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Hollywood's Annual Prom: A Magical Evening

A Kirkwood movie buff reviews the Oscars.

The 84th Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, were held last night as the sun was setting over beautiful Hollywood, CA.

I love every minute of the festivities. My dad and I used to love watching the awards ceremony together.

I viewed some of the coverage today and did see some negative things about last night's event...it's too old-fashioned, the show did not use new technology enough, the opening comedic montage of host Billy Crystal inserted into some of the films was archaic and not funny. I disagree.

The Oscars (or just about any awards show) is a traditional event. Especially one that is 84 years old. I think it must be very challenging to make it entertaining, and some stuffiness is just going to go along with the Academy Awards.

Something struck me about last night's event...the Oscars have evolved, even in the last 25 or so years that I have been watching. Last night's event seemed, well, more smooth and professional. The opening musical number by host Billy Crystal was predictable but enjoyable. And the Oscars only went about 12 minutes over the three hours allotted! Growing up, I remember the Oscars going so far over the allotted time, Dad would head off to bed before the final big winners were announced.

Beyond that, however, I found the actors and actresses to be nicer than they have been in some years. I don't remember one complaint or sarcastic remark about being rushed off the stage after winning an Oscar, for pete's sake. I always hated that sour grapes stuff. Okay, okay, have your say and say thank you, but they really can't give everyone unlimited time, and we "little people" won't be staying up all night to attend any fancy post-Oscar parties!

I was excited to see the Oscars. I was asking myself why in the hours before, and the answer actually came the most clearly from the awards show itself.

There was a montage of actors talking to the camera (like Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, even Barbra Streisand) who discussed why they chose film as a career. Their deep-rooted love of cinema from when they were small children was a common thread. Other common threads were the telling of a great story, the element of truth necessary in films to connect us as human beings. This "truth" could be happiness, despair, love, passion, jealousy, anger or a multitude of emotions more than I could ever list.

I love books; nothing beats a good read. But to sit in the dark of a theater and immerse yourself is something completely different. You can forget what season it is, whatever troubles you have and absorb these wonderful characters brought to life on the silver screen. The Academy Awards are a celebration of that effort, and I applaud this year's festivities.

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