Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Naked Man at the Oscars!

Growing up in LA with a father in the film business I always knew when it was Oscar time. There were Academy screenings and the trades were filled with huge advertisements taken out by studios hoping their films would win.

This has been a paraticularly colorful year.

I hate to sound like Nikki Finke from deadlinehollywood but can you believe that they won't let Nicolas Chartier, one of the four producer's of The Hurt Locker attend the Academy Awards?Apparently he sent out a mass e-mail telling people not to vote for Avatar. Now, he did not mention Avatar by name but called it something like that $500 million dollar film.

You have to understand that the Academy Awards becomes something like a nasty political campaign in the months prior to the televised event.

"Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that, should “The Hurt Locker” be announced as the recipient of the Best Picture award at Sunday’s ceremonies, only three of the picture’s producers will be present for the celebration. The fourth of the film’s credited producers, Nicolas Chartier, has been denied attendance at the 82nd Academy Awards® as a penalty for violating Academy campaigning standards.

Chartier had recently disseminated an email to certain Academy voters and other film industry figures in which he solicited votes for his own picture and disparaged one of the other contending films. Academy rules prohibit “casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film.” The executive committee of the Academy’s Producers Branch, at a special session late Monday, ruled that the ethical lapse merited the revocation of Chartier’s invitation to the Awards. "

When you sit at home in your living room watching all the pomp and ceremony you would never know that everyone is going around back stabbing everyone else.

Oh, wait! This is Hollywood. Of course they are.

I didn't know any of this when my 20 year-old sister told me to take her Academy Award ticket so I could bring a date when my Dad invited us to join him and Marcel Marceau at the Awards.

I didn't have my hair blown dry or have my make-up done, I just slipped into a simple red dress I had worn to the Junior Prom and was ready to go.

Can you believe my sister let me take her ticket to bring some stupid date? I can't even remember his name. I hope I thanked her enough. I should have done her laundry for the rest of my life.

Instead of Georgie and I, Whatshisname and I stepped into our limo with Mom and Dad, Marcel Marceau and his brother Alain Mengel and moments later arrived on the red carpet. I remember the paparazzi. The flashes went wild as Dad and Marcel made their grand entrance, stopping and talking with reporters along the way. I stood back and soaked in the glamour.

Whatshisname and I took our seats up in the bleed nose section. Dad, Mom, Marcel an Alain sat down below were the important people sit. The two things I remember about the evening were the streaker running across the stage behind David Niven and going to the bathroom with porn star Linda Lovelace. Ms. Lovelace had just starred in Deep Throat.

I returned home that evening not all that impressed.

But I still love the Oscars.

Sunday night I will be rooting for Coraline to win best animated film. It should have been one of the ten best films this year. Henry Selick wrote the screenplay adapted from Neil Gaiman's book. He went on to direct this great story in amazingly beautiful stop motion animation.

I will be thrilled when Jeff Bridges wins for Crazy Heart because he will win. What an amazing performance. He could have easily overplayed that role but not Bridges. He is an artist. I have loved him since The Fabulous Baker Boys and The Great Lebowski.

I am kinda rooting for Avatar because James Cameron has changed the way movies can be made. But I wasn't thrilled with the "Dances with Smerfs" story line. So I will secretly hope that The Hurt Locker will win because I love the movie so much. Catherine Bigelow directed a brilliant film.

I have to laugh when I think how innocent I was when I attended the event. I guess I was innocent and a bit jaded. I was not that impressed! Or maybe it was my age, nothing really impresses you when you are 17 years-old.

Enjoy the Oscars.

Do you watch The Academy Awards? Who are you rooting for? What part do you like best about the show?


  1. I haven't watched the Oscars in years. Too much politics, too much backstabbing. I have the same experience with the Olympics.

    I guess I'm becoming too cynical as I age, but I've reached a point where all the ceremony, glitz, and show just doesn't hide the nastiness underneath, and it makes my skin crawl.

    That said, I'd love for Avatar to win. Mainly because I'm intrigued by the plans to take the story further. While "Dances with Smerfs" pretty much sums up this film, if he can take it to the next level in a sequel that will make the thin plot worth it.

    Good Luck to all participants, though!

  2. Hi Terry,

    I haven't seen either Avatar or Hurt Locker yet. Will probably watch, at least the beginning and the end, when the larger awards come out.

    What an interesting tale you tell about your Oscar experiences. I used to think the Oscar went to the best picture. Then I found out a few year's back it was more like the political race you mention.

    That's life I guess. So many good films may not even get nominated.

    Hope your date back when you were 17 enjoyed Oscar night!

    Giulietta the Muse

  3. Guilietta I was thinking about that. How strange for him to be put in that kind of situation. What he must have thought?

  4. I always watch the Oscars, although this year I saw sadly few of the nominated films. Ever since I had kids and moved to a small town, I've had trouble seeing some of the independent films that aren't in wide release. I didn't even see Avatar because Husband insisted on waiting to see it in 3D and then we missed it altogether. Sigh.

  5. I remember when the kids were young I was so frustrated. I missed all the films. Now I get to see most of the films with them. That is, if they are not going with their friends instead!

  6. Terry-
    David Niven quipped after the streaker appearance-"Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"

  7. I love that Andy: I was too far up in the nose bleed section to actually see his shortcomings...

    It was just so strange. First the streaker and then Linda Lovelace.

  8. I do love the Oscars, tho you've got me re-thinking....
    I want Hurt Locker too. James Cameron seems so full of himself, tho I did like the movie.

  9. My husband and I used to go to at least a movie a week when we lived in NYC. He's a HUGE film buff and will see anything and everything. Sadly, like Kristen mentioned, we don't get to the movies often now that we have kids. I always choose dinner for date night since I never get to "talk" to Tim when we're at home. I didn't see ANY Oscar contenders although Tim did... he goes by himself here and there. BUT, we ALWAYS watch the Oscars and make a big to-do about it. I cook a big meal and we watch it from beginning to end. Even if I haven't seen the movies, I still love seeing all the excitement.

    So cool that you were there. Even if you didn't appreciate it so much, what a memory to have.

  10. The DUDE won! I knew you'd be cheering! I didn't get to see it live but saw the highlights today and thought of you. :)

    So happy for Kathryn Bigelow too...what a great victory.


  11. Not-so-anonymous Jennifer here. What a great story, and yes, your sister deserved eternal gratitude for her generosity!