OK, back to the idea of the week….movies. I love movies. I have always loved movies. When I was perhaps 7 or 8, maybe even 6, I distinctly remember (obviously not the exact age) my Mother giving me a dime, walking me to the corner, holding my hand as I crossed the rather busy street we lived on and I watched her keep on eye on me as I walked the final 2 blocks to our local movie theater. I paid my 10 cents, found my seat and watched whatever movie was playing over and over until my Dad would pick me up on his way home from work. This scene played over and over again throughout the summers until we moved at the beginning of my 3rd grade.
Sometimes I still think of myself as that little girl, walking with dime in hand, paying for my ticket to be mesmerized by the characters and the story on the big screen. I know this is hard to believe, but these were the days that there were no R rated movies, so sex scenes, no violence, other than a gun toting western with John Wayne or Hopalong Cassidy. Who? Some of you may be saying who??….google them, I say to you.
Last night I watched, along with family members and friends, the 88th Oscar Awards. My daughter, Lisa is very much like her mother in that she also has a love-affair with the movies. She considers this a night to celebrate and does so by ordering Chinese Food (have no idea what Chinese Food has to do with celebrating other than the fact there is no cooking involved that is definite cause for celebration), passing out voting ballots to all in attendance, and oohing and ahhing and once in a-while an OMG as the stars begin the stroll down the red carpet prior to the big event.
I don’t think I have ever missed a production of the Oscars since I can remember. I vividly remember these moments….
- Sally Field’s 2nd Oscar win in 1984 when she excitedly said, “you like me” for her performance in “Places of the Heart."
- Tom Hank's beautifully rendered acceptance speech after winning the Best Actor award for "Philadelphia" in 1994 for his performance as a gay man dying of aids and his salute to his high school drama teacher who was gay and who made a profound impact on Hank's life choice to become an actor.
- Adrien Brody planting a big fat smooch on Halle Berry after she announced him as the best actor his protrayal in "The Pianist" in 2003.
- Roberto Benigni after being announced winner for his performance in "Life Is Beautiful" in 1998 began hopping over the seats to clutch that Oscar ASAP.
- Marlon Brandon won the best award for "The Godfather" in 1973 but instead sent Sacheen Littlefeather, an Apache woman whom Brando had sent in protest of Native American depiction in Hollywood films. Littlefeather was initially met with boos and jeers from the crowd, then came overwhelming applause. Brando had written a 15 page speech detailing his beliefs but the Academy refused to allow Little feather to read it, and immeditately implemented new rules prohibiting proxy acceptance speeches.
- Watching Ben Affleck and Matt Damon accepting the "best screenplay" award for "Good Will Hunting" in 1998. Their overwhelming enthusiasm and joy was enough to make anyone stand up and applaud.
I could probably go on and on and on about these moments, but I would love to know what some of your favorite movies have been over the years. As I stop to think of mine, I think of my all-time favorite movie as a little girl as being Disney’s “Cinderella”. I saw it 10 times in the movie theatre, remember those were the days when there was no such thing as DVD’s or On Demand. When I google the “best 100” movies, I have to search for the ones I truly enjoyed, “Singing in the Rain”, “Mary Poppins” “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s obvious that I tend to lean toward the happy, music filled flicks.
This year’s list of winners and nominees were all brilliant movies. I did see all the movies nominated for “Best Picture” except for “Mad Max Fury Road” which I have taped on my DVR. I rooted for “Spotlight” to win best picture, which it did. I thought the portrayal and the ensemble of actors treated this very sensitive subject with distinct dignity and honor and truth. I am delighted that Leo “finally” won an Oscar. I just wish it had been a less brutal movie than “The Revenant”. I did root for the winning of the Best Cinematography for “The Revenant”. It truly was a spectacle of nature’s beauty with the snow covered vistas, the light shining through the tall trees, the sunsets, and vastness of the wilderness. Leo’s acceptance speech (oh he is truly a handsome man with that slicked back hair, neatly trimmed goatee, and piercing blue eyes) was thought-provoking with his warning of the effects of Global Warming, a cause he supports with intense concern.
So, do you love movies like me? If you do, I would love to hear some of your favorites over the years. Or better yet, gather your dime(s) and go see a good movie today.