I am loathe to admit it, but I am a sucker for award shows. And this time of year brings plenty of offerings, mostly from that declination of western civilization known as Hollywood.
I guess it’s the whole package that sucks me into that glitz and glamour vortex.
I am probably the most un-glitzy, non-glamorous person you will ever meet (a good candidate for What Not to Wear, told once by a consignment store that my donation of clothing was too “tired” and who gets her hair cut approximately twice a year, if I think of it.)
As a woman in her 40s, my penchant for wearing slightly used clothing and no makeup is probably not going to happen unless Carson Kressley (wouldn’t I love Queer Eye for the Straight Girl) shows up at my door. But that doesn’t change the fact that I admire people who are well-groomed — and you can’t beat awards shows for seeing the best, and the worst, of the holy draped.
It’s also part of the entertainment sport reporting field to gush and diss on what the stars are wearing.
And my response to that is, “What the hell do we know about it, anyway?” Most of us are hidden away behind computers, surfin’ the ‘net for the latest fashion faux pas while tucking into a plate of doughnuts and wearing pink Uggs from five years ago. (Please don’t equate me in that picture. I wear Sorels and I hate doughnuts.)
But oohing and awing over the award-show minions clothed in the latest Stella McCartney or Versace is all part of the obsession.
The other obsession is the speeches.
Again, my personal interest in the speeches comes from the fact that I can’t for the life of me speak in public, and believe me I’ve tried.
So I admire anyone who can stand up there, partially naked in that aforementioned Versace dress, and tell everyone, while drunk on $150 glass of champagne (see Golden Globes) in a straight face about how much it all means to them.
Yes most people still groan at the thought of the seemingly 10-hour-long speech by Silence of the Lambs Oscar winning director Jonathan Demme at the 1991 Academy Awards. But out of all those horror stories comes some truly winning moments: Tom Hanks’ speech when he won the 1993 Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia comes to mind, so does any speech by Cate Blanchett or Barack Obama. They have the gift. They could ramble utter nonsense (as most Republicans would say about Obama) and it would still come off as eloquent.
And then there’s the interruption of speeches, done with that irritating musical cue, or by the even more irritating Kanye West. If that isn’t entertainment, I don’t know what is?
And finally, and the real reason I like award shows is what they honour. The talent.
Whether it’s Meryl Streep receiving her upteempth acting nomination, or Daniel Day-Lewis (whom I’ve been an admirer of since I saw him in My Beautiful Laundrette) inhaling a character to the very core, sometimes it’s just nice to hand these people a shiny trophy because we like them. We really like them.
And so what if we don’t really know them. It’s still a thrill to see your favourite actor, musician, athlete, and/or artist be recognized for his/her craft.
Heck, we were the ones that forked out the dough to go see them perform in the first place, so why wouldn’t we celebrate their successes as if they were our own?
So as the Oscars, Grammys, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, Tonys, Okanagan Arts Awards (ha, had to throw that one in) approach, let us celebrate the slit-up-the leg Angelina Jolie gowns, the long-winded, self-deprecating speeches (which Adele does so well) and the craft and art of entertainment.
You know you want to watch with me.
—Kristin Froneman is the entertainment editor for The Morning Star