Two were very close: “Laura” and “Gerry”. Viola Davis was most of our Achilles heel; she was a major force in an iconic film. Meryl Streep was the only force in a mediocre movie; how tragic that she neglected to mention Margaret Thatcher in her acceptance speech (also when she won the Golden Globe). Streep is a genius but I was one of those who groaned when she won; she recognized the groaners but not the woman who made it possible for her victory. Maybe she is unaware that Ms. Thatcher is still alive and much of England has shunned the film for its inaccuracies and pathetic portrayal of one of the greatest women of the twentieth century.
The broadcast was the finest in years. Billy Crystal was warm and fuzzy, reminiscent of a kinder, gentler time in Hollywood history. The acceptances witty, poignant and brief; in many cases inclusive, forecasting a world of equality and tolerance. The starlets, glowingly luminescent in their designer gowns and jewels. Cirque du Soleil aerobic and aeronautic in their sculptural interpretation of archival , magical flicks (especially “North By Northwest”).
My favorite were the vignettes shared by a myriad of actors, gifting viewers their epiphanies, the seeds planted by family, experiences that shaped their nubile, malleable minds, resulting in their fascination, devotion and immeasurable love for film and why it defines who they are; they were truthful, lacking any artifice, inspirational in their soul- searching sincerity. I was moved and remembered my indoctrination, at the age of 5, into the world of fantasy.
The eldest of five children I badgered my parents to take me to the movies every Friday night. Anna May and Bill would have preferred to be alone but I was tenacious and admittedly obnoxious, so as a wise man once said “persistence wears down resistance” a mantra I adopted as a juvenile and on the whole has served me well. The theatre was coined “The Roxy” and double features were in vogue. In the darkness, a world of mysterious wonder, glory and miracles engulfed me; I believed every scenario, my insatiable imagination devoured every nuance; these actors, were real people, they did die or live happily ever after; I loved, hated, wept for these souls who shared their life with me for a night; I was grateful, humbled to be privy to their secrets. My life has been shaped by sundry issues and choices but forever I will be eternally indebted to the two beautiful, exceptional human beings who opened the door and my eyes to the transformative, magical, resplendent, universal, curative world of film, my Mother and Father.
Those of you who entered the contest added to the joy of the evening for me; I mourned as the numbers declined and slowly all were eliminated; but hearten to the fact that another year is unfolding and we are all jumping into the fray of the indefatigable, ubiquitous, ceaselessly evolving world of cinema. Who is clairvoyant, maybe the best is yet to be?