I have not been nominated for an Academy Award this year. Or last year. OK, never. But I could have been. If only. If I had been given a film to star in, had the looks of Cate Blanchett, the body of Jennifer Lawrence, and the talent of Meryl Streep. That could be me on the red carpet.
Instead, come Sunday night, I’ll be home, sipping my Diet Coke, sitting starry-eyed in front of the TV in my sweats (does Kohl’s count as designer wear?) wrapped in my favorite blanket waiting for the beautiful people to arrive.
I’ll have stellar company—approximately 50 million people will tune in to ceremony from the Academy Awards—more commonly known as the Oscars—Sunday, March 2 (8:30 pm EST/5:30 pm PST on ABC) to ooh and ahh; discuss, dish and diss this or that perennial favorite along with host Ellen DeGeneres. It’s the ultimate awards show we’ve waited for all year (don’t deny it!) where beautiful women in extremely expensive (on loan) gowns—Gucci, Lauren, Dior and Armani—and multi-million dollar jewels—Cartier, Harry Winston Fred Leighton—(also on loan) will stroll the red carpet (some with rented dates, some with Mom), smile, wave, and make sure not to forget the all-important “shout out” to the designers.
Their hair will be perfectly coiffed, makeup professionally applied, and, after a day of beauty treatments that surely included facials, body massages, and spray tans, their skin will look exquisite and as fresh and supple to the touch as a baby’s you-know-what. And don’t forget the shoes. Those five-inch stiletto heels may not be at all comfortable, but they will be fabulous and fashionable. All the names will appear on those perfectly manicured fashionista feet—Gucci, Kors, Weitzman, Jacobs, Mischka, Miu Miu, and, of course, Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite, Manolo Blahnik. While these stars are paid millions for their film work, what they wear comes gratis from designers hoping to get kudos on live TV.
It’s been a long awards season that included the SAG, Golden Globes, Directors Guild, Producers Guild, Critics Choice, BAFTA, Writers Guild, and my favorite, the People’s Choice Awards. However, come Sunday night, and after months of speculation, Hollywood’s biggest, brightest, glitziest night is finally here. As much as we try to deny it, we secretly can’t wait to see which stars show up; who will be the no-shows; who will take home the coveted golden statue; who will make the longest speech; who cries or forgets to mention their mother, husband, wife, God, or the all-powerful producers who put them in those films in the first place.
It’s been a great year for the motion picture industry. Terrific films, strong performances, great writing and directing. Yet, the race for the top four honors—Best Actor, Actress, Director and Best Picture—may not be all that tight. Although Cate Blanchett seems like a lock for Best Actress for her work in Blue Jasmine, and probably will win, the Woody Allen’s sex abuse allegations coming when they did may have Academy voters switching to the likes of Judi Dench (Philomena) or Sandra Bullock (Gravity).
In the Best Actor category, it will be Matthew McConaughey for his outstanding performance in Dallas Buyers Club. He took off 50 pounds for this role and I pick him to walk away with the title of Biggest Loser, er, winner, on Sunday night. The voters just love to see actors transform themselves on film. Remember Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry and Tom Hanks in Philadelphia?
Gravity seems destined to win Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and more. However, Twelve Years a Slave will probably pull off the biggest award, and deservedly so, and nab Best Picture. Though I can never understand how you can give a Best Picture Award and not include its director, so don’t be too surprised if both wins go to Gravity—or not.
And, no matter how we trash talk the film industry’s granddaddy of awards night as being just a star-spangled ball of fluff, we really do love it. Even as we sit slumped on sofas, eyes glazed after three-plus hours, listening to accolades for movies we haven’t yet seen, shouting at the TV for having too many commercials, and applauding little-known actors for their surprise wins (while being in awe of 64-year-old Meryl Streep for nabbing her unprecedented 18th nomination) we secretly wish we were one of the A-listers. If only to get up close and personal with George Clooney.
This is a far different event than the first Academy Awards ceremony, which took place at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929, just five months before the markets crashed October 29 on what was to become known as Black Tuesday. The excesses of the Roaring Twenties plunged the United States into the Great Depression. Can you say, The Wolf of Wall Street? Some year soon—just not this one—Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win the Oscar. He is a tremendously talented actor who always seems to end up nominated in a year filled with equally talented peers.
I admit it. I love the Oscars: the gowns, the gossip, the red carpet, the beautiful people looking more stunning than any human should be allowed to look. Without the movies, where would we go to escape, to laugh, to cry, to be enthralled and entertained? Don’t deny it. You love it all, too.
Red Carpet 2013: http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2013/02/24/best-of-the-2013-oscars-red-carpet-photos.html
Red Carpet: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/academy-awards/page/2/
Cate Blanchett: http://athenacinema.com/blue-jasmine/
Matthew McConaughey: http://collider.com/dallas-buyers-club-clips-poster-images/
Meryl Streep: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/meryl-streep-turns-to-dark-side-with-harridan-role-in-august-osage-county-20140101-305yp.html
Leonardo DiCaprio: http://collider.com/the-wolf-of-wall-street-review/
Oscar statuettes: http://collider.com/2012-oscar-predictions/