: “Julia”) for making Pro-Palestinian statements. I always thought of the Oscars as “The Gay Superbowl” Oh well. Maybe the commercials will be interesting.

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