#Grace & #Talent

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Tessa and I love the movies. They carry us from our routines into our dreams nearly every evening. For me, they recall the atmosphere of the Saturday matinees at the Poplar Theatre in New Orleans and the high school dates downtown, when there was a sort of town down there. I think now that the action and the people have floated across Lake Pontchatrain to a settlement annotated as the North Shore. Amidst the late 60s bonanza of challenging films including MASH, Bonnie & Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I was able to maintain my concentration in my plots to casually put my arm around Gerri Rotanti. Que bella figure! Then I shipped out with the Navy.

I may be getting older and the Academy Awards are certainly aging in its quest for a thrilling narrative that appeals to everyone, everywhere simultaneously. Is its loss of allure due to the multiplication of entertainment sources, like every mobile phone, or maybe because we no longer need to identify with the actors as the stars because its second nature to us or the young of us that movies are technical achievements more than acting achievements. Why did the Oscars include a Cirque du Soleil interlude?! In case you thought you are a performer…… Kind of like having an NBA dunk contest at the half-time of a college basketball game. “Oh, are those the guys at the next level?!”

I replayed Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech as Best Actress – yet again shining in an imperfect movie but not as wonderful nor as imperfect as the Devil Wears Prada – 3 or 4 times yesterday. Maybe prepared. I doubt if rehearsed. I was attracted to the keen concentration of her audience as she spoke. She was no inside joke. Acting can be an art and a gift to the audience. It doesn’t matter who you are wearing or what demographic needs to be boosted.

I enjoyed Jean DuJardin’s acceptance remarks if only for his exuberance. A befitting agent 117. This clip is from the bravura scene of the film and includes the adorable Berenice Bejo. Avec plaisir.