Several times last night I thought that I might be getting too old for the Oscars. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t a movie I was passionately rooting for, like my sister Erin was for “Philomena.” There were lots of little things I did not enjoy, but let’s focus on what was good. Here’s my list.
What I loved…
1. Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech: “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s.” Eloquent and smart and oh so gracious. That line is true for all of us---and I love how she still embraced her joy while acknowledging her debt.
2. Bill Murray’s shout out for Harold Ramis. It was short but sweet.
3. “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” My enjoyment of the Oscars is nostalgia based, and Darlene Love’s spontaneous singing took me right back to watching “Member of the Wedding” with my mother who loved that song.
4. Pink singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with the montage to a movie classic in the background. Loved. Wish they had focused on a montage of work done by those who passed away during Bette Midler’s song.
5. Idina Menzel singing “Let It Go” and that Ellen restated her name correctly when she finished. My boys accused me of disloyalty because we all really did enjoy The Croods, but “Frozen” won my heart.
6. My old friend Scott winning our little Oscar prediction game with a perfect score well before others entered the same predictions. A fitting full-circle after his 2009 attempt to enter the morning after the Oscars!
7. My sister Erin, ever loyal to the movies she loves, also got a perfect score, but of 0/10 in the contest. Also loved Erin’s texts throughout the show.
8. My brother’s text after the montage of real-life heroes from movies like Gandhi, Zero Dark Thirty, All the President’s Men, Ali, Silkwood, and… To Kill a Mockingbird?
9. My kids watching the first hour or two with us. Even if I was shush-ing them half the time, and had bribed them with miniature candy bars and leftovers from their Valentine’s Day goodie bags. Thanks to How About Orange’s BINGO game, they had to pay attention to sugar up! They gave each other high-fives when someone got teary-eyed or flubbed a line, all in the name of BINGO.
They also yelled the name of every movie during that animation montage.
10. Steven McQueen’s jump for joy at the end. So glad the two directors who didn’t win in their own category while their films did, last year and this year, were also producers---so they were able to accept and have their moment to share thanks.
I love that no one got cut off by the orchestra.
I love that the commercials played “movie lines”---one of our favorite games---and joined in on the celebration.
The kids kept asking me, “Which movie was she in?” when a costume designer or song writer accepted an award. I love that this award show opened their eyes to all the work, beyond acting, that goes into making a movie.
And, while I have yet to see “12 Years a Slave,” I love that all three who won for that film acknowledged their debt to Solomon Northup. The idea that this man lived and suffered and wrote about it, and that more than 100 years later, his thoughts can be known to us---that is magic of writing, the magic of storytelling, and the real magic behind the Oscars.