Monday, March 3, 2014

Reflecting on Oscars 2014

Hosting the Oscars is much like making love to a woman. It's something I only get to do when Billy Crystal is out of town.
Steve Martin

Happy Monday, March 3rd, 2014!

Bette Midler poured her heart on the stage while performing onstage during the 2014 Oscars held at the Dolby Theatre last night in Hollywood.THAT was the major highlight for me.
The Oscars of 2014 are behind us, the 86th annual, to be exact. Like most people today, we will be analyzing and/or picking apart last night's telecast. It all depends upon who you talk with and YOUR point of view.
I'll start with this year's hostess, Ellen DeGeneres. This was her second time hosting the telecast.
I have mixed feelings about her performance.
I feel, that she played it VERY SAFE...for the most part. I also feel that she was very self-indulgent. One thing that I have learned from emceeing an event is to NEVER make it about the host.
Not everyone found Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres funny.Her quip at Liza Minnelli, however, was in very bad taste. Liza is a show business legend and deserves better.
It was nasty and yet another form of how we treat people in the 21st century. Saying something mean about someone is considered OK when it comes from a comic. It is NEVER acceptable. In 1974, Liza was the IT girl, beating out Diana Ross for an Oscar for her portrayal of Sally Bowls in Cabaret. This was not Liza's year. In addition to Ellen's jab, she has appeared on many of this year's worst dressed lists. That also is a far cry from the days in which Halson dressed her.

Regarding the telecast itself, I miss the days of production numbers and themes. I don't think last might had any clear focus.
 However, I really would like to get my hands on next year's Oscar telecast. I would like to either direct, produce, or write the awards show from the perspective of a movie fan. There were several things that I loved and there were also aspects that baffled me about last night's and Oscar telecasts of the past several years.

Isn't it amazing that as most people discuss the Awards the next day, they are talking about what people are wearing instead of the artistry that we should all be celebrating?
I would LOVE for the red carpet interviews be more about why they are there as opposed to "Who are you wearing"?
I realize that I may be on the wrong side of the fence on this one, but I really want to see an awards show that celebrates the legacy of the medium.
 Wouldn't it be great to celebrate where we've been, where we are, and where we're going? That should be true of awards celebrations in all of the areas of this business.
Seventy-five years ago, Hollywood welcomed a very special movie: The Wizard of Oz.


Last night, the Oscars "celebrated" my favorite film, The Wizard of Oz. I LOVE WHOOPI Goldberg!!!!! I live for my daily dose of her on The View. I cannot sing her praises alone. That being said, why was SHE asked to introduce that segment instead of Joey, Liza, and Lorna. Garland's three children -- Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft -- all reunited to celebrate their mother and the iconic film. Lorna is also an AMAZING singer and I would have loved to hear her sing. The Academy invited someone who has no real connection with the legacy of Oz to get involved: Pink.She had a memorable Oscar debut.

I thought Pink, who LOOKED GORGEOUS, did a highly respectable take on Over The Rainbow.
This happened while scenes of the film were happening behind her.Unfortunately, those of us at home only got bits and pieces of those clips thanks to the stupid decision by someone to have the camera all over the place instead of what the focus of the segment was.
By doing this, the segment was more about Pink than The Wizard of Oz.
This was a huge disappointment to me especially when this was one of the highlights I was looking forward to, especially when it was promoted so heavily that Judy's children would be there to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this film.
Why weren't there pre taped interviews with them to talk about what this film means to them? A lost opportunity, to be sure!
I can only imagine what Judy and Wizard of Oz historian, John Fricke, could have done with that segment!
We also lost two "Munchkins" this year. They should have been mentioned in that segment.
 Also, while I'm at it, Wizard of Oz came out of the landmark year of 1939 along with classics like Stagecoach, The Women, and especially, Gone
With The Wind.
What led to the Wizard of Oz tribute and why wasn't more put into it? Am I expecting too much?

NO MENTION OF ANY OF THAT YEAR'S FILMS! I wonder if Olivia deHavilland was even approached or considered. She lives in Paris and is still in great shape. Can you imagine a taped message and or live remote?

The In Memoriam segment always gets to me. This year's segment seemed bland to me EXCEPT for Bette Midler's goose pimply Wind Beneath My Wings.
The man who wrote this song, Robert L. Spencer,  passed away on Saturday, March 1st at the age of 94 of a heart attack. What a STAR Bette Midler IS! She came out and sang with no need to try and impress...although she did!
She trusts herself and the material she was there to sing. I wish more singers would take a lesson from her. I know it is blasphemous to say this, but it is for that reason, that I am not a fan of  "Adele Nazim" I KNOW she has a big voice but when she sings, I see no pleasure EVER in her.
She ALWAYS seems to be in agony, Therefore, it is hard for me to enjoy.

Here I am with one of my favorite Oscar winners, Celeste Holm (seated left)
Also, yesterday morning on CBS SUNDAY MORNING, I saw a great interview with Eva Marie Saint. When she said towards the end of the interview that she was 89, I almost fell over.
That is the way yo do it ladies, with grace and elegance! It was shocking and sad to see one of the screen's most gorgeous beauties distort her face almost beyond recognition.

You've gotten MY thoughts on last night's Oscars. Now, these are YOUR thoughts I have gotten today through social media.
Pay attention planning committee for 2015. THIS IS THE VOICE OF YOUR VIEWING AUDIENCE. 

The comments from Facebook friends are in italics. My comments are not.

I really appreciate that the orchestra did NOT play over the speeches. They have seemed to finally understand the historical value in what the winners have to say trumps the need to get them off the stage. And considering the often wasted time in other frantic moments, honoring that moment for the winners didn't lose them anything, but gained respect for a smart choice.

"The highlights? When it was OVER, and I once again swore not to waste my evening on such boring dribble, but then I said the same thing last year...".

I pretty much agree! If it wasn't for the fact that I had friends over to watch it with me with the added excitement of a Oscar pool, I'm not sure I would have stayed with it. I lost the pool, by the way!

"Ellen getting pizza for the audience was a highlight for me and taking up a collection for it. I bet that delivery boy really made out well."

 Without a doubt, the class, style and pure artistry of Bette Midler was the highlight for me. 

Here's hoping that the bar is raised even higher in the next 12 months.  

My hope is to see more films that uplift and are less destructive and violent.

Let's start celebrating artists again rather than tearing them down. TMZ has done nothing to add to our cultural landscape.
Thank you ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
Here's hoping that all of last night's nominees and winners will create his own great legacy and longevity!


 With grateful XOXOXs ,







Check out my site celebrating the FIRST Fifty years of  Hello, Dolly!

The Answers to All Your Burning Oscar Questions (as Determined by Google Searches)


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Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
              
Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!



  
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Richard Skipper 845-365-0720



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