In the whacky world of Hollywood, change can take place at a glacial pace or turn everything upside down in the blink of an eye. (Hello, Harvey?)
A run-up to the #metoo movement started a couple of years ago when Malibu’s Patricia Arquette nabbed an award and gave the Academy a piece of her mind. Before a worldwide audience, she dished the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” theme.
She got a warm reception with legendary Meryl Streep, the first to jump up and applaud.
I suppose, for the Academy, some unexpected surprises aren’t all that new. Marlon Brando may have started the trend when he dispatched Sacheen Littlefeather to collect his award for “The Godfather” in 1973. That’s right, one of the best actors of all time, one of the best roles of all time and one of the best films of all time… a no-show!
Brando refused to accept in protest of Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. Just like David Niven’s naked, photo-bombing streaker, it was seen as just unusual and a little bit quirky. (I, for one, thought it was one of best Oscar moments ever.)
Years went by and the glitterati went back to thanking their moms, their producers, their dentists, their dog walkers. But soon, the lure of that worldwide forum not only had praise for mom but also heartfelt causes.
The Oscars started seeing its share of shout outs. Recent nominees, like local Leonardo DiCaprio, have made passionate pronouncements on everything from climate change to elephant slaughter.
Malibu Seen actually enjoyed this year’s effort, although I sometimes felt I felt like I was watching “Oprah”: #oscarssowhite… and you get an award… #oscarssodiverse…and you get an award… #oscarssogay… and you get an award… and Guss the tech guy… you get an award. Heck, even basketball legend Kobe Bryant got an award for animated short “Dear Basketball.” Post ceremony, KB was still shaking with excitement, saying, “This is better than the championship, really.”
It’s true—everyone’s a winner! Except Malibu. Except for Bryan Fogel, who picked up an impressive best doc, we were shut out.
To be sure, the face, look and voice of the Academy has changed and this trend seems to be for good. It’s spring, with a whole new crop of intriguing tales to tell.
So until next time, stay tuned and see you at the movies.