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Beyond just being me, I am a wife, mother and entrepreneur constantly on the hunt for new ideas on how to live my best life. Visit me at www.clementsinteriors.com.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Age and the Oscars

I am guilty of planning my evening so I can sit in front of the television, bowl of icecream in hand to watch the annual Oscars show.  I'm likely more known in my house for 'shusshing' my children in an effort to catch every detail of the annual festivities.

In the past, I had an emotional connection to this show.  I tuned in faithfully with my mother and would weep while a shaky first time winner delivered a speech that made the hair on my arms stand on end.  The historic win of Halle Berry and emotional speeches by the likes of Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon would take my breath away in relief that times were changing.  Seeing the "In Memorium" segment gave me pause to think about how time has passed so quickly and with it has taken some of my favorite artists.

Admittedly this year, there were brief moments where I took pride in seeing a Canadian Octogenarian claim a golden statue and an African American woman claim control over her races' history.  However, over the past couple of years I have become increasingly jaded about what I perceive as a show produced so that the top 1% can gather to celebrate themselves.  We are all keenly aware of the names of the A-list stars of the big screen, and heaven knows we're innundated (and at times fascinated) with news of celebrities, the lives they live and the lengths to which they go to appear to keep themselves young and relevant.  This year in particular, these efforts seem to be getting longer in-the-tooth, so to speak. 

Billy Crystal, while talented and funny in his time, simply seemed to be an out-of-place, botoxed host forced into reliving the old days.  Unfortunately he seemed to be caught in the whirlwind attempt to drag from the vaults the once formal, classy event in an effort to breathe gracious life into the show in it's current format, where sadly the artists and the audience are both increasingly jaded.  Cut to the image of a rakish Angelina Jolie all but flashing the audience as she walked across the stage.  What I perceived as a frightening and vanity-filled appearance by this otherwise talented woman made me wonder how members of this influential community focus on body image and scene stealing before seeking to be dignified while aging gracefully.  If the producers of this years show were looking recapture some of the glamour and grandeur of Oscars past, they failed miserably.

Never before have I experienced an Oscar show were the canvas of aging seemed to have such a broad brush stroke, exposing a huge divergence in the manners in which celebrities deal with the inevitabilities of the passing of time.  For me, grace seems to be the element which separates the "Greats" from those merely "Talked About".

Sadly, the Academy producers can't seem to figure out the balance between honouring the past, while not stretching too far back in an effort to drag it into the future.  The show's producers would do well to look to publications like the annual Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue to see how to see how it's done. Perhaps they should look to the iconic images of Annie Leibovitz as inspiration when creating a formula by which they can meld the old and new with class, dignity and style.  Simply making 'old' look 'new' for the sake of television just isn't working anymore.

Cheers!  Janice

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