Category Archives: “12 Years A Slave”

Predicaments

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I have thought for many days about what would I have done

differently in an early February conversation during a break

at work.  So many times during my life I have stood up for a

situation or cause, only to find out later this alienated me from

a friend.

 

I was so excited and passionate about seeing the movie, “Selma.”

I have been taught that by being silent one is quietly accepting

another’s words or choices. This is not a good position to be in

when making friends. I feel that if my friends don’t think along

similar lines, it is not a strong friendship but one of convenience.

Over the past six years, I have built a close-knit group of people

who get along together, joke and lighten each other’s days at work.

 

 

My fellow coworkers, Tammy, Melvin, Felda and Mary Jane are

part of this group. We have enjoyed sharing weekend experiences

and expanding our minds in lively conversations. There are many

fringe friends who join in and stop by our table. I enjoy meeting

such a wide variety of people at my warehouse job. This is one of

the best positive aspects of my work.

 

It is not generally a good idea or tactful while in a work place,

to express controversial opinions. Yet, my table mates and I

have seen eye to eye on the subject of acceptance. Some of us

even voted in elections the same way. We started watching

some of the same t.v. shows to be able to share about these.

 

 

Little did I expect, someone I cared about would be making a

rather outrageous statement in response to a movie review.

Here are some quotations to lend support to my response.

 

 

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

~Eldridge Cleaver

 

A longer version, expanded from the above thought includes

the following words which are also true:

“. . . but the perpetual human predicament is that the answer

soon poses its own problems.”

~Sydney J. Harris

 

The old Latin rule of the law of acquiescence would apply here,

“Qui tacet consentire videtur” means one who is silent is seen

to have given consent. To acquiesce is to accept or to comply.

 

I was mentioning how many things about the Civil Rights period

despite being raised in a conscientious and active participant

family, I had missed. I was describing one of the early details of

a particularly disturbing scene where children in a church were

killed in a bombing in the film, “Selma.”

 

Out of nowhere, my ‘close’ friend,  Felda said,

 

 

“We, in our country, believe in love and cannot ever understand

people who are raised in a “culture of hate.”

 

I emphatically agreed with this, thinking she was talking about

bigoted people who are ‘taught’ to hate people from another

group from their own. In other words, I was thinking she

meant to be talking about ‘whites’ being part of the ‘haters’

specifically, in the Civil Rights movement.

 

As I nodded and said, “I agree,” I noticed a quiet pause in the

conversation. Tammy (Ohio country girl) and Melvin, (son of

immigrants from an island off of Portugal) did not join in.

 

Felda helped me to realize who she was talking about by adding,

in a most definite direction I would NEVER agree with,

 

“Why do blacks get taught to hate whites in America?  In the

Philippines, everyone loves others. We were ‘slaves’ in our own

history, but we ‘don’t hold it against you.'”

 

Okay, now I knew where silence would not be appropriate. I

had to dig myself out of a hole, so to speak. I said that she did

not understand the trials, tribulations and how people who were

slaves, or had slave ancestors, were affected by their treatment.

They may have possibly been taught to ‘mistrust’ white people.

 

Inside my head for a moment, I thought possibly only coming

here to live in the U.S. (and marrying Jason, an American) in

the 1990’s may have given Felda less understanding of the

long history, prevailing ways and practices which continue

going on from when the Civil War ended in the 1860’s, into

the present. The other two of  her friends have always been

less outspoken and didn’t try to contribute or interpret what

she meant by her hurtful words.

 

I added,  “This is not how this conversation was meant to go.”

 

I had hoped that by talking about “Selma,” to help everyone

at this table understand why fear and distrust could become

part of a familial pattern of handling people. The small town

in Mississippi had many people showing their prejudice against

the blacks. I had especially thought the Filipinos (what they

insist on being called at work) would have empathetic feelings

coming from their own personal experiences of prejudice.

 

I looked at Melvin, who is sophisticated and warm.  He had

served in the Army, traveled Europe and was raised in an open

minded, accepting and loving family. He would give the shirt off

his back and has often been found this brittle cold winter, under

the hood of a fellow employee’s car trying to fix or replace a part.

Actually, the speaker of this unfortunate point of view, had been

‘only charged for car parts’ when she had needed four brakes

replaced by Melvin and other repair assistance.

 

I wondered why Felda had said this about blacks, without any

clarification? Did she intend to hurt Melvin?

The rest of the people at the table were either Filipino or

white.

 

Melvin shrugged. He knew it was pointless to mention that

this person who arrived in America, married an American,

may not completely understand the racial issues, tensions

and dynamics here in the United States.

 

Melvin felt my eyes on him, urging him to ‘speak up.’ Finally,

he responded by saying,

“My people are not nor have ever been descendants of slaves,

but I feel a lot of sympathy for the blacks here. I get the same

kind of attitude from whites as they do, I get followed around

in jewelry stores, I have been shoved while at a peaceful protest

rally by a ‘white supremacist’ cop and have been taken aside to

be shouted at. I would ‘never measure up to the white people’

in my Army experiences. This came from more than one officer

in the Army.”

 

Melvin quietly expressed his thoughts on a tough issue,

“I will share this additional thought: black people raised in the

South are different from black people raised in the North. To

be honest, unfortunately their perspectives are not the same.”

 

I went on a limb and put my thoughts out there for friends

who had included me in christenings, birthday parties and

delicious meals at parties where we sang karaoke together,

 

“I need to study your islands’ history better of what you call

‘slavery.’ I am not sure that slavery there was the same as

slavery here. I have the misunderstanding that your culture

may have a history of servitude.  Sometimes smiling when you

were crying inside, but this is probably inaccurate. Meanwhile,

I would never agree with your statement about the black culture

being raised to hate whites.”

 

As far as research, there are considered to be 130,000 to as

many as 160,000 people in the Philippines who are part of

sex trafficking, indentured servitude and this is from an article

on October 9, 2013 from the newspaper called, “The Manila

Times.”

 

I wished to re-emphasize my opening remarks to them.  I didn’t

realize the total impact on everyday activities of black people from

those who felt ‘superior’ to an entire race until recently. I heard

‘snippets of history’ in school. Like not being allowed to ride in

the middle or front of a bus, Rosa Parks ‘took a stand’ for freedom.

I saw firsthand the water fountains, restaurants and other public

buildings in the 1960’s. They were labeled, “For Colored People.”

I knew this must have been hard or rough on anyone living in

their skin color. We read together my kids and I about the

Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman.

 

I just finished a great book by Tara Conklin, considered historical

fiction called, “The House Girl.” It has the legal aspects of the

reparation act for families of slaves.  Every other chapter is about

a young woman called “Josephine” who worked in a slave owner’s

house. She learned how to paint from her ‘mistress.’ Later, the

‘house girl’s’ art work is given credit to her owner. Learning is

ongoing.

 

I was truly interested and asked,

“How long ago in Philippines’ history were there slaves?”

 

“Selma” brought back memories of partial lessons for me.

It depicted Ku Klux Klan members, cruelty and ‘hate crimes.’

Who could ever wish to bomb churches and not allow people

to gather in protest?

It is hard to imagine but not right to brush uncomfortable

subjects under the table. Seeing these violent acts on film,

brought back how recently this had happened. It made me

wish to promote this movie, as I did last year when I saw the

fine film, ’12 Years a Slave.’

 

Felda, Mary Jane and May have not looked me in the eyes

since this happened. I continue to say, “Good Morning” and

ask how their family members are, ask how their weekends

went, etc. They give me short answers and have been sitting

at their own table, talking in their own language. I don’t regret

my words, but was sincerely meaning to defend Melvin, along

with my own grandchild’s heritage.

 

My oldest daughter’s son, Micah is 1/4 black. His father’s Dad

plays an integral link to his life and comes to family gatherings.

 

Micah has overheard their complaints about prejudice. We

talk openly about how his own father has been pulled aside

roughly by teachers, coaches and strangers. When he shows

his ‘independence’ it is sometimes considered ‘an attitude.’

This happened with my coworker and friend, Cheryl (who

recently lost her grandson to illness). She has been told, she

says that she “has a chip on her shoulder.”

 

Micah was in preschool when a fellow  4 year old asked him,

“Is your Daddy a terrorist?”

 

This fills my eyes with tears, my heart with sadness and my

mind with fear for Micah, too. It is ‘still out there.’ Even in the

minds of immigrants who feel that black culture is ‘filled with

hatred.’

 

Here is an update on getting an ‘excuse’ written for my eyesight

and concerns for safety while driving heavy equipment. My phone

call with my ophthalmologist left me without anything promised

in writing and another appointment made in April.

 

I visited the optometrist who seemed more interested in helping

me. She wrote a well thought out letter, including the reasons I

would not be a safe candidate for ‘heavy bulk’ at the warehouse.

 

She wrote about my lack of depth perception, my monovision

while wearing a close distance contact to read fine print and a

far distant contact to see far away. She mentioned my not being

able to judge distances, especially in the narrow passages while

driving backwards with the double pallet riding equipment.

 

Her professionalism and need to be clear, may have included

details which won’t help my cause:

“Robin’s peripheral vision and depth perception would be

greatly improved by wearing single vision distance only

spectacles instead of contact lenses. Obviously, if the patient

is in a warehouse, she should be wearing safety spectacles.”

 

I have been wearing contact lenses throughout my six years

at Advance Auto Distribution Center. I am most confident

while reading the tiny UPC codes, picking the correct items

to place into bins, hampers or gaylords. (Containers which

are actually huge cardboard boxes for Open Stock and used

in heavy bulk on top of a wooden pallet and plastic pallet.)

 

I won’t change to regular glasses to carry out my job nor to

bifocals. I am not sure I would be as confident in performing

my job with single vision glasses. The reason I chose contacts

was because I used to have to take off my glasses to read the

fine print, use the RF’s (tablet computers) and now, new piece

of equipment,  a Bluetooth computer on my arm.

 

As my good friend, Jenny, honestly suggested work may try

to force me to use glasses and go to work in heavy bulk.

I am ‘screwed.’

 

My ophthalmologist who had told me he could not write a letter

until I came in for another appointment. I will hold out for Hope.

An April letter request will hopefully include all the parts that

Dr. Wagner wrote without the details suggesting I switch to

glasses or ‘safety spectacles.’

 

Thanks for your concern about my work situation with my

vision and cross training into heavy bulk work once again.

When I tried this for eight weeks of a summer, I managed

to run into metal racks, back into a pallet on the shipping

floor knocking the products over and wearing my nerves

into a frazzle.

 

I need to find a way out of this physically demanding area

without leaving my job. I have a much better salary than

other positions listed in the newspaper and have finally

earned three weeks’ vacation this year. If necessary, as many

have mentioned, my being fired for refusing to go to heavy

bulk may be my ‘release’ to a better solution. There were such

great and positive suggestions from all of you. Thank you.

 

 

If you have had a stressful or awkward situation at work

please feel free to comment and add to the conversation.

 

Look Where They Started…

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In the fifty years since the soap opera, “Another World,” was first

filmed, there have been a half dozen of major actors and actresses

whose acting talents sprang from there. The soap opera began on

May 4, 1964. It remained a popular culture favorite from 1964 until it

filmed its last show in 1999. It had a ‘good run’ of thirty-five years.

I found this interesting entertainment news in my AARP News Bulletin.

I receive this every month, along with the “AARP Magazine.”

I like the way the article phrases this: “A lot of now-famous

stars cut their acting teeth on the show.”

I am not sure if you have ever watched this soap opera, if you did,

these names won’t be quite the same surprise as they were to me! I

was, during my college years, addicted to “The Young and the Restless”

and a short half hour soap opera called, “Ryan’s Hope.” I see a few

of those actors and actresses in Hallmark movies and playing character

roles in movies and television shows.

Here are the Alumni’s from “Another World:”

Morgan Freeman played “Dr. Roy Bingham,” a fine architect in the

fictional town of “Bay City” where the soap opera takes place,

from 1982-1984.

Morgan’s most notable, Academy Award nominated role was in “Driving

Miss Daisy,” which was filmed in 1989. I enjoy him in all of his roles.

He has been recently in “Last Vegas” with the other three iconic legends.

Morgan plays Johnny Depp’s mentor in, “Transcendence,” at age 76!

Brad Pitt played “Chris,” a high school basketball player in 1987. He

played in his ‘breakout’ role (let’s fact it, as a shirtless ‘hunk’

in, “Thelma and Louise,” in 1991. At age 50, Brad was the producer,

along with played the role of an abolitionist-carpenter in, “12 Years

a Slave.”

Kyra Sedgwick, played murder-for-hire victim, “Julia Shearer”, from 1982

until 1983. She has been in several movies, along with her role as the

lead on a police force, “The Closer,” on television. My favorite movie

with Kyra is, “Something to Talk About,” where she plays Julia Roberts’

sister. They have very similar facial details like their beautiful eyes

and smiles. Wile 48 years old, she plays along side of Sylvester

Stallone in “Reach Me.” It is a ‘feel good’ Indie film, getting a lot

of critical acclaim and notice. (She is also in “Door to Door,” with

William H. Macy, check this movie out, later in the list…)

Kelsey Grammer was in “Another World,” as an emergency room physician

named, “Dr. Conrad,” from 1984 until 1985. There are several shows that

I remember on television with him, but mainly his role in “Frasier,”

is my favorite. He is 59, in his character role of a human villain,

“Harold Attinger,” in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

William H. Macy, played “Frank Fisk,” for the year of 1982. He is one

of my favorites in the movie made for television, “Door to Door.”

In that movie, he plays an inspiring man with an indomitable spirit,

who has Cerebral Palsy. He also plays a rather hapless ‘would be’

kidnapper in that strange movie, “Fargo.” His ability to become a

variety of characters is amazing, if you ever wish to see his long

list of movies and ‘resume!’

At age 64, William portrays the head of the dysfunctional family

on the television show, “Shameless.”

*I am weird, but like the television show, “Fargo,” with Billy Bob

Thornton, by the way.*

Although, definitely NOT AARP material, Lindsay Lohan, was discovered

on “Another World,” in her role as a mischievous teen, “Alexandra”

or “Alli” Fowler, (1996-97). My family enjoyed her in the remake film

of “The Parent Trap, 1998. She has portrayed Elizabeth Taylor in a

television movie and recently was in one of my posts about Garrison

Keillor, in “A Prairie Home Companion.” She is probably equally famous

as Justin Bieber, in her crazy antics, partially due to addictions.

She is at age 27 star of a reality TV show, “Lindsay,” about her post-

rehab life. One of my personal favorite Lindsay Lohan movies is with

Jane Fonda, called, “Georgia Rule.” She has talent and will overcome

her problems, which I do believe stem from family, biology, and money.

Have you ever been a fan of a soap opera?

If not, were you a fan of any of the night time ones, like “Dynasty,”

“Falcon Crest,” “Dallas,” “Knot’s Landing,” “Brothers and Sisters,”

or any newer ones, like “Nashville?” I am a fan of Sunday’s “Revenge”

and also, do sometimes watch “Parenthood.” They consider them “serials.”

The Main Event: The 86th Academy Awards Ceremony

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The 86th Oscar presentations began with the humor and

grace shown by host, Ellen DeGeneres. She has been a

host for the Oscars before and made a point that it had

been ‘awhile’ since she had been there.

In actuality, Ellen had been the host seven years ago.

She also made a joke about being the “most important

person,” because the show needs someone to name who the

next honoree will be. I liked that Ellen also reminded

the ones who have won or been nominated multiple times,

like Meryl Streep for 18 times. The way she plays off

this, making Meryl feel honored plus kidded at, shows

her comedic skills. Adding that being nominated and

having to buy expensive fancy dresses meant Meryl

‘could not afford any more nominations!’

Then she told Amy Adams that she was “selfish” for

her multiple nominations.

Most of the time, Ellen was humorous, making

playful jabs. Not sure how the one joke will be

received when she did say, that by not letting

certain movies “win” would prove the ones who

voted were “racists.” This is in reference to

“Mandela,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Butler.”

You probably have heard of the ‘selfie’ she took

with almost all the big names in the front rows

included, that it shut down Twitter by ‘going

viral!’

Another humorous part of Ellen’s playing the

host was she “ordered pizzas” for the front rows

and had the pizza delivery man help her serve

people. Ellen made sure to give the pregnant

women in the audience a piece of pizza. She later

got a hold of a hat that resembled Pharrell

Williams’ hat, (at the Grammy’s it looked like the

Smokey the Bear hat) and was passing it around to

collect money to pay for the pizzas. Plus, Ellen

was specifically calling on famous people for a tip

for the delivery man.

She also emphasized,

“Meryl, you gave enough!”

Jonah Hill must show some nudity in his movie

with Leonardo DiCaprio, “Wolf on Wall Street,”

since there were a couple of jokes about his

body. Ellen said, in an intentionally innuendoed

way, “I saw something of yours, I have not seen

for a very, very long time!”

Then, later after a commercial break, standing

looking down at Jonah, in his seat, she said,

“No, I don’t want to see it.”

Jonah replied, “What’s the big deal?”

Jared Leto was the first actor who was chosen for

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. This was

for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Jared gave a

great, planned speech. It included an homage to the

other actors in this category, saying ‘thanks to

his fellow nominees’ for their terrific performances.

Then he said, “Thank you to my Mom and my brother.”

Thirdly, he said, “To all the dreamers out there,

those not in the Ukraine and Venezuela,…”

emphasizing recent current events, turmoils and

struggles, he wished others to keep on dreaming of

possibilities.

Jared did a final tribute in his speech to those victims

of AIDS who have passed on, those that are still in other

countries, needing medicine (for HIV positive), too.

Jim Carrey, as a presenter, said it ‘must be tough to

be nominated.’ He said, “I wouldn’t know how it feels

to be nominated.” (There was one serious movie that I

felt he deserved to be nominated for in “The Majestic.”

He did a meaningful and understated acting job in this

which showed his talent. I like his comedies but they

don’t always get nominated…)

Jim also did a joke about Bruce Dern’s facial appearance

and the way his character said things, in the movie,

“Nebraska.” He also said something I didn’t quite get

about LSD, “No I meant animation like penguins, beloved

movie heroes…” This led into a great series of animated

cartoon movies, including more than these:

“Brave,” “Snow White,” “Dumbo,” “Finding Nemo,” “Kung Fu

Panda.” I enjoyed this flashing back to humorous films

that children and adults alike enjoy.

Of course, Ellen plays “Dory,” in the “Finding Nemo”

movie, so she pointed out,

“Did you see I made sure they had more of ‘Finding

Nemo’ in the clips?”

Pharrell Williams came out and sang, with a lively

entourage of varied ages the song, “Happy.” This

was nominated for the “Best Song” category for the

movie, “Despicable Me 2” (which my grandsons loved!)

You may want to remember this man’s name, since he

has already been to the Golden Globes, Grammy’s,

and the “Fifty Years of the Beatles” tribute show,

singing with Stevie Wonder and the like. This young

man has captured the little M & M granddaughters’

hearts and interest with this “Happy” song. It is

very pleasant, if you have not heard it, put it

on Youtube, close your eyes, and picture that he

sounds familiar, like Frank Sinatra or another

‘crooner.’

I was happy to see that the early 2014 movie,

“The Great Gatsby,” got both “Best Costume”

and “Best Set Design.” That was one movie I think

I reviewed, after I saw it with my youngest

daughter, Felicia.

Even though the critics ‘panned’ the movie,

“The Lone Ranger,” I liked it. I was sorry it did

not get the “Best Makeup Award” or something like

this, although it did get nominated for this award.

Dallas Buyers Club won, for making those thin,

anorexic AID’s male actors believable, along with

Jared’s pitiful makeup job to look like a woman.

Harrison Ford, upon arrival, his entrance being

heralded with the great John Williams “Indiana

Jones” theme song music, got cheers from the

audience. He incorporated a quote from Marlon

Brando about a ‘lot of hustle.’ He was there

presenting about the movie, “American Hustle.”

Matthew McConaughey with Kim Novak came out,

both looking very comfortable together. Kim

still has a husky and sexy voice, was from

many movies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s

“Vertigo.” I remember her in a sexy romp

comedy role in, “The Apartment,” with Tony

Randall. She wore a black silky pant suit,

with vividly bright blue lapels on it. She

has one of those ‘frozen’ faces, that sadly

due to her age, she has allowed too much

plastic surgery and is nearly unrecognizable.

She is 81 years old and I cannot fault her

on this. If anyone wants to see an equally

sad and ‘bad’ job of cosmetic surgery, check

out Mary Tyler Moore. She would have looked

great, has she gone the way of Betty White,

her fellow comedian on her show. Allowing

herself to age gracefully and not trying to

hang on to her youth.

Matthew and Kim were there to present the

awards for the short animated films and the

longer full-length animated films. Kim told

the audience she was excited to be there after

so many years had passed and to be there on

stage with Matthew McConaughey was a special

treat, too. I took her to be nervous and felt

bad for some of the comments I heard at work

and on one of the morning shows while I had

my first work break. I was very happy that the

movie, “Frozen,” won best animated movie. I

know my grandsons’ recommended “Despicable

Me 2” but they haven’t seen “Frozen” yet.

I have a good friend at work, Tammy who has

gone with Mike twice to the winning movie.

The Best Actor award went to Matthew McConaughey

and he gave a fantastic speech, giving the three

directions that we all need to go: Look up to

God and Family, Look Forward to other roles and

Chase after something… He said he is planning

on chasing to a ‘better self.’ In the part about

family, I liked that he included personal details

about his Mom demanding that they respect others

and themselves (first) and his Dad loving gumbo,

lemon meringue pie and a cold beer. When he was

finished with his acceptance speech, he said his

enthusiastic, “All right” three times, he is

known for this in his Southern drawled voice.

The Best Actress went to Cate Blanchett who

said that females still have a ‘niche’ and

they still can ‘sell movies,’ and buy tickets

to go to movies. She was happy with her role

in “Blue Jasmine,” a Woody Allen movie.

Lupita Nyong’O won the Best Supporting Actress

in “12 Years a Slave.” She had a long speech

prepared, although she started with some fun

smiles, surprised looks and very excited

responses. She said Thank you for the incredible

award, saluted the spirit of her character,

(based on a real person) named, Patsy. She said

the past few months it has haunted her, realizing

that her joy in being recognized as an actress

is due to a person who suffered much anguish

as a slave. She reminded “every child, your dreams

are valid.” I liked that word, “valid.” We hear

people say, “Your dreams can come true,” so often

it gets ‘old.’

The Academy’s President came out and spoke. She

is the First Black Woman to be given this honor.

It was about preserving the past,

honoring the present

and shaping the future.

Sally Fields looked fabulous, in a short

sleeved black dress, the bodice having black

sheer fabric with hand-sewn sequins look. She

introduced, “Movies with Real Heroes.”

There was a montage of film clips that included

“Ben Hur” (Charleton Heston), “Milk” (Sean Penn),

“Jackie Robinson,” “Erin Brockovich” (Julia Roberts),

“Ali” (Will Smith), “Braveheart” (Mel Gibson), “All

the President’s Men” (Robert Redford and Dustin

Hoffman), “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs,” (Sidney Poitier)

and the movie that Sally Fields held up the infamous

sign, that said, “Union:” “Norma Rae.” I also suggest

anyone who likes Sally Fields to see the movie,

“Abraham Lincoln.” She does a very good job in her

role as Mary Todd Lincoln.

The Special Effects montage included “Iron Man 3,”

“The Hobbit,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Star Trek into

Darkness,” and “Gravity.”

A simple song that is very sweetly sung, although it

did not win, listen to “The Moon Song,” from the

movie with Joaquin Phoenix, “Her.” (I don’t recommend

the movie, though!)

A Special Honorary Oscar went to Angela Lansbury,

who amazingly at age 88 is going to be in a theater

production play on the London stage. She was unable

to come to accept this award. They definitely said

she has quite a wide range throughout her lifetime

in film and theater. She also, amusingly enough,

sings well, in one of my children’s favorite movies,

“Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”

There was a standing ovation for Darlene Love who is

in a documentary with other famous/close to famous

back-up singers. She belted out a song about a

sparrow that was rich, spiritual and religious. She

came up to accept the award for the 20 or more singers

featured in, “20 Feet From Stardom.” I would like to

see this movie! Bradley Cooper was her co-presenter.

Although I enjoyed “Ordinary Love,” along with Mandela’s

quotations flashing behind Bono with U2, I think that

the funniest line all night was when the song from

“Frozen” won! The married couple who wrote the song

said that they worked well as a team and we…

“Beat literally rock stars for this Award!”

Pink sang the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,”

gently, not overdoing it, with spine tingling tone,

as a tribute to Judy Garland. Her children, including

Liza Minelli were present, asked to stand up and take

a bow. There was a montage of clips from the movie,

with both the black and white copies and the colorized

ones.

Whoopie Goldberg introduced it, showing us under her

black gown, she was wearing black and white striped

hose with red shiny shoes.

Ellen arrived at the end of the presentation, hurrying

on, once the stage was empty and all were gone, in

her huge fluffy pink Glinda the Good Witch costume!

Ellen only wore tuxes and once had a long white silk

scarf, another time a black tie. There were no big

wardrobe changes and this was her only grand finale

one!

Bette Midler had me crying a few tears, since she

sang after all the ones who had been in the film

industry and died in 2013, the eerily haunting

song, with her still radiant and strong voice,

“The Wind Beneath My Wings.” I love that line

in the song, “Did you ever know you were my

hero?”

This was not the end of the show but it

fits the end of my summary of the Oscars!

Tomorrow, I will post about the wild and

unique commercials shown during the Academy

Awards. It will be called, “Intermissions.”

The Opening Act: Oscar’s Red Carpet

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The first thing I would like to say about the Red

Carpet is that this summary was broken into three

parts, so there may be more ‘palatable’ chunks and

easier to read. This part is about style, charisma

and other details noted during pre-Oscar interviews.

Mainly, my comments are reflecting my own personal

thoughts, although I may mention something that

was a fact or opinion of someone else, also.

When I had gathered up my snacks and iced coffee

in preparation for what I knew would be a long

night, I was very excited to sit down to watch

the 86th Academy Awards Show. I turned on to watch

the preliminary Red Carpet event.

The first person I saw was the handsome, quirky

(remember he liked to play his bongos in the nude?)

and very honest Matthew McConaughey. I always felt he

had ‘deserved an Oscar,’ for his early career, lawyer

character he played in “A Time to Kill.” This was an

outstanding movie version of John Grisham’s book of

the same name.

Here Matthew’s character was in the South, trying

to defend a man who was accused of killing two men

who had raped and killed his 10 year old daughter.

Race comes into play, as the man Samuel L. Jackson’s

portraying is black, while the men who raped and

discarded the child are white. Sandra Bullock portrays

the lawyer’s wife. There are fascinating characters

including ones portrayed by Donald Sutherland and

Kevin Spacey portray. It is an intense drama, made

in 1996, Matthew was able to ‘sink his acting chops’

into this role and did a fine job, too!

Matthew McConaughey has never been nominated for an

Oscar, which is shocking in itself. That movie was

like a variation of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” for

which I am pretty sure won Gregory Peck an Academy

Award!

Matthew had his beautiful wife and mother of his

three children, Camilla, on one arm and his now

famous mother, who has accompanied him to prior

award shows, on the other arm.

Naomi Watts looked outstanding in a glittering white

dress which had cap sleeves. She wore accents of a

silver necklace and held a black and white small

clutch, it sported a zigzag pattern on it.

I really loved Kerry Washington’s lavender dress,

which was made of satin, off her shoulder and

not trying to cover her pregnancy. She is on a

television show that I don’t watch, “Scandals.”

Viola Davis looked very fashionable in a green,

almost aquamarine, colored dress, while showing her

natural ‘down to earth’ beauty. Her husband, of

over ten years, accompanied Viola. When she was

asked, “Who is your date tonight?” by interviewer,

Lara (rhymes with Sarah) Spencer, I thought to

myself,

“You didn’t do your homework!”

There will be an even more major ‘faux pas’ by this

Ms. Spencer, in my mind, later…

I like the relationship Jason Sudeikis has with his

wife, Olivia Wilde, who looked lovely in black.

Jason is a comedian, with his roots in Saturday

Night Live, branching out into many comedy roles.

(In such comedies as “We Are the Millers,” “Hall

Pass,” and “Horrible Bosses,” mainly R rated and

not ones to watch for plot or character growth,

but funny!) While his wife, Olivia, has played

conniving, yet beautiful and intriguing characters.

They were smiling and it seemed there were a few

private jokes in their glances at each other. She

is expecting and the black silky dress showed her

‘baby bump.’

Cate Blanchett, in a gorgeous Armani dress which

was sheer with a vine pattern of golden sequins,

just shimmered! Her hair style resembled the 50’s

like the way famous actress, Lauren Bacall, wore

her hair about shoulder length, curled under and one

side pulled back.

I would say Cate looked ‘bejeweled’ and ‘enchanting.’

Sandra Bullock wore a fabulous dress of a deep blue

with purple tones, it was designed by Alexander

McQueen, for her. I liked that interviewer Robin

Roberts, a more serious newscaster, asked her about

Sandra’s role in the movie, “Gravity.”

The way Ms. Roberts asked, it helped draw Sandra out.

She gave a revealing expression of her feelings while

in her role as an astronaut, floating in space and

dangerously disconnected from the spacecraft, left

her a “changed woman.”

She further told Robin that she is quite emotional

about her experience “and hasn’t quite sorted all

of it out yet.”

This is the kind of candid remarks I like to have

the interviewers, in their brief moments, make their

time worthwhile. By asking a serious and thoughtful

question, this makes the Red Carpet a great feature.

Jennifer Lawrence has been sporting a nice, short

young-looking hair style this whole season of awards.

Her portrayal in “American Hustle” was a whole

different look, matching the seventies movie. Her

short blonde hair and red satin dress, made her look

like a classic beauty. I did not mind her flat waist

with red ruffles on the side continuing onto her

back. The dress flattered her, emphasizing her curves.

Now, here goes the problem with Lara Spencer, when

Sidney Poitier approached her, being told to head

that way, (off camera) she recognizes him, or maybe

there are big cards with his name, hidden from our

view? But really, who doesn’t know how to pronounce

his last name? She mangled it, not sure if anyone

else will notice, but he did! He did not seem too

pleased, very quiet and not answering her questions

too frankly, either. He deserved respect. Surely she

knew who he was, 87 years old, presenting later, during

the Oscars’ show. On the Red Carpet, this is something

that really bothered me about this woman and other

interviewers in the past. I would have loved a chance

to ask.

“Mr. Poitier, which was your favorite role?”

I liked him in many movies and he played different

kinds of men. Educated, in “To Sir With Love” and a

handyman stranded amongst nuns in “Lilies of the Field.”

He won an Academy Award in 1963, for this role, as the

first male black actor, winning “Best Actor.”

(I did a post about this movie, actor, director and

diplomat.)

Then proving himself a major star, drawing large

audiences to the box office, Poitier played a great

police detective, in “The Heat of the Night,”

followed by two other sequels, “They Call Me MISTER

Tibbs” and “The Organization.”

Jonah Hill, nominated for his role in “Wolf on Wall

Street” has ventured into dramatic roles, growing from

his comic roots. He looked like he is trimmer, nicely

dressed in a tuxedo, having brought his mother as his

‘date.’ His first Oscar was for an interesting movie,

I had not expected to like him, in “Moneyball.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor was the only man in my forecasts and

posts for the Academy Awards, 2014. I predicted he

would win “Best Actor,” for his role in the intense

movie, “12 Years a Slave.” He has acted for years,

contributed to a lot of fantastic movies, an edgy

character role of a transvestite, included.

Ejiofor comes across, in interviews and on the Red

Carpet, as a very dignified and articulate man. The

interviewer labeled him, “Dapper,” and I agreed.

Lupita Nyong’O looked very beautiful in her light

blue, airy like the lightest turquoise colored

sky dress with a low cut v-neckline. She was very

attractive, beaming and spinning for the cameras.

She portrays a young slave woman in “12 Years a

Slave.”

I have yet to find an “ugly” dress or someone who

didn’t look ravishing or handsome. I do wish to say

that Julia Roberts’s black dress was very pretty,

but upon closer look I found the ruffle around her

waist made her look ‘thicker’

than her sleek body usually looks. I remember this

style, had a jacket that had the ruffle, my mother

had pointed it out as ‘not very flattering.’ I hate

to say much about Julia because her hair, makeup and

jewelry were ‘just right.’ She looked glamorous,

except for the odd weave to the black lace on her

bodice and ruffled waistline.

Julia looks great in what is called a “mermaid style”

dress.

We will hear during the different follow up shows on

“E!” channel, “Entertainment Tonight” and the “Billy

Bush” show, who the ‘worst dressed’ were…

soon enough!

Another unattractive look was that Bill Murray had

no makeup or cover up over his age spots. I thought

his whole appearance looked like a disheveled, absent-

minded professor. He is a very humble man, when asked

by an interviewer what makes you laugh? Murray said,

“The two sportscasters on ESPN, my kids and good

humor in comedies.” (Paraphrased, I started to

not get things down as quickly at this point!)

The last glamorous couple who look like they fit

together and show an easy going relationship,

were Will and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. She looked

effervescent in pink. Her Versace dress had a

stylish twisted halter top with another twist of

fabric on one side of her waist. It suited her

well. Will Smith’s tuxedo looked very handsome

with a black vest and tie.

Later, during the Oscars, there was some concern

about Kim Novak’s plastic surgery and her outward

appearance. She seemed distracted or flighty, but

she may have been nervous. It has been a long time

since she was the beautiful actress in “Vertigo.”

After all, that was 1958 and she is now 81 years old!

On to the Main Event…

Please join me in the next post!