I’m of two minds about the Oscars.
Growing up the Academy Awards was an opportunity to stay up late (and challenge myself to be awake for the “Best Actor” award at the end), away at school it was a good excuse to have a party – dressing up as stars present and past, putting together a challenging movie quiz, or doing something else slightly OTT (over the top).
But now, where do I stand?
Through the work and life I lead, I am aiming to live authentically, for real (and encourage others to do the same). Acting, by its nature isn’t about “real” at all, it is about make-believe (and during LOTR I was really glad that the Nazgul weren’t real). Hollywood is often panned because it is “too much” – too glitzy, too self-indulgent, too overpaid, too too…
I’m going to take a different track (which might not surprise some) and present an Oscar to many of the good aspects of the Academy Awards – and the nominees are…
1. It is a celebration of quality. All of those mentioned, nominated, presenting are good, even great, at what they do. This event does not linger on the failings of the human race but on it’s excellence. While there may or may not be politics and dealings in the outcomes, all those who earned a place on the list are committed to their trade, and aspire or inspire greatness in their pursuit of merit.
2. As Sean Connery mentioned during one of the opening lines of the Academy Awards, he said something to the effect that movies are a “common link that binds humanity.”
The way I see it, there are really no classes in a darkened theatre, and that for the cost of a seat or film rental, we can all be exposed to experiences that would otherwise be outside of our context or contact. Samurai Japan, tall ships at war, the horror and triumphs of the human spirit (Monster and Whale Rider respectively). We can share in major events as well as small feats – learn, be warned, or be warmed by them.
3. They are powerful. Movies are the perfect hypnotic tool – we are surrounded by sights, sounds and wonderful stories that focus our attention so much that we believe what is happening on the silver screen. They make us hopeful, scared, angry… they make us feel, which is one of the reasons why we can remember lines from the Star Wars trilogy of yesteryear like “do or do not, there is no try”, or “use your power for good” but can’t remember what we had for breakfast last week.
Once we realise their power, we can use that ‘for good’ in our own lives – creating our own movies of love, of compassion and of faith.
4. That actors/resses can ‘use their power for good’. Tim Robbins mentioned during his acceptance speech that victims of abuse should find no shame in seeking help to stop the cycle of violence. The famous and infamous can use their voices to be heard across a larger audience than most, and I support them in their quest for what they feel will make a better world.
5. That they can be beautiful, fun, exciting, original, spirited… instead or finding fault in their opulence and splendour – I rejoice in it. What we focus on expands and when we rest our thoughts on excellence, beauty and energy, we can aspire to reach greater heights in our own personal, silver tale. Let’s celebrate!
And I’d like to thank…