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Great Oscar Speeches, Pt. III

by DJ on February 25th, 2012 at 11:07pm

Ah, but the ultimate of Oscar reactions , the be-all and end-all, the alpha & the omega, the “one to top”, has to be Roberto Benigni’s win for Best Foreign Film for Life Is Beautiful. What surely made it even more sweet for him was that the presenter happened to be another Italian, perhaps one of the most famous of all time, Sophia Loren.

Benigni won again later that night, for Best Actor, and in his memorable second speech, said he wished he was Jupiter on the firmament and could just make love to everybody. Who doesn’t love a speech like that? Heck, I think somebody could get elected President with a speech like that! 

That’s the kind of genuine emotion that makes the Academy Awards show great. We don’t want to hear you reading a laundry list thanking your agents, managers, hairdressers, personal assistants, producers, etc. — surely they deserve a thanks, but why not take out a full-page ad in Variety and print all their names there for the world to see? Save the good stuff for your actual speech. Something real. Something that touches you. That’s what we’ll remember, and that’s what we will love you for.

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Great Oscar Speeches, Pt. II

by DJ on February 25th, 2012 at 10:51pm

Speaking of great Oscar reactions, were you watching the night that Cuba Gooding, Jr. won for Jerry Maguire? He’s obviously very excited from the get-go, but watch the real magic, which happens when he’s about to be played off by the orchestra — suddenly he is overcome by wanting to share his excitement with the world, and the crowd can feel it… they begin cheering like they’re extras in a Rocky movie, spurred on by the music and Cuba’s energy. An amazing moment.

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Great Oscar Speeches, Pt. I

by DJ on February 25th, 2012 at 10:45pm

It’s Oscar weekend! There have been some memorable moments when people have won an Academy Award and didn’t expect it. One of my favorites was from the then 11-year-old Anna Paquin, who won for her role in The Piano. Interestingly, she was competing against her co-star, Holly Hunter, who was nominated for a different film. Almost as much fun as Anna’s reaction, is Holly’s jubilation when she hears young Ms. Paquin’s name called. When she takes the stage, everyone watching has severe doubts that she’ll be able to get a word out — and then, suddenly, she’s as prepared and smooth as an actor should be. Aww… that little Kiwi is so adorable. (Wonder what ever became of her? 😉 )

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Celebrity Bullying: Not As Much Fun As You’d Think

by DJ on February 12th, 2012 at 11:30am

So, Kathy Griffin says she’s going to stop telling all those jokes in her act at Whitney Houston’s expense. Gee, Kathy — that’s awfully nice of you to do… now. Unfortunately that sentiment doesn’t do much good for Ms. Houston at this point, does it? 

This is indicative of a bigger issue. Truth is, I enjoy good-natured teasing and joking with someone — but I only do that when the other person is generally standing tall, and just has a one-time (not life-threatening) thing happen to them. Kicking somebody when they’re down is just — well, bullying. Good-natured teasing (as long as it’s not continual or relentless) can be a way of connecting with somebody, while bullying alienates that person, but it’s a fine line… and a lot of humor today (done not only in comedy clubs, but by regular folks just spouting off) crosses that line. 

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