What do these actors have in common: Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Harrison Ford, Kevin Bacon, Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, John Travolta, Ralph Fiennes, Ed Harris, Gary Oldham, Andy Garcia . . .
. . . and these actresses: Barbara Stanwyck, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara, Emily Watson, Jean Simmons, Laura Linney, Miranda Richardson, Annette Bening, Glen Close, Sigourney Weaver, Marsha Mason, Brenda Blethyn, Mia Farrow?
Yes, they have all NOT won an Oscar. Quite a list. (Oh, and Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton were nominated many times but never won. Then there’s Julie Walters, the list of losers goes on and on).
The handing out of the statuettes to the luvvies for 2015 took place last month. No real surprises.
Eddie Redmayne won best actor playing Stephen Hawking. Julianne Moore won best actress playing a character with Alzheimer’s disease.
Hmmm. One almost sure way of nabbing an Oscar is to play a character with a disability: Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot; Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man; Colin Firth stuttering in The King’s Speech; Holly Hunter as a mute in The Piano; Marlee Matlin, a deaf actress playing a deaf character in Children of a Lesser God; Jennifer Lawrence with mental health issues in Silver Linings Playbook.
And who selects the winners? The 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Membership is by invitation only. And most of the members are based in the United States. So that’s all right then.
I read somewhere that a lot of the ageing members don’t get to see the films and often ask their maids what they thought of them before they send in their votes.
But for all the unfairness of the system I enjoy the stars dressing up for their (they hope) big night. And then there are the speeches and the tears.
In writing this blogpost I’d like to thank my agent, my wife, my cat . . .