Again - an easy one...with a bittersweet ending.
Many of us watched the Oscars last night, to be sure, and this had come to be, for me, one of those annoying habits where you do it, but you've kinda lost the reason why. Last night, 5 minutes in, I was already entertained by Hugh Jackman. I really enjoyed his opening number even though I had always been somewhat ambivalent about him in the past, but then, only 12 minutes in, I was hooked (yes, it was 12 minutes, I even looked at my watch because I was so shocked).
The first major award of the show each year is "Best Supporting Actress" and they started the build up and I was confused, why are they showing all the past nominees? What's up with them naming only 5? And then, well, then, I was blown away. 5 of the past years winners came out and gave kind, heartfelt tributes to EACH of the nominated actresses, one at a time. Each of the speakers did NOT read from a teleprompter, they looked directly at their selected nominee and said beautiful things about each as a person, and as an artist. The impact was obvious. Noone knew this was coming and the emotion could not be hidden from the nominees' faces as they were honored, publicly, with more than just a token mention of their name. It was beautiful, I was so moved I actually applauded when they were done - before they announced the winner! It was a full circle moment for me, to see people doing what I am trying to do here so much more eloquently, so much more publicly, and with the gift of seeing the impact of their words on their intended audience.
Granted, I will tell you, the Oscars people should be darn thankful that that particular award went first. This pattern was followed for all the major acting awards and some of the "speakers" forgot the words, had to obviously glance for a cue, and (gasp!) even Philip Seymour Hoffman's name was read incorrectly. But it was still beautiful, moving, inspiring, creative and meaningful.
Now here's the twist, I've been searching since 8 this morning for SOMEONE, anyone to give credit for this...do you know, irony of all ironies, you can't find a list of the production team ANYWHERE? People are talking about this new awards concept (love it or hate it) and noone is taking a split second to give credit to who came up with it. To be clear - the person who realized how important it was for someone, as an individual, to be recognized for their achievements is cloaked in anonymity still...and I hope that that person(s) is/are hearing all the kudos they are receiving. I will thank here, the named Producers of the telecast, because, obviously, as the bosses, they do deserve credit. [Further irony, you can't find them easily either! I had to go to Oscars.com, and then Oscars.org and THEN search within that site to find them...even though they have their own page, that page does not have its own link to navigate to!]
So thank you, Bill Condon & Lawrence Mark. I think that the change you made in one show has impacted so many. I have a deep deep appreciation for artists and the work and sacrifice they put into their craft and to see the honor truly come to "its an honor just to be nominated" was amazing. To quote Kate Winslet, who you all know I adore, "...we all had something to take home, no matter what."