Monday, February 25, 2013

And the Academy Awards are Hosted by... Who?

     I must confess to not knowing who Seth MacFarlane was/is/wants to be.  I had to run to my computer to Google him, something that makes me feel unworthy.  As close friends, ever diminishing in number know, I have been out of the country in various exotic and trying-to-become-a-better-person locales for the past several/many years, not really connecting with my Americanhood except in crisis times, which seem to be ever-increasing, or the best movies when it seemed they might actually be happening.
    Still, last night was a signal for what always felt sacred to me, consecrated by the best party I ever attended, hosted by Don, my adorable albeit late husband, and myself, when parties seemed important, as did the Awards. So I tuned in, having prepared for it all day by being stupid, though as low as I managed to get, I could not quite sink to the level of being able to stand Kristin Chenoweth, who I know can sing but do I have to listen to her speak?  Anyway, when the program first began, in a burst of everything, I looked up who Seth, which I feel it is all right to call him as he at once established a level of handsomeness that in America calls for respect.  To my astonishment, I saw that he had actually sung in Carnegie and Royal Albert Halls. So attention must (I thought) be paid.
    But it was too much of a good thing, and not really enough.  He had all the attributes of Danny Kaye-- that is to say, he could sing, dance, and be funny-- but absent completely was the magic that characterizes a great performer.  So I became bored with him very quickly, as he did seem to become with himself... and I missed what makes for a truly great host.
    The awards went on for what seemed days, the two most refreshing surprises-- the exquisite Charlize Theron, who had looked uncomfortable and awkward in a shot the moment before that I realized afterwards was because she was probably nervous-- dancing like an angel, albeit a dark one since we know her history(you can Google it.)  The other, of course, was jennifer Lawrence falling down, which seemed really quite adorable if you go back to it.
    The rest... well, you couldn't exactly say was Silence.  But nothing was particularly wonderful or moving except for Daniel Day Lewis, who was eloquent beyond eloquent, being completely winning, heightened by the memory of a story they tell about him which I don't know anymore if it's true, where he allegedly came onstage and completely forgot his role, which might have been Hamlet-- one can't be sure, these stories grow.
    But I am glad he married who he did after walking out on a famous love partner, as she has obviously nurtured his creativity.  I am happy for him, and his wife, who still has the depth and character to wear glasses.  And we are all, of course, happy for Meryl Streep for continuing to be who she is and always was, the only one to wear sleeves.
    And we all really love, or should, Ben Affleck, who seems genuinely dear and darling, deserving of his success and the wife he has now, not to mention George Clooney for a buddy.  A few years ago I saw Jennifer Lopez sitting on a mink blanket he had bought for her at Ben Kahn where my mother was a customer, and feared for his soul.  Clearly he got it back.
    Now, if only the Academy could.