My parents, married for (over) 45 Years are Straight Outta Ohio. No nonsense, midwestern folk (and grandparents) who love going to the movies. Dad's (74) a retired businessman who worked in a world not unlike The Big Short, and Mom (71) a career hausfrau, knows her way around Joy's trademark mops like nobody's business. I've stayed with them here in Florida for the past few months while they've been ill, and I've made it my mission to be their cinema docent, guiding them to as many of Oscar nominated films as I can before the big night, and they've been game. Here's a sample conversation:
Mom: Let's go see that Benghazi movie. Me: Actually, Mom, we need to see Carol. It's going to be leaving the theatre soon and it's up for a bunch of Oscars. Mom: What's it about? Me: It's about these women who love each other in 1952. They dress fabulously and listen to Billie Holiday records. (a brief silence) Me: It's about lesbians. Mom and Dad: Let's go.
They loved Carol. And would have never seen it if not for me. So we sat on the couch and on came The Academy Awards. Dad fell asleep soon after Chris Rock's opening monologue and by the time Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs made her speech, he was snoring. Needless to say, he came in a distant third in our three person Oscar pool. One of Mom's habits is talking to the TV, and she was in peak form watching The Academy Awards much like she was a few weeks ago watching The Grammys: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/xaque-gruber/when-an-actual-grammy-wat_b_9249484.html
Chris Rock opened the show addressing the whole brouhaha about Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the Oscar ceremony. To which Mom said,
Good, I'm glad Jada Pinkett Smith stayed home. She's such a pain in the ass. Always angry and miserable. If she'd actually smile, I think I'd faint.
Mom took one look at Sarah Silverman, a presenter early in the show, and said,
Holy Cow, look at her shoulders. She must lift weights.
When Sam Smith took to the stage to sing the nominated James Bond theme, Mom said,
This is a James Bond theme? It's no Goldfinger. It has no tune. What happened to the days when we'd be swept off our feet by a James Bond theme? No one will be singing this years from now like they do Nobody Does It Better or Live and Let Die or Diamonds Are Forever. Even that awful one by Madonna is better than this.
Mom's 100% Italian and when she's on a tear, her vocab gets peppered with Italian-isms. My favorite is when she calls an ugly looking woman a "Strega." (you have to roll the "R" a bit and extend the "E" for full effect). It means "ugly hag" or "ugly witch." When Mad Max: Fury Road won Best Costume, the Sammy Hagar-looking lady who designed it marched down the aisle to collect her award and Mom burst out:
Me: Mom, did you know that Mad Max: Fury Road was shot in Namibia? Mom: Bolivia? Me: No, Namibia. Mom: Where's that?
When the nominees for Best Makeup were announced, Mom said:
I'd love to see The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared just because of the title.
Mom's been following the news surrounding Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Mom's thrilled when good looking, successful men and women get married and have children. And being the devout Catholic that she is, she's devastated they split up, so she's praying they can fix things "like Patrick Dempsey did with his wife."
I just read that Jennifer Garner said she has no regrets for marrying Ben Affleck. Well I saw Ben Affleck nearly naked in a Boston elevator and I wouldn't have any regrets either.
During a clip of Leonardo DiCaprio all bloodied in The Revenant, Mom said:
Back in the days of The Revenant people had to eat the raw insides of dead animals to survive. There were no vegans back then.
Even though by 10pm, Mom was winning our three person Oscar pool, it didn't stop her from switching the channel during a commercial break to watch Lady Mary and Lady Edith go at it.
A rerun of Downton Abbey is more exciting than this year's Academy Awards. Thank God they made that crawl at the bottom of the screen this year with the people the Oscar winners thank because hearing them rattle all those names was boring as Hell.
And then later, when the Ex Machina FX winner thanked a ton of people, Mom said:
Didn't this guy get the message? He doesn't have to thank anybody - they put it all on the screen already!
Mom: You know what else I think is on against this? That show about the Georgia hillbillies and the zombies who eat them. Me: The Walking Dead? Mom: Yes. Beats me why anyone would be scared of them though. They walk so slow and are so easy to kill. Houseflies are harder to kill.
Mom was bummed Stallone didn't win.
Maybe they'll give him a Lifetime Achievement Award when he's 90.
When the documentary producer for Amy said in his acceptance speech that all Amy Winehouse ever needed was the love of her fans, Mom yelled at the TV:
Excuse me?! No, you're wrong Mister Producer. She needed a Hell of a lot more than that!
When Sam Smith accepted his award for the LGBT community, Mom asked "what's an LGBT community?"
Mom loved the dresses that Cate Blanchett and Brie Larson wore, but she thought the whole outrage over non-Whites being ignored was overblown.
So this guy who's winning for Best Director two years in a row is not White. There's a Black host, a Black President of the Academy, a Black orchestra conductor for the show. Sophia Vergara is everywhere I look even on the commercials. Sorry, but I'm not seeing minorities being left out.
It was going on midnight. Mom looked at Dad who had been sleeping and snoring on the couch for hours at this point.
Put a blanket on him for Pete's sake. How long is this show?
Before Chris Rock said "Good night," he said "Black lives matter." Mom said,
Good Lord, of course Black lives matter. But what about Oriental people? What about retarded people? Everyone's life matters.
As we shuffled off to bed, after the show ended, Mom looked at me and said,
Well one thing I learned tonight was that Stephen Hawking also makes a very pretty woman.