Naturally, I had to watch the Oscars last night. It was a great year for movies, (the quality of movies seems to be improving in spite of numerous reboots and Marvel inspired productions), and rarely were there so many categories heavily contested as last night. The fact that every single major acting and writing award, went to a different movie demonstrates the wide-range of competition this year. Some people complained later about American Sniper being shut out of wins but truth is, while I thought it was a great movie, on that list of Best Picture Nominees, I would rank it only 4th. That’s how tough a year it was.
There were some highlights and major disappointments. The biggest disappointment was the host, Neil Patrick Harris. Apparently, he can’t do comedy and what class he is reputed to have, he apparently left at home. Hosting is a tough, tough gig. Three hours of awards isn’t easy at the local Rotary Club let alone the Oscars. The hunt will be on for a new host. They’ve struggled to fill that role ever since Billy Crystal and I guess the job vacancy is still there.
The highlights (and the close competition) made up for an otherwise flat, very flat, program. Common and John Legend singing Glory, their awesome acceptance speech; Patricia Arquette’s passionate push for equality for women, and the surprising – and I’m not normally a fan – performance of Lady Gaga’s tribute to the Sound of Music shocked just about everyone. She totally nailed it and demonstrated the class that Neil Patrick Harris never did.
But for me the highlight was the acceptance speech by Graham Moore for his script, The Imitation Game. It was a great movie but that speech … for the first time he revealed how he had tried to kill himself when he was 16 and spoke to those out there who would consider it. (Suicide attempts came up more than once during the night. The mother who won and dedicated it to her son who had just killed himself was a tough moment). He encouraged those who feel like they don’t fit in to “Stay weird, stay different.” He’s right, for that weirdness is what propels you to succeed in spite of the rest of the herd. It was a highly personal, moving moment from Moore and it had to be tough for him to say. But if you’d like to see the 1 1/2 minutes he spoke here is a link to Deadline’s article that has a video clip. http://deadline.com/2015/02/oscars-graham-moore-the-imitation-game-best-adapted-screenplay-1201378621/
In the meantime, stay weird, stay different. It is what makes you, well, you. Why would anyone want it any other way?