I don’t do many entertainment articles. But I grew up in Los Angeles, and the movie industry was all around me. The 87th Academy Awards were televised last night, and I admit that I was somewhat excited. I met many ‘stars’ in Los Angeles, and worked for an airline whose prime route was to Las Vegas, which allowed me to meet many more.
On the streets I met stars, but more of their children who were my age. At the airport I was privileged to meet Cary Grant and dozens of other greats who made me speechless. I took care of Jimmy Stewart and his family, and had coffee with O. J. Simpson long before his murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. I assisted Bob Hope and Clint Eastwood when they were in danger of missing their flights. We allowed Jimmy Durante, who was afraid to fly, to ‘kick the tires’ of the aircraft he would be inside of in a few minutes. I was involved in supplying Frank Sinatra’s personal airplane, and I was fortunate to meet two of my idols, Muhammad Ali and Leonard Nimoy; (because of his poetry books, not only for Star Trek).
As a child growing up in the movie capitol of the world I walked by MGM studios every day and peeked through the cracks in the fence as I went to the municipal pool in Culver City during summer. As I watched the awards tonight, I returned to those early years and became enamored with the star quality and their influence on the culture of America. I once again became aware that Hollywood was more influential and responsible for positive social change in our nation than our elected officials.
The first major awards went to J.K. Simmons for best supporting actor, and Patricia Arquette for supporting actress. I have not seen either film yet because I cannot afford to go to a theater. To go and view a movie at a theater would cost my wife and I over 25 percent of our weekly budget for food because we are on a fixed income.
But when ‘Glory’ won for best song from a feature film, and Common and john Legend made grandiose acceptance speeches, I was impressed. These two men not only have talent, they have star power. Common is also well-known for his efforts to revive blighted areas in Detroit, and that makes him even more important.
The show was long, but not boring. Neil Patrick Harris has proven himself to be a talented host once again.
Hollywood insiders correctly predicted that Julianne Moore would take home the best actress Oscar for ‘Still Alice,’ a film about a woman suffering the onset of early Alzheimer’s disease. The expected battle for best actor between Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne ended with Redmayne winning for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in the ‘Theory of Everything.’ Best picture went to ‘Birdman,’ although a film which took 12 years to make challenged it; ‘Boyhood.’ Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu held the statue high as best director for ‘Birdman.’
The women were beautiful, and the men dashing. This night was just as it should have been; filled with glamour and everything that is Hollywood.
By James Turnage