Monday morning quarterbacking of the Oscars has commenced. Days will be filled with entire programming devoted to the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ dressed, the upsets, the parties.
But throughout the show, and the preshow, and the red carpet arrivals show, I kept thinking how odd the whole production seemed. It’s a bit like honoring the finest restaurants by giving awards to the wait staff. Yet, we’ve all had dining experiences where the best food in the world wouldn’t make up for poor service.
Likewise, the best actors can’t outshine poor writing. Ask Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Their movie, ‘The Tourist’, wasn’t even mentioned. Yikes!
So why don’t we honor the writers? Is it that nobody cares about the authors? Hollywood cares deeply when there is a writers’ strike as it quickly shuts down. However, we couldn’t honor the author of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, unless it was posthumously. Lewis Carroll first published it in 1865. What a timeless classic!
Are we mesmerized by actors’ abilities to make a comeback? Is that why we cheer for Melissa Leo? Or is it the dedication to a craft where they become like a chameleon, changing themselves before our very eyes into skeletal ballerinas and stuttering kings? Maybe it’s the replication of life as we know it as in ‘The Kids are Alright’. Or a reminder of the old western greats, like ‘True Grit’; although, I must admit that I did not find Jeff Bridges’ garbled language in that movie particularly appealing. I wonder how it was written for him.
So much attention is paid to the clothing, jewelry, hair styles. It is the show within the show. And when an acceptance speech is given, there are so many people to thank; agents, attorneys, publicists, stylists, teachers, family, trainers, dance instructors, speech coaches, directors, producers, camera operators, unions…the list goes on and on.
Perhaps that is why we pay attention.
When we honor one actor, there is a village underneath that he/she supports. And that includes the writers.
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