Watching the 83rd Academy Awards, pageantry at its pinnacle, Mark Antony’s diatribe in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” marched through my mind:
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
I pledged not to bury, bash or verbally malign the production, hence brevity prevails: a respite from repetitious fashion gravitas, sedative- inducing acceptances; grousing about the hosts, Anne Hathaway, James Franco (Barbie and Ken on “uppers & downers”). (An intended slip off the “pledge” wagon.)
The scarcity of memorable moments highlights those whose luminescence spilled from the podium and dusted the vast universal audience with munificence, magic:
Celine Dion singing “Smile” while memorializing those who are now dancing with the stars.
Twenty second shot of “Gone With The Wind”.
Three minutes of Bob Hope hosting the 1953 Academy Awards; his reign of humor, gone, yet to find an heir.
Halle Berry eulogizing Lena Horn, who stated “it’s not the load that breaks you down, but the way you carry it.” A woman of color, a visionary, chiseling a boulevard, now tread unhindered, by talented thousands.
Best Commercial: American Airlines, an intimate, tasteful tribute to our military personnel.
Best Hair: Academy Award winner for Makeup, Rick Baker; hope his ponytail was not an extension!
Best Presenters: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock. Class. Style. Poise.
Best Caveat: Charles Ferguson, winning for “Inside Job” a documentary focusing on the financial crisis of 2008. Questioned why has no one in the world of finance has been incarcerated?
Outstanding Acceptances: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”, Natalie Portman, “The Black Swan”, Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”. The gold belongs to Tom Hooper for crediting his mother, his muse, inspiring him to direct “The King’s Speech”.
The powerful, imaginative conclusion, listening to “the King’s speech” as scenes from the ten contenders for best picture parade before us, weariness dissipates, warmth ambushes the heart and once more we are consumed by the most pungent of all elixirs, the ambrosia that annihilates depression, and reminds us why we exalt in the chimerical, incredulous world of cinema. Priceless.
Please share your observations of the event; needless to say you do not have to be on the pledge wagon!
Those of you who “played the game” made my evening immeasurably entertaining; regardless of incorrect selections, you are all “Oscar” recipients in my estimation. Thank You!