Sunday, February 15, 2009
Oscar countdown: Day 7
The speeches that Oscar winners give are occasionally memorable, more often not, sometimes cringe-worthy.
The biggest factor is time. They want to keep the ceremony moving, so the guy conducting the orchestra will start up the music to cut off people who ramble too long. A fairly common occurrence is when the Oscar winner consists of a team of two or more people, and only the first person gets to talk. I don't know how many times I've seen that second (or third, or fourth) person nose their way to the microphone, to find their words drowned out. Here is their moment in the sun, probably the greatest day of their professional lives, and they get cut off.
Last year host Jon Stewart was so moved by the young woman who co-wrote the best song winner from "Once" (lovely film if you haven't seen it) that he brought her back on after the next commercial break to say her piece. It had never been done before, and she was wonderful.
I remember when Julia Roberts finally won for "Erin Brokovich" and went on and on, and outright dared the conductor to cut her off. He made a little show of setting his conducting wand down as if to say, "It's all yours." Of course, that was when she was Queen of the Box-office. I wonder if Roberts won now, when her status as the world's top female star has been usurped, would she get the same deferential treatment? I doubt it.
Of all the lines delivered by a winner, one of my favorites was the gal who won for best documentary short or some such category a few years ago, and quipped that the dress she was wearing that evening cost more than her movie did.
Who will deliver the memorable speech at this year's Oscars? Tune in her next Sunday to read my take.