"I still hear people asking: What have we artists to do with oil and economy, survival and honor? The answer is : everything. Our truth, if it is heartfelt, and the beauty we produce out of it, may perhaps be the only real guidelines left, the only clear beacons, the course for renewal of vitality in various cultures of our world. Where economists squabble, we can be clear. Where politicians play political games, we can move hearts and minds. Where the greedy grab, we can give. Our pens, voices, paintbrushes, pas de deux; our words...can reinforce us against moral deterioration. Perhaps, after all, it is only the artist who can reconcile the mystic with the rational, and who can continue to reveal the presence of God in the minds of men." - Leonard Bernstein
This is my daughter in a wig and bejeweled glasses as Mama Mae Peterson from Bye Bye Birdie, her last musical during her senior year in high school. She chose to channel the Mike Myers Linda Richman character, a stereotypical Jewish middle-aged woman, when deciding on costume and voice for the part. She was a riot. (I thought:)
I sent her this picture last night, wishing her happy Oscar night, because I knew she would be glued to her TV as I was. The Oscars are my Super Bowl. Yeah, I talk a good game about the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the truth is if they hadn't made it to the Super Bowl I wouldn't know what their record was, who Antonio Holmes was or what sunglasses what's his name wears when he cuts his grass.
But Oscar night is wonderful. The Red Carpet, the gowns, the jewels, the music, the extravagant set, the clips, the friendly banter on stage between announcements. Wasn't the Hugh Jackman/Anne Hathaway thing cute? The awkward moment when someone yelled "open the curtain" from off stage. The acceptance speeches, hurried, tearful, sincere, genuine. I love it all.
The poignant moments really got to me this year... Heath Ledger's family accepting for him. "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black ... couldn't resist an emotional moment when shedding a tear, he said, "Harvey gave me his story, and it saved my life."
But, I think Penelop Cruz accepting her award for Best Supporting Actress said what I feel about this arts. "... And I, always on the night of the Academy Awards, I stay up to watch the show and I always felt that this was, this ceremony was a moment of unity for the world because art, in any form, is and has been and will always be our universal language and we should do everything we can, everything we can, to protect its survival..."