Last night, I watched the TCM Documentary And the Oscar Goes To, and I was captivated by the idea of dedicating a post a day, for the remainder of February, to the Oscars. I don’t read books, but I love literature–I love great stories, once they have been transformed by images, by cinematography, and by sound, and I was genuinely touched by the documentary which captures the importance of the Oscars to the people who have earned them.
It is no secret that movie stars are well-paid, as far as money goes. I believe it is significant that what these people, who seem to have it all, really want is not more money. What they want is recognition–appreciation. Toward the end of the documentary, the commentator said the following:
“It was an amazing night. And I got home, it was probably 3 or 4 in the morning. I got up at 7, threw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, a pair of sneakers and went back to work.
And I’m sitting on this dusty, dark, old sound stage with stale coffee and bad donuts and I thought, ‘This is Hollywood. Last night wasn’t Hollywood. Last night is what people outside the business think of as Hollywood. But that’s the one night of the year that we all get dressed up and put on a show. This, the sitting in this dusty old stage, doing the drudgery of filmmaking, is Hollywood. It’s a lot of people working very hard at very unglamorous things for a long time with a tremendous risk of failure. And that’s Hollywood.'”
I do believe that acting and making movies is a hard and risky business and that Hollywood is important. During the Great Depression, the movies were the only little bit of comfort and prettiness that many people in this country managed to enjoy. During World War II, the movies bolstered the spirits of our nation’s people and gathered them around the flag and then beyond to fight. The movies move us to tears. They make us laugh. They excite us. They make us feel. The movies occupy an enormous part of our hearts. And because of that, I have decided to take just a bit of time, in February, just before the 2016 Oscars is aired, to give a bit back to the movies.
Beginning today, I’ll select one Oscar winner from past years, and I’ll share what that movie has meant to me.
©Jacki Kellum February 7, 2016
A list of the Oscars Awards for Best Pictures throughout history can be found Here