One night a year you will know exactly what I will be doing, where I will rather be, and who I will either travel near or far to spend it with. Granted, while I will miss desperately a certain few who speak the language of Oscar, truth be told, I have enjoyed the evening many a times in the company of pop and corn, wine and chocolate!
Now, now, here this: my infatuating with an awards ceremony, perhaps this particular awards ceremony, is about 20 % red carpet, 20 % the movies and what they represent, 10% the show (and its often ill-fated opening number!) and 50% the stars---yes, the stars gathered in one place, at one moment celebrating magic; magic that takes you away from reality and transports you to a magical place called Oz, the Moon of Endor or the State Capital.
I have already blogged about my love of movies, all things movies and the behind the scenes stories, history, gossip this and gossip that. This entry is about the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences' annual red-letter day, celebration, dare I say, feast day. Yes, it is, at least for me, a feast day. A day where Hollywood stops for a minute and like Bob Hope once said while he hosted, "in my house, it's known as Passover!"- chuckle! He never won an Oscar, but hosted more than 10 times. :)
When I was growing up, blessed to have been introduced to American cable TV at an early age, my dad and I would plan out our Oscar night date. Popcorn purchased, ballots (sometimes) printed and filled out! We always tried to watch all the nominated films before the actual night. Pathetic excuse to eat movie theatre popcorn- YUM! But at least we had an educated and informed opinion of what film we voted should be crowned with the golden statue of Bette Davis' uncle! ;)
Ah, yes, the stories of old Hollywood always fascinated me. How legend tells Bette Davis once proclaimed that the statue reminded her of her uncle Oscar. Really, Bette? I am thinking the brandy had something to do with altering her vision. A story that sure has stuck. I mean, Oscars. com? Welcome to the Oscars? The Oscars this and the Oscars that. I guess people got tired of saying Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. Yeah, I guess I would too.
I also loved how Judy Garland was suppose to win her Oscar for "A Star is Born", but it went to Grace Kelly for "Country Girl". How Audrey Hepburn got snubbed in 1964 when she was nominated for "My Fair Lady" and the Oscar went to Julie Andrews for "Mary Poppins"--- no offense, I love and can sing all of "Mary Poppins" especially when I need a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, but Eliza Doolittle would kick Mary's ass anytime--- Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii!
Now, not all of my favorite tid bits or memories of Oscar nights past. A few years ago, a tribute to the man who made films that defined high school to so many of us children of the 80s: John Hughes.
John Hughes had recently died. Sad, so sad. John Hughes brought us "The Breakfast Club", "Sixteen Candles", among others and of course, the best, now classic, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Before the IN MEMORIAM sequence, a montage of Hughe's films was followed by Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, Jennifer Garner and Ferris Bueller himself, Mathew Broderick, walked upstage to take a final bow together--- some of the original members of the Brat Pack. Thank you John Hughes, for everything I needed to know about how to survive high school, I learned from your movies and thanks to you I met the city of Chicago!
But perhaps the best thing about tonight I have already described to friends today. It is that no matter what, Oscar trumps everything, EXCEPT while watching the Oscars, I am in constant communication with dad. Date night continues, whether I am in Ohio, and he is San Juan, or he is Colombia while I am in Canada. I have also been in Germany, while he loyally watches from home. No matter what has happened, no matter where we are... the text messages come, the emails exchanged and the post- Oscar commentary will take place on Facebook, of course! ;) My awesome cousin and aunt are also watching and it's a family tradition that we keep alive.
A night like this is our own tradition. Some families have a favorite birthday or celebration that they make tradition. This is ours. It started years ago... and while I can't remember when I sat down to watch my first Oscar awards show, I know my mom was still around, so it was before I was 12. It's corny, it's cheesy. Ask me anything you want to know about completely useless Hollywood or Oscar trivia -- like the fact that Peter Coyote was the announcer during commercial breaks one year. Poor guy, hadn't made a movie in a while. He was good in E.T. but I LOVED him in "The Legend of Billie Jean". Ha! Let's see who gets that! ;) -- Did I say this is corny and cheesy?? Oh yeah, I did. But I have learned that we need a little corny in our lives once in a while. It's a hobby, it's an escape, it's a temporary dream that can make us cry and make us laugh. It's a tradition... tradition!