February 23, 2009 (Monday, 9pm):

What a show! What a party!

Some degree of normalcy has returned to my life (but note, only some), and I am able to reflect on not only the last 24 hours, but also the last week, the last month, and … the last year: 2008 … at the movies!

It culminated last night in a fantastic party (if I do say so myself): the OscarsinBlackandWhite in Pasadena! Such a treat for me to see so many  friends & family, united in an expression of fellowship and celebration of the movies. And … ohmiblog, everyone was, and looked, gorgeous. Call me shallow, but growing up in a relatively low populated, modest, rural environment, such glamor was the stuff of dreams. And it was a dream come true to celebrate such a wonderful evening with my friends and family. Thank you!

I can honestly say that I am convinced the 81st Annual Academy Awards was the best Oscar ceremony I’ve seen in many years. So many thoughtful, moving and fun elements returned:

  • The Host! I am more than willing to admit that I had my doubts about Wolverine hosting the Oscars. And I am more than willing to admit that my reservations were completely unfounded. He was fantastic. Charismatic? Certainly – that was implicit, and I never doubted he would be charming. Funny? Totally. Surprising? Completely. Although I knew he had a background in musical theater, I hadn’t appreciated how wonderfully talented he is as a singer, dancer and stage persona. Hugh rocked. And not only did he give a memorable performance, he gave it all. Hugh was 100% (and more) committed to his role, and he did it in spades. Bravo, Hugh – you made my night.
  • The presentations: I was moved. Moved by the touching idea to have some of the acting icons of our time give a personal, individual introduction to the acting nominees. It was deeply, deeply moving.
  • The time limits: I have no independent confirmation of this, but it seemed to me that the producers did not strictly enforce time limits in the acceptance speeches. And the ceremony still clipped along and concluded in a timely fashion. Bravo. This apparent relaxation to the “rules” also allowed for more moving speeches, beyond the traditional “I’d like to kiss everyone’s ass who made this film possible, and who will make it possible for ME again next year…”
  • The movies: who knew that movies of the modern era could actually incorporate the basic elements of great storytelling? It turns out, they can. And so you can kiss my purple butt, “The Departed”, “There Will be Blood”,  “No Country for Old Men”, and you other lazy movies of years gone by.

On a more local note, the party deconstruction has begun. I unplugged all the TVs, wound the cords, and repackaged all the (evil) digital cable boxes. In one of life’s ironies, we actually don’t watch TV  (at all), so they all go to deep storage until … the next Academy Awards!

I also moved the chairs to storage, brought in the red carpets, and took down the poster from the arrival photo area.

We had leftovers (Gerlach’s!) for lunch and dinner today, and I know what my lunch tomorrow will be as well.

One minor tragedy: we underestimated the popularity of the Fosselman’s ice cream at the party, so MovieGirl has just returned from an emergency run to Fosselman’s (Main St., Alhambra) for our pudding tonight.

What’s next on this blog:

  • photos from the party!
  • the tallies of “Who Should Win?”, “Who Did Win”, and SpacedCowboy’s selections

Good night, and Good Luck.

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