Every year I look forward to that special Sunday in February (or, once in a while, March). I spend hours preparing during the weeks leading up to it, I line up my picks, and I settle in to watch the magic unfold. This is My Super Bowl – The Oscars!
The fashion (Freida Pinto – stunning! Beyonce – what were you thinking?), the stars, the acceptance speeches – oh what a night! Two speeches that really moved me (for personal reasons, naturally) were Dustin Lance Black’s (screenwriter for Milk) and Sean Penn’s. )If you haven’t seen Milk yet, GO!)
Below is a portion of Dustin’s speech:
When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married.
(He chokes up, audience begins to applaud.)
I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.
So incredible for Dustin to get up there and give voice to so many who are so often silenced. He provided a very public face to this highly-debated issue and I only hope it made people pause, even for a moment, to consider their positions.
And then there was Sean Penn’s – a bit more in-your-face as we’d expect. He said, in part:
For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, and, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.
This year’s show, while at times a bit erratic from a directing standpoint, offered some unique and lovely additions. It was great to see the Little Movie that Could win so many awards. As difficult as some scenes were in Slumdog, it really was an incredible movie. And I loved, loved, loved how they presented the awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. To have 5 past recipients come out to address a nominee and reflect on their respective performances was such a personal and touching approach. As Kate Winslet said during an interview the next day, “It allowed every one of the nominees to go home with something.” Really beautiful.
Well, another year down and another Superbowl is behind us. This sure was a great year for movies. Here’s hoping for more to come!