“The script called for Lupino to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. Bogart took her to the side and, glancing at director Walsh, told her: "Listen, doll, if you can’t cry, just remember one thing -I’m going to take this picture away from you.” Ida laughed, just as Bogart had wanted. “All right,” he said, “now you’re relaxed. If you can’t relate it to me or the character go back to your childhood,” he counseled. “Can you remember when you had to say goodbye to somebody, somebody you loved? And you thought you weren’t going to see them again?” “Yes”, responded Ida. “Well, think of that, baby, think of it!” Ida saw tears in his eyes. The final scene of High Sierra is powerfully moving. Marie’s tears of sadness are transformed into tears of elation as she realizes that the tortured soul of Roy Earle is finally free.“
When the 87th annual Academy Awards airs Feb. 22 on ABC, producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will have to walk a political minefield between the right and the left, navigating potential explosions that could turn Hollywood’s annual lovefest into a virtual war zone.
of the best picture contenders have stirred fans and foes alike. First,
there’s Paramount’s Selma, the paean to Martin Luther King Jr. Its
striking lack of nominations
(it earned one for picture and another for song) drew outrage from
women and the left. They blamed the Academy’s overwhelmingly white and
male membership for failing to recognize Ava DuVernay as director — and
television’s increasingly African-American viewership won’t overlook it.
The same audience that is turning Empire and How to Get Away With
Murder into ratings bonanzas is critical of the Academy’s ongoing deal
there’s Warner Bros.’ American Sniper, Clint Eastwood’s sympathetic
portrait of war hero Chris Kyle. A red-state juggernaut that has grossed
more than $200 million domestically, the movie has been massively
successful with veterans and in cities with strong military bases. Huge
swathes of that audience will tune in, expecting the movie to win — and
they’ll blame the left-leaning Academy if it doesn’t.
are just two of a host of challenges. There’s also no black or Hispanic
acting nominees, only the first time since 1997; a Polish picture (Ida)
that has enraged some of its countrymen for pointing a finger at them
for Holocaust atrocities; and a Russian film (Leviathan) that has earned
the enmity of Vladimir Putin’s allies.
the Academy turn a blind eye? Of course not. Instead, it should follow
Rahm Emanuel’s mantra, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Here’s how:
1. Put the civil rights movement front and center
went from being shockingly insensitive to civil rights (Birth of a
Nation, Gone With the Wind) to being at the forefront of change. Show
that in a montage instead of the usual anodyne clips (like last year’s
tribute to “everyday heroes”). Get footage of some of the movie greats
who were out there campaigning for King — Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis
Jr., Marlon Brando and, yes, even Charlton Heston, all of whom took part
in the 1963 March on Washington. Recount how the 40th Academy Awards,
originally scheduled for April 8, 1968, was postponed for two days in
the wake of King’s assassination.
2. Give Harry Belafonte a place of honor
then, instead of quickly setting aside the issue of civil rights and
cutting to a commercial break, invite icons such as Belafonte and his
longtime comrade-in-arms Poitier to make a clarion call for change.
Having been honored with the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
at November’s Governors Awards, Belafonte will be invited to the Dolby
Theatre. But do more than give him a quick acknowledgment. Air a
significant portion of the speech he delivered when he accepted the
Hersholt, in which he chastised Hollywood for its past racial
insensitivities and called on the industry to do better. “It could be
civilization’s game-changer,” he said.
3. Retire the Old Guard
we all know how great Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are. But it’s
time to show audiences Hollywood has a future as well as a past — and
that future is biracial, international and multigender. Have some of the
cutting-edge artists who are leading the way to the future — Oscar
winners such as Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong'o and John Ridley —
present some of the more prominent awards.
4. Show how war has shaken up the Hollywood establishment
Fonda was at the heart of Hollywood’s critique of the Vietnam War, but
she has embraced conservative Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, tweeting
about her high regard for the film and likening it to her own Coming
Home. So bring out the former “Hanoi Jane” along with Clint to pay
tribute to America’s war heroes, with Kyle’s widow, Taya, seated among
the stars. At the same time, remind audiences that Hollywood has been at
the forefront of showing what war is like, from the silent-era All
Quiet on the Western Front to The Deer Hunter and the recent The Hurt
Locker — all Oscar winners for best picture.
5. Remind the audience there’s a real world out there
can keep the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards without forgetting
that Hollywood has the power to change the planet. Movies all around
the globe are doing that, and the Academy should pay tribute to them.
Don’t shove the foreign-language films aside: Show us what went into
making them, with an American Idol-style lead-up to each one.
Sunday: Pat came over today and repeatedly told me to “stop sucking my teeth at him,” which I’m still confused about, but it made me smile.
Monday: Jessie and I made paper snowflakes to decorate my bedroom tonight. I’m not a big arts and crafts dude, but I was mesmerized by the intricacy of the designs I could create simply by folding paper a billion times and then going berserk with the scissors. It may be 70 degrees outside (in Pennsylvania!) but I’m finally getting into the Christmas spirit, and that makes me smile.
Tuesday: It was pouring rain today. The mail person seemed to be unaware. She walked down the street delivering the mail without any sort of protection for the giant stack of letters in her hands. It was kind of absurd, how clearly she didn’t care that all the mail was being ruined in the downpour. It made me smile, but I wish she had used a bag, because most of our business letters that day were soggy.
Wednesday: An interesting reminder notification popped up on my phone today. It was a note I had written to myself back in the summer, an idea I had involving my girlfriend at the time. I must’ve wrote it down and set it as a reminder for December so I wouldn’t forget to tell her my secret idea. As you may have read, that relationship didn’t work out, but the note remained, and it made me smile to think about the temporary nature of things. All emotions, both good and bad, don’t last forever. It’s really important to keep that in mind, so that you can better appreciate the good times, and better let go of the bad.
Thursday: We had a donor from Arizona generously donate two more brand new iPads to our Tech the Halls campaign! We would like to send a huge shout out to Andy for allowing us to give the gift of adaptive technology to two more people this holiday season. Your amazing, selfless generosity made me smile. Thank you!
Friday: During a concert in Philadelphia tonight, a stranger became slightly obsessed with the fact that I (in my wheelchair) was out in public having a good time. It wasn’t a huge deal; people are often “inspired” by my presence in public, which is annoying, but I usually just laugh about it. It was when he began taking pictures of me and Ida that I got upset. Luckily, Ida harnessed her inner “Philly” and told the guy to… well, I shouldn’t repeat it, but he stopped taking pictures. It made me smile.
Saturday: Today was the groggiest, laziest day, recovering from last night. Taking a warm shower and going back to bed made me smile.