"Lights, Camera & Action"
"Things never happen on accident. They happen because you have a vision, you have a commitment, you have a dream." - Oscar de la Renta
The 95th Academy Awards show held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, started with aplomb and ended flat though the fashion was top-notch. Old Hollywood glamour and fashion reigned supreme. The fashion focus was on enhancing a silhouette, feature's, and individuality. Let's commence with my commentary.
The opening monologue by Jimmy Kimmel was refreshing, light and funny. Last year's kerfuffle between host Chris Rock and actor Will Smith was highlighted. It was noted that any form of violence will never again be accepted during the show. Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars for ten years. And rightfully so. Everyone attending and watching concurred. Since when is violence in any form acceptable in polite society? The other emotional highlights were the first two awards and the acceptance speech from Michelle Yeoh, Best Actress, Everything, Everywhere All at Once, (2022).
Ke Huy Quan, Best Supporting Actor, Everything, Everywhere All at Once (2022) gave a magnificent speech and said, "What a true honor." "This is the American dream." American dreams can come true."
Additionally, Jamie Lee Curtis, Best Supporting Actress, Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), also had a glowing speech thanking everyone who participated in the film. Plus commented on her beloved parents, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, who never received an Oscar for their exceptional careers. "I know it looks like I'm standing up here by myself, but I am not. I am hundreds of people." "We just won an Oscar." Both winner's acceptance speeches were moving, emotional and eloquent. Thus, a great start to the awards show. Additionally, I once saw Jamie Lee Curtis at a grocery store, and she was regal in person. So, I am biased on her win.
And, of course, Michelle Yeoh, Best Actress, Everything Everwhere All at Once (2022), gave a riveting acceptance speech while wearing a gorgeous ethereal white silk, and feathered Dior Haute Couture-gown.
"This is proof that dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime." - Michelle Yeoh
Back to the Theatre!
However, the films that brought us back to the theatre did not garner Best Picture, Best Director or Best Actor. It was shocking because we went back into the theatre in 2022 for three films only: Top Gun: Maverick (2022) $1.5B, Avatar, The Way of Water (2022) $2.3B and Elvis (2022) $300M.
Many of my friends saw them repeatedly. Even Steven Spielberg, at another award event, congratulated, Tom Cruise for getting people back to the theatre. Sadly, both James Cameron, Director, Avatar, Way of Water and Tom Cruise, Top Gun, Maverick were absent from the show. They knew their films had brought people back to theatre yet once again were nixed from the top awards.
Entertain, Me Please!
Winning films are like a fine milkshake. We drink it up. Not once but many times.
"Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, it's a straw, you see? Watch it. Now my straw reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I...drink...your...milkshake. I drink it up!" Daniel Day Lewis, There will be Blood (2007)
Why? Because we crave, we adore, we drink up films that entertain us. Not films that have an agenda, make a statement or are depressing. Who wants to be depressed? Seriously, after 3 years of a brutal pandemic, who in their right mind wants to be depressed or be reminded how horrible life can be. The films slated had a variety of issues laced throughout with lots of pain mixed in. If you dip your toes into these films, you may, or may not watch the entire movie because of the content. After all, everyone now is firmly seated in their living rooms streaming stories that are riveting, entertaining, enriching and filled with A-list actors along with excellent writing. Plus, storylines, locations and sets which keeps us wanting more. We have zillions of choices.
List of top 25 films winning Best Picture: Best Picture
To be fair, maybe I missed the boat when I started watching some of these films. I will give them another whirl. Like everyone else, we have been spoiled with 1883, 1923, Yellowstone, Only Murders in the Building, Hacks, and the list goes on and on.
You want me in the theatre - you did it this year. But can you again? Only time will tell. Or perhaps movies and the cinematic experiences are over. I may be a dinosaur who wants yesteryear which included popcorn, film, emotion, and connection with others while enjoying the storytelling experience. Today, TikTok sensations, YouTube influencers, Instagram, Facebook etc., have captured the hearts of the youth. Additionally, many find going to films a waste of time. Why? Who knows. Perhaps art is not that important to them. Or they too, like the current youth, are their own personal celebrities and want to record or just say how extraordinarily busy they are in our chaotic world.
"Here I am."
"Look at me."
"I am so busy and popular eating and drinking the finest."
"Look at me."
"Are you looking?"
"Don't you think I am utterly amazing."
"You must be so jealous."
"I travel so much."
"I am so special."
"Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?
This year the fashion did not disappoint. Old Hollywood glamour was everywhere on the red carpet or should I say champagne toned carpet. Black and white fitted concoctions along with a splattering of red, yellow, gold and purple were on full display. The show stopping moments were everywhere. The sequins, rosettes, glitz and jewels bedazzled the beholders. The hair was loose and long. And makeup was glowing along with red lips taking center stage.
Nicole Kidman: A regular A-lister on the carpet who stuns every time. The black sequin dress with floral appliques and a high slit were stop the traffic mesmerizing. Her flowing hair and makeup were perfection. Kidman is always the queen when it comes to fashion.
Angela Basset: She wore a regal and dramatic Moschino purple concoction with a fetching neckline and a trumpet silhouette. The Bvlgari snake necklace, makeup was old Hollywood glamour.
Cate Blanchett: The vivid blue silk Louis Vuitton top with padded shoulders and long black liquid skirt elevated was statuesque. The overall look highlighted her blue eyes. The elegant makeup and drop earrings added to this shimmering moment.
Sharon Stone: The Dolce Gabbana yellow fitted gown with cape was breathtaking. The white florals at the bottom on both added to the drama effect. Of course, makeup and Georgio B jewelry completed this memorable ensemble.
Jessica Chastain: Veronica Lakeesq silver screen siren captivated on the carpet. The sensational Gucci champagne with a black trim and plunging neckline gown was Jessica Rabbit. The ravishing long red locks, red lips and an emerald tear drop necklace complimented this magnificent look.
There you have it. Hopefully, theatre going will continue with an even stronger comeback in 2023 and 2024. Thank you, Tom Cruise, and James Cameron, for getting the lights, camera and action rolling. As noted, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a film in the theatre. Dinosaur or not, I am truly blessed to be the age I am and to have had the movie theatre experience in my lifetime.
Furthermore, it is the arts that binds and connects humanity together. The arts remind us of the trials and tribulations of life through works of painting, writing, and acting. Actors enact stories that enrich, enlighten, teach, and shine a bright light on humanity. Often spreading hope and joy amongst pain and drama. The liberal arts are indeed a gift. They record our world, our history, and a space in time. Those that tell a story through the arts will always be a treasure to world.
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