Wednesday, February 28, 2007
the oscars - part 2

The "Dreamgirls" sang! And it was was the movie come to life in a way that was even more exciting. Live theatre. Nothing like it! And of course, it was no real surprise when Jennifer Hudson won her well deserved Best Supporting Oscar..... It is interesting to contemplate this: The part of "Effie" is not really a supporting role. It is one of the 'leads', as was Eddie Murphy's part, too....but the Producers of a film decide what actors they want to submit for nomination and in what category to submit each actor or actress...and this was the choice, and the perfect choice in a year when you have Dame Helen Mirren playing "The Queen". Talk about a strong and brilliant performance. Well in truth, both these women were perfect in their parts, and if they had been pitted against each other, that would have been very difficult and a different situation, entirely. I don't know what the rules actually are on what makes a "supporting" performance over a "lead" performance, but the producers of "Dreamgirls" were very smart to do what they did! How wonderful that this fantastically talented young woman won this coveted award considering she lost on American Idol.....Good for her!

And the above gentleman's performance was superb! "The Last King Of Scotland" is a scary movie in a lot of ways and rightfully so, given that we are talking about Idi Amin....Forrest Whitaker embodied the character of Idi Amin, completely and scarily. He was that man in all his many faces and moods and craziness.....a brilliant brilliant performance....
His speech was inspired and I loved that I caught this moment of the audience, and in particular, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchette, Peter O'Toole..(eight wins....oy...) And the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award winner Sherry Lansing listening to Forrest Whitaker as he spoke of this historic moment in his life and career, and in an oblique way, how far we have come.

Here is one of my favorite moments in this years show...I loved the film tributes directed by some of our most esteemed directors, particularly the 50 Year Tribute to Foreign Films, which was introduced by two of the great treasures of foreign films. The very talented and attractive superb actor from Japan, Ken Watanabe, who's most recent perfomance in a 2006 nominated picture "Letters From Iwo Jima" was simply perfect and extremely moving.And joining him in introducing this wonderful tribute to Fifty Years Of Academy Award Winning Foreign Films was probably the most beautiful woman to ever grace the stage of the Oscars or anyplace else on earth for that matter, as well as being an International Star for over 40 years. From France, the great and still incredibly stunning beauty, Catherine Deneuve, who was nominated in the Best Actress category for her performance in "Indochine". This very beautiful film won the Best Foreign Language Film for 1992-1993. This a a gorgeous gorgeous movie. If you have never seen it, it is an absolute must! It is rentable...It is one of the great great films of our time. So you see history stood on the stage at The Kodak Theatre. Everywhere you looked, there was History.....

For me, this kind of tribute, the Foreign Film Tribute I mean, along with the previously mentioned writer's tribute in my first Oscar post, is what the Oscars are all about. It's not about 'the red carpet', for me. You have to remember that I have been listening to, YES, 'listening' to the Oscars since 1943 when they were first broadcast on network radio....and then later 'watching', when they came to network television in 1953....and the red carpet as we know it did not even exist back then. That is a more recent phenomenom.So, I have been hooked on 'the show' since 1943, when I sat glued to the radio, thrilled to be hearing all of these magical memorable people who were responsible for the movie experiences I was having in those darkened theatres. You have no idea how incredible it was to me to be hearing their voices right there in our living room.

Sitting in the dark, in a big yet cozy movie theatre, losing myself in the wonder of these very thrilling images that appeared just for me---that is how it felt---that it was just for me, was more meaningful to me than you will ever know. And as I have said before, the movies saved my life. As a young person growing up and being able to escape into the world of make-believe with these huge images projected on the screen....this is what drew me to the Awards show, and that is what still draws me to this GrandDaddy of all Awards shows. And then as a grown person and being part of 'the business' and learning first hand how hard it is to make a movie.....and to make a great and memorable film....Well, to make a really really fine movie----that is almost a miracle. So, my respect for all these artists---and they are artists believe me, who make this magic happen---the sound, the make-up, the editing, the cinematography, the music etc., etc., etc.----my respect for these people knows no bounds. I applaud all these artists and revere them, too. Without all of them and their skills and their artistry there would be no movie! Honoring them once a year in this incredible happening called The Oscars is a thrilling thing to watch. So, in the end for me, it is all about 'the movies'. It is the final result of all the hard hard work and talent that puts these images up there on the screen that is truly meaningful to me. That's what I get off on, and I always have, and without a doubt, I always will till the day I die.....!And here above is the payoff for years and years of fine talented work. The payoff for creating memorable lasting artistry. The payoff for touching millions of people by devoting yourself to a passion more palpable than any other in your life. And the payoff, finally, of having your peers say, "Well done Marty, well done."

And below, the three giants of this industry who stood on the stage with Scorsese, to share in the joy of this moment.... These four men are 'the elders' now. Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg. What a historic moment to have these four gentlemen standing together on The Oscar 2006-07 stage. These men, who have been responsible for more important and memorable films of the 20th and 21st Century than any other four people working in films today. Between them, they have racked up 37 Oscar nominations and 10 wins. Coppola has won five of these statues, Spielberg two, Scorsese now as of Sunday, one, and Spielberg and Lucas each have recieved The Irving Thalberg Memorial Award from The Academy....Yes, history was made on Sunday night at the Kodak Theatre and believe you me, it wasn't on the red carpet....

There is more....yes, there is....and I will post part three next time....

Definitely More To Come.....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

FYI: Just in case you don't recognize the two photographs of the two pictures---Best Picture "Casablanca", 1943, Humphrey Bogart and Best Picture "All About Eve", 1950, Bette Davis and Thelma Ritter. And it is the greatest film ever made about the Broadway Theatre.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 1:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Yes, I recognized those faces you just named above. I always liked character actors and if I had been in the business, that was what I would have aspired to being. Thelma Ritter was always a favorite,as was Maureen Stapleton who died this past year, though they may have had some leading roles at times in their careers that just don't come to my mind right now.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 3:44:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, you get me excited just reading about the Oscars - and I wasn't that excited about the actual show this year. Now I realize how important it was for the industry, and the history of it. I think next year, I want to come to your home and watch it with you!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 4:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I agree -it is definitely an art form and definitely a team effort with so much coming together to make the finished piece. Having worked in theatre, television and now indepenent film, I really do know how much blood swaet and tears (often literally) goes into producing shows and films.And is fantastic to be part of it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 4:48:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You certainly touched on the very core of the industry. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on all of it, but most of all how it affected you from a young girl till now.
I so agree on her winning the top industry award...yet, she lost on Idol. Just goes to show ya how very subjective the arts can be.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 7:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

* .....Waiting with bated breath.... *

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 9:56:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I agree with all your comments, Naomi, and just seeing that picture from the exquisite "All About Eve" made me wistful for the truly great films of yore. I haven't seen "The Departed" yet but I'm sure "All About Eve" wipes the floor with it (as ridiculous as it is to compare the two). How weird to think you could look out your window and see the Kodak Theatre and all the hoopla. Did you ever get to attend an awards ceremony? I assume Betty attended a bunch of them back in the day. Agree about the smokin' hot "Dreamgirls" number (that film should have been nominated for Best Picture and Best Director) and I loved the Foreign Film tribute too. Catherine Deneuve is as stunning as ever and if she's had work done at least she used a very skilled plastic surgeon since she still looks very human and like herself unlike many other Hollywood stars who start to look like robotic cat people after a few too many surgeries.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 10:11:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Forrest Whitaker's speech was one of the highlights of the night. I love hearing rags to riches stories comes true. God only knows how many young kids he inspired.
While Jennifer Hudson didn't win on AI, she certainly didn't lose. So many have been able to use that platform as a springboard for their careers.
I liked how there were so many good movies; 1 movie didn't sweep everything. We're going to rent Little Miss Sunshine, well and most of the others too, lol.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 11:50:00 AM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I loved your post.
The ending gave me a chuckle about the four "giants" of the film industry on the stage. I just kept looking at the picture and thinking something is out of whack... then I saw it. Yes, they truly are giants of film, but the beautiful model to their right was taller than any of the four. :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 12:02:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Great wrap-up .. I didn't know that was how the distinction between best supporting and best actor/actresses was determined .... I was frustrated when Jennifer Hudson was named in the supporting category, but there's probably no way she could have beat out Dame Mirren, so it all works out in the end, I guess

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 1:02:00 PM PST 

Anonymous mar
had this to say:

I was here earlier but then there was no electricity...but only for my pc!!! This is an old house and Mr Mar was checking some electrical things out, that's why and I was in the middle of leaving a comment...
At any rate I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your Oscar posts. Not only because I didn't get to see the show but because I love your vivid descriptions and stories of the past. How wonderful you can share your thoughts and memories through your blog, lucky us!!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 1:11:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You bring it all to life, darling.....

And kudos to Forest! :-) What a sweet chap - and a beeyootiful wife.
btw - did you know he learnt Swahili before starting work on King?



Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 1:31:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh yeah, many movie memories here.
The one I remember best is L'Indochine, with beautiful Cathrine. This film, at the time of release, was in very great contrast to US Vietnam movies. The whole story made a deep impression and after seeing it, well I thought, if only ... ad known.

PS. This year an Oscar to Norway (the winner is actual living in Montreal). Hurray. We are on the map (but who knows?


Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 2:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I am just happy that a Norwegian won an Oscar for that Danish Poet. I am just disappointed that Meryl Streep didnt win the best actress since I have been rooting for her

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 4:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I always love reading things from your perspective as an "old" hand at these things.
I have yet to see most the movies that were nominated, heck I haven't even seen the Devil Wears Prada yet haha
BTW Auditions are up but no one has played yet LOL

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 5:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Speaking of "giants", look at the model at the far right in that picture. She looks VERY tall, like a giant herself... a skinny, giant, that is. :)

The magic of old Hollywood and old movies is there for me in ways that new movies don't compare with.
I enjoy watching movies very much, but I think Old Hollywood is the best! A movie such as Casablanca is so wonderful on so many levels.

I think Helen Mirren is such a beautiful lady. She seems very gracious and sweet.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 5:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I had never thought about them making Effie a supporting role, even though I know it's not. I'm glad you pointed that out. That sheds a whole new light on it for me. We'll talk.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 6:01:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I didn't catch them this year, and I'm so glad you posted all this!! I love coming here and catching up, you do such a magnificent job recapping all the highlights and adding your never ending knowledge of hollywood in to the mix. Love it! P.S. stop by sometime, I have news on the Cheetah Family. (they've been renamed the Leopards. ha)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 6:50:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You have a passion for this and it shows Naomi! I think it would be so fascinating to see how they make a movie and no doubt I would be shocked by all the work that goes into them. It is truly amazing! They do work magic!

I'm so glad you share all this with us! I so appreciate it!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 7:08:00 PM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

I am here again to enjoy the pics, I like Betty Davis' one although one cannot see her pretty eyes!!
Wendy sent me this time :)

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 3:26:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love your memory of the Oscars on the radio!!

ahh, I did know the photo was of Thelma Ritter!! I guess that makes me ancient lol..(she had a part in a widmark movie I've always loved "Pick up on South Street)

YOu would surely make a great correspondent for the award shows Naomi!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 6:41:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

It was great to see Hudson win the supporting actress award, Naomi, but it makes me wonder about the system of having supporting and lead awards when there's often no distinction between the catagories. No matter--two excellent performances won and that's what counts, I guess.

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 10:35:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love that photo of of my all time favorite movies ever. I could watch it a million times over and still want to see it again.
I agree that Scorsese has had better films but this one did deserve an Oscar too and he certainly does! I think he is one of the greatest.
I didn't know that about films deciding who goes in what category. I'd often wondered that. Many Idols that loose do better without the Idol contracts I think. It discovers them but gets their creativity isn't binded. Look at Chris Daughtry. He has done much better by coming in 4th. I liked Jennifer a lot when she was on Idol and people forget she made it all the way to the top. It isn't like she lost early. But Fantasia was and (I personally still think) a much better performer and should have won that season. Jenn just couldn't control that "gospel jaw" as they called it. I am thrilled when any of the Idol contestants do well for themselves and kudos to here for her accomplishment.

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 1:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Fabulous post!
Thank you for the trip to the Oscars, I look forward to the next one.
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 3:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What a great Oscar post - thanks for sharing and with all this lovely pics!
Did you know that a Norwegian won an Oscar this year?: Torill Kove won the price for best animated short film. I'm kind of proud you know:-)

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 3:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Your site is refreshing.

Thank you for the experience.


Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 3:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi! It's been quite some time I visited. Usually I watch the Oscar Awards but this time, I didn't notice it. My hands were too filled up with my two grandsons and one of them is now confined in a hospital. Anyway, thanks for sharing them. It was well presented. Sometimes, just for the fun of it, I am thinking how it would be to be in their shoes receiving the awards. They must be very elated.
Anyway, just for the thought of it. (lol)

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 5:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back to see you, Naomi. Howdy!

I was curious to see if Steve Irwin would get mentioned in the tribute--he was in that one movie, after all--but he wasn't included. Sorry, Steve.

I only watched the last hour of the Oscars so I didn't see some of the things you referred to Naomi but it was great to watch the tribute to Scorsese. I've not seen Mirren's movie yet but I definitely intend to. I just saw The Devil Wears Prada a few days ago and really enjoyed it though in a different way than the book.

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 9:52:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Pat
had this to say:

Another great post. You know we were the cinema generation and it was the magic part of growing up. So many great films, so many truly glamorous film stars. We really needed that escape from reality especially in the war years Thank you and Michele says Hi!

Friday, March 2, 2007 at 3:43:00 PM PST 

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