"Lights, Camera & Action"
"Once upon a time in Hollywood, ain't that's the truth. And to my kids, who color everything I do, I love you." Brad Pitt, Winner Best Supporting Actor, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
"Art is in the beauty of the beholder"
The 92nd Academy Awards Sunday, February 9, 2020 show was dismal compared to the Golden Globes held a month ago. The lame affair sprinkled with a few laughs was a questionable use of three hours. The pontificating was paramount and swimming with opinions meant for another venue. Imagine admiring a painting at a museum and you absolutely love it. A painting which an artist poured their soul and heart into with a message or story. The standalone painting allows one to create their own opinions about the piece. Now envision someone in the museum standing next to the painting that you relished and loudly stating their opinions on an entirely different painting or something unrelated. You are suddenly befuddled and do not understand why unnecessary words about something irrelevant are being professed. There is no correlation to the art and instead becomes a platform for a rant. Which reminds me isn't movie making an artistic endeavor of storytelling? Where we see the film, love the film and eagerly await the awards show. Do we watch the Oscars to be lectured? Isn't the daily news for that?
Why take a platform meant for thanking people and parlay it into an opportunity to chastise? More importantly, the Academy Awards acceptance speeches provide an opportunity for winning thespians to reflect and to be indebted. And a moment for movie buffs who pay money to see their films to relish the epic dramas and embrace the actors beholden words about the films creation and process. After all, we know that acting is an imitation of life. Actors since the conception of theater performances are there to do one thing only - entertain, tell a story or highlight injustices in society through acting. Why make a spectacle of yourself and ruin a golden opportunity to shine. And old adage rings true - A braying donkey remains a braying donkey.
The Positive With Grace
"To the girls, the women, to the daughters, who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices." Hildeur Guonadottir, Best Original score for Joker.
"You know, some say, never meet your heroes, but I say if you're really blessed, you get them as your parents. I share with with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game. I love you." Laura Dern, Best Supporting Actress, Marriage Story.
On a positive note many of the acceptance speeches by the winners were grateful for their craft, the people they have met, appreciative to supporters, fans and loved being in the industry. Those that gave heartfelt words were Laura Dern, Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story and Renee Zellweger, Best Actress for Judy and Bong Joon-Ho, Best Director and Best film - Parasite. In contrast, Brad Pitt, Winner Best Actor, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was moving at the end of his speech after beginning with an unwarranted opinion that had nothing to do with the movie. Moreover, Joaquin Phoenix, Best Actor for Joker, baffling diatribe completely missed the mark. Why? Joker was by far the most emotional and gut wrenching film of the year. It was a story about mental illness which entailed the sadness, pain and horrors of those suffering. Instead of talking about the film, he meandered on about animal rights and other pressing issues that bother him.
Finally and thankfully witty comedians brought comic relief. Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Will Farrell, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Kristin Whig with Mia Rudolf were hilarious and made the show passable. Note to the organizers of the Oscar 2020 fiasco, hire Kristin Whig and Mia Rudolf to host next year for 2021. Maybe more comedy is what the show requires along with oodles of grace and dignity by the attendees. The audience at home will be pleasantly pleased.
And, now for the fashion of the evening. Drum roll please! The fashion just like the show was a hot mess. Thank you to one of my friends who named my fashion segment for me - HOT MESS!
The Fashion - A Hot Mess!
"Dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they notice the woman." Coco Chanel
Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all? Need I even delve into the mad mad world of this years red carpet? The fashion resembled Madonna from the 1980's with only a few classic and memorable standouts. Those festooned in bright garish shades, sparkly jewels, roses, big shoulders, strange cutouts or a heaven forbid a lobster roll definitely made for incredulous gasps. Some pulled it off beautifully while others were weighted down by their bizarre get ups. By the way, the pre-show for the Oscars on ABC was the worst expose ever. The hosts were not effective at interviewing the actors and actresses. In fact, it was rather embarrassing. That being said, gladly there were a few movie stars dressed to the nines in classic apparel on the red carpet which made up for the ineptness of ABC hosts. For the most part, these divas dressed in black, pink, white and red. Please note that the actors who wore classic black tuxedos were stylish and actually overshadowed everyone else on the red carpet. It pays to dress with elegant style. If you dress the part, you will indeed be remembered.
Movie Star Queens
The Classic Goddess
Margo Robbie- Nominated Best Supporting Actress - Bombshell - Chanel: Robbie arrived in a navy Chanel strapless gown that dazzled on the red carpet. The ensemble included a riveting blue pendant which completed the spellbinding gown. The red lip and waved hair with minimal makeup ensured all eyes on this beauty. By the way, the house of Chanel had three gowns on the red carpet this year.
"Nothing says confidence like a classic red lip" Bobbie Brown
Pretty in Peach
Regina King - Versace: King was ravishing in a peach hued figure fitting gown from Atelier Versace. The epic train spread out speaking regal glamour. Her hair and makeup were perfection. Last year, she delighted us as well on the red carpet, and as winner of Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk.
"Elegance is the only beauty that never fades" Audrey Hepburn
Brunette Classic Bombshell
Charlize Theron - Nominated for Best Actress - Bombshell - Dior: The black Dior gown with fitted bodice, high skirt and slit is reminiscent of Angelina Jolie's number worn at the Oscars in 2012. Theron's statuesque figure combined with a simple gown and jaw dropping diamond necklace speaks volumes. She definitely was a bombshell on the red carpet.
"You either know fashion or you don't" - Anna Wintour
Renee Zellweger - Winner Best Actress - Judy - Armani Prive: The white one shoulder sequined form fitting gown along with pointed white pumps emphasized bygone Hollywood glamour. In a sea of zany outfits Zellweger hypnotized everyone with radiance. Additionally, she ended her rambling acceptance speech with a gracious nod to Judy Garland.
"Miss Garland, you are certainly among the heroes who unite and define us, and this is certainly for you. I am so grateful. Thank you so much, everybody. Good night. Thank you." - Renee Zellweger
Silver Screen Siren
Scarlett Johansson - Nominated Best Actress, Marriage Story; Nominated Best Supporting Actress, Jojo Rabbit - Oscar de la Renta: Johansson walked the red carpet in a silver sparkling fishnet inspired gown that fitted her curvy figure. The effect with minimal makeup, cascading diamond earrings were retro Hollywood glamour yet with a fresh and youthful twist. Simply lovely.
"The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress." Hubert de Givenchy
Chanel Haute Couture
Penelope Cruz - Chanel: This Chanel black silk custom made gown was beautifully designed and actually worked for her on the red carpet. The simple white flower and strand of pearl belt was sophisticated and sensational. The muted makeup and minimal jewelry completed this epic movie star look.
Brightest Star of the Night
Brie Larson - Celine: This pink flowing cape gown was decorated with 13,000 Swarovski crystals, 120,ooo sequins, 110, 000 glass beads, and 6,500 pink jewels. Captain Marvel, Larson definitely lit up the night and was the brightest of stars. The minimal makeup combined with Bvlgari jewelry earrings in white gold and diamonds, two Serpenti rings and matching bracelet added to the dramatic ensemble.
"I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect, they are much more interesting." Marc Jacobs
Use the Podium and Venue with Grace....
As stated the Oscars 92nd soiree was a miss for me. Now for others maybe you enjoyed the pointed lectures or eccentric fashion. This is the beauty of art and frankly life. Everyone's perception varies and isn't that what makes life incredible? If we all thought the same, looked the same and acted the same, wouldn't life be dull. Of course it would be. Yet, for this venue, my opinion, keep to the task at hand. Focus on the art of film making, who brought you there and why you are grateful to a part of this medium. Use the podium with grace. Be an example, a role model and someone who others can aspire to be in the film industry.
Leaders are few and far between. And, if you want to be one then do it with style, respect and charm. Anything else is folly and a reflection on your own character. After all the way I look at art, a painting, a movie or life's dramas is invariably different than someone else. Yet, when we come together in a public forum, know your audience and follow protocol. There will be other times and places to discuss the ills of the world. Recognize your role at the moment, speak with thoughtfulness to your audience, bring happiness and spread good will. Until next year, stay strong! There will always be another movie, another moment and another Oscar show.
"The best is yet to come"