As usual, after promising myself that I wouldn’t watch it, I ended up watching the Oscars Red Carpet show and the last hour and a half of the Oscars. I enjoyed the show more in the past. Nowadays, it seems anything goes. I didn’t appreciate Sean Penn’s remark when Birdman won for the Best Picture and I am thankful that I missed Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear. I wonder if he will be invited back next year. I think Billy Crystal was by far the best host.
The highlights were seeing Tara Kyle, the widow of Chris Kyle, author of the autobiography The American Sniper, Oscar nominee for best picture. Chris was killed at a shooting range in Texas in February 2013. Tara was at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony to represent him. She is a an American author, veteran family activist and advocate for women and families who have lost family members while serving in the war. She travels around the country speaking about Chris and others like him. In August 2013, the state of Texas passed the Chris Kyle Law (SB162) which was created to “expand the effort to help ease employment challenges for active duty military members and their spouses”
Tara founded Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. A frog’s skeleton is a symbol of a fallen Navy Seal. The foundation’s mission is is to “serve those who serve us by providing meaningful interactive experiences that enrich family relationships”.
The other highlight was Julianne Moore. I haven’t seen the movie, Still Alice, but the clip they showed of the movie when the announcement for Actress in a leading role, convinced me that she deserved the honor. The scene was short but very powerful. It was of a woman desperately looking for her keys and refusing to take her husband’s advice to wait until the morning. It’s as if she could feel herself slipping away and was struggling to hold on. It’s a movie on a disease that affects everyone–those diagnosed with it and their loved ones. Alice described it as her brain dying.
“In the ladies’ room, Alice studied her image in the mirror. The reflected older woman’s face didn’t quite match the picture that she had of herself in her mind’s eye.” p 35”
― Lisa Genova, Still Alice
Women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s partly because they live longer than men. Genetics are also a factor. In the movie, Still Alice, Alice looked young, not the typical person you would expect to have Alzheimer’s. It is no longer a disease of old age. In fact, many people with early onset are in their 40s and 50s. They have families, careers or are even caregivers themselves when the disease strikes.
In her acceptance speech, Julianne said, “I’m so happy, I’m thrilled that we were able to shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease,” Moore said. “So many people who have this disease feel marginalized. People who have Alzheimer’s disease deserve to be seen so we can find a cure.” She poured her heart into this role. She spent four months researching for her role, talking to women with the disease, doctors and visiting a long-term care facility. This was well earned Oscar win. Congratulations, Julianne for bringing to life and light a disease that affects so many. Thank you for raising awareness and helping those who live with the disease not to feel like they are alone.
Initially, when I heard that Lady Gaga was going to sing a medley from The Sound of Music, I was very skeptical. I didn’t think she had it in her but I was pleasantly surprised. I found myself wondering why the medley and then, Dame Julie Andrews steps out on the stage to the delight and surprise of the audience. You could see that Lady Gaga was a bit emotional. With her usual gracefulness, Dame Julie said, “Dear Lady Gaga, thank you for that wonderful tribute.”
Seeing Dame Julie Andrews step out on the stage was the biggest highlight of the night for me. She looked terrific as usual. She was there to hand out the Oscar for the Best Original Score and also in honor of the movie, The Sound of Music which celebrates its 50th anniversary. It will always be one of my favorite musicals.
I was thrilled when the song, “Glory” won for Best Original Song. It was a moving tribute to the civil rights’ movement. The cast and some in the audience were in tears. Congratulations to Common and John Legend for their much deserved win.
In his acceptance speech, John Legend said, “We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you, ‘We are with you. We see you. We love you. And march on.'”
Congratulations to Patricia Arquette and Eddie Redmayne. It was touching the way he dedicated his Best Actor Oscar to “all of those people around the world” battling motor neurone disease – the illness that left Professor Hawking in a wheelchair. Redmayne thanked the Hawking family and his wife, Hannah, telling her, “I love you so much. We’ve got a new fella coming to share our apartment!” His acceptance speech was refreshing and sweet at the same time.
Notes to Women wish to congratulate all the Academy Award winners for 2015.