Monday, March 06, 2006

The Oscars...and Are You Trying To Matter?

MOVIES...I Love Movies! Not the way the average person loves movies, NOOOOoooooooo. I LOVE MOVIES!!! I am completely caught up in every aspect of the movie-making process from the writing or adapting of a screenplay, to the casting of the actors, to the design of the costumes, to the selection of the locations. The nuances of directing thrill me, the angles from which the actors and scenes are shot is the stuff about which I can speak for days on end. Even editing gets my attention, both sound and film editing. I watch a movie so closely and intently that it has been said that I will lose my mind if I miss a comma in the dialogue (LOL). I have been told by my best friend to never again discuss a film's editing with her because I have ruined movies that she previously loved by pointing out errors in editing that she otherwise would never have seen.

So loving movies as I do, tonight was happily awaited by me...the broadcast of the "78th Academy Awards". At the risk of sounding boastful, I will admit that I correctly chose the winner in each of the major categories including: Best Actor-Philip Seymore Hoffman, Best Actress-Reese Witherspoon, Best Supporting Actor-George Clooney, Best Supporting Actress-Rachel Weise, Best Director-Ang Lee, Best Movie-Crash [yeah, the rest of you were shocked in the age of "Brokeback" mania, but not I]. So, though I wait with anxious anticipation each year for this broadcast, tonight held no real surprises for me...EXCEPT..."It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp"! SOMEBODY STOP THE WORLD BECAUSE FOR ME IT IS DEFINITELY SPINNING TOO FAST!

Now don't get me wrong, "Hustle and Flow" was my favorite movie period in 2005. I thought that Terrence Howard was a huge contender for the Best Actor statuette, and in a nominee class minus Philip Seymore Hoffman, that little golden man would most likely be sitting on Terrence's mantle tomorrow morning once he returned home from his wild night of partying. Say what you will about the politics and all, Terrence breathed life into that character and he transcended the "pimpness" to make you care about him, "his family", and his dream. Nevertheless, the song's victory threw me for a loop. I first saw the movie in the theater during its opening weekend [I try always to see predominantly black movies on their opening weekend to support their box office intake]. As I think back to the sensations I felt as I watched it the very first time, I recall very clearly that in addition to loving the movie, I really liked the song. I remember this because I'm no longer a big fan of rap nor Hip Hop music. However, something about this particular song made an impact on me...maybe the hook [you have to admit Taraji P. Henson hooked that hook up!], or maybe the context in which the song was spotlighted. Whatever the reason, I liked the song. That notwithstanding, ask me if I expected the song to be nominated for Best Original Song...NO! Then ask me if I thought it would win...HELL TO THE NO!

In any event, it was great to see this win because heaven knows there was no one else who received this most coveted award with the enthusiasm, charm, and surprise that 3-6 Mafia displayed as they claimed their prize [and once again, Taraji tore it up though I personally was NOT feeling that dress].

Speaking of Taraji...I read that her father died recently and she spoke of the closeness she and he shared throughout her life...most of you know that my father died when I was nine, and I have a strong interest in relationships between fathers and daughters...speaking of her father's death, Taraji said, "I just think that it’s amazing that my father witnessed me take my first breath in this world and I watched him take his last.” Some might find this morbid, I think its beautiful...I'm really liking this girl!

The Best Actress honors tonight went to Reese Witherspoon who in my opinion up to now has been one of the typical slew of Hollywood go-to girls for date movie romantic comedies. With her portrayal of various characters in her last several motion pictures, I think she has stepped up to the plate and shown Hollywood and the world the stuff of which she is made. Now, I'm a fan of Reese even in her "Legally Blonde" days. As a matter of fact, Reese and I go back to a time when she as a pre-teen, gave a wonderful performance in a movie called "The Man In The Moon". As she took home her Oscar statuette this evening, it was like watching someone I went to school with or grew up down the street from win the award. In her acceptance speech, Reese spoke about June Carter Cash, the actual person the character she portrayed in her Oscar winning performance was based on. In speaking of June Carter Cash, Reese relayed the following story:

"Whenever June Carter Cash was asked by someone "How are you doing?", she would always respond, "I'm just trying to matter."

I have never followed country music, and subsequently have almost no knowledge of the late June Carter Cash [nor her husband, the late Johnny Cash for that matter], but I felt an immediate kinship upon hearing this quote attributed to Mrs. Cash by Ms. Witherspoon. "I'm just trying to matter." Wow! How wonderfully profound, and simply beautiful is that statement. Now those of you who know me, know already that this got me to thinking. I have spent tons of time trying to decide whether or not I matter, but I don't believe I have ever spent much time consciously trying to matter. Yes, I do things that matter all the time, but if I am completely honest with myself, I would have to admit that I [at least up to now] have done most of those things purely by accident or happy coincidence [i.e. right place/right time], or on some level because I was obligated to do them.

What would the world be like if each of us spent some part of every day trying to matter? Not by doing the wonderful things we do all the time in our obligation and dedication to our families and lives; but if we tried to matter to the world. Maybe we could improve conditions in the public education system in our country...perhaps we might clean up and beautify declining neighborhoods in our could happen that we might once again become a society which looks out for the well-being of each other and not just ourselves. "I'M JUST TRYING TO MATTER!"...what a wonderful way to live!

Try to matter y'all!

All this from the Oscars, see why I love movies!


DP said...

the only major category i missed was Best Supporting Actress. I didnt think Rachel Weisz was all that distinctive in Constant fact I sent it back unfinished...just didnt care what happened.

3-6 mafia won for three reasons.

#1 There was some question as to the eligibility of In the Deep all along. That probably pulled from the voting.

#2 you CANNOT see H&F and not be mesmerized at how they craft the song and how that song ties the movie into a nice bow. Neither of the other two songs do that to the movie.

#3 Two white songs...split the vote...dont tell anyone...but The hollywood establishment LOVES hiphop and likes groups like 3*6 mafia more than you and me.

You and I need to do a movie post collab one day.

K.O. Johnson said...

DP, you nailed it. No other song figured so prominently within it's respective movie. And, the fact that we got to watch them build the song was all the more gratifying and emotionally pulled us end to the point that the Academy could not deny the power of the song. Truly, the song voiced what our eyes were taking in -- it is extremely hard out here for a pimp. Dude was broke, busted and disgusted! LOL

I am very happy for 3-6Mafia, even if Ms. Girl put a broadway spin on the end that will have the hip hop blogs blazing!

As for the rest of the winners, I couldn't call them all, but I know America well enough to know that they weren't about to let Brokeback Mountain sweep. Y'all know better!

LadyLee said...

You are a TRUE movie lover!!!

That 3-6 Mafia win left me scratching my head... I was already a bit shocked that it got nominated, but it actually won???

But after reading your post and the other 2 comments about it, then I guess I can understand what's up (I guess...) Once I heard Samuel Jackson and a couple of others talk about how they get help doing their ballots, then it makes perfect sense to me...

I didn't find the song to be the most positive song in the world... but i must admit, the song fit the context of the movie perfectly... And the other songs, I hate to say it, were pretty crappy...If i look at it from that point of view, then it's all good.

I am soooo happy for Reese Witherspoon... I really like her a lot, and I think she is a great actress.

Serenity23 said...

Hey, I am here checking for your post on treasures, talents, etc. Where is it? I won't comment on that song cause I think it's degrading..

Safa said...

I saw Walk the Line a few weeks ago and thought it was soooo good. Anyway, yes, that is a great quote!