"And the Oscar Goes To..."

by - February 28, 2011

I'm torn. The Oscars are tonight and I'm only halfway watching it.  In fact, I'm not in front of the television at all.  I'm signed onto Oscar.com.  I did not pay the $4.99 to get all access.  But I am watching the "Thank You Cam".  Nine awards have been given out so far and I correctly predicted two winners: Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and "The Social Network" for best screenplay adaptation.  Because I refused to pay the almost $5, I don't get to see the tears or speeches of the winners.  By the time the winners get to the back stage Thank You cam, they are somewhat composed.  I'm not completely watching tonight because I'm not completely invested.  Last year I was completely committed to watching, with fingers crossed, to ensure the well deserved win for Sandra Bullock as Best Actress (The Blind Side).  Sandra nailed that role! 

This year, I am less invested (as I said).  This year I've seen five of the Best Film nominees: "The King's Speech", "The Fighter",  "Inception", "True Grit" and "The Social Network".  It's crazy that there are ten nominees this year.  I thought 5 was enough!

I did not see "Black Swan"...it looked too crazy for me.  Natalie Portman fluttering towards the camera with blood shot eyes showing through a black feathered mask.   It was just too much for me!  I like Natalie Portman.  I loved her in "Anywhere But Here" and "The Other Boleyn Girl".  But crazy?  Not so interested. 

I love that both Melissa Leo and Christian Bale won in their categories for "The Fighter".  I had a visceral reaction to both of them when I saw the film.  I believed them!  I believed they were the people they portrayed.

I am probably the only person I know that did not love "Inception".  I liked most of the movie, but the end was too weird for me!  I wasn't sure it was a happy ending. --I sort of need some sort of clear (and preferably happy) ending.

As you can imagine, I loved "The Social Network".  It was so fun to watch genius bloom.

"The King's Speech" was completely inspiring.  It was so honest! It helps prove the point if I momentarily wish to be someone else, a princess, for instance, the reality of that alternate life does not mean a life without heartache.  I think it must be part of the human condition to struggle.  How we persevere through our personal struggles makes us the heroes of our own lives.

The film was also inspiring in showing the power of having someone that loves you so much that you are willing to trust them with knowing your personal secret demons.  The film shows the utter pain and humiliation as well as the courage it takes to face and fight the thing that holds you back.  To face the thing that most haunts you, scares you and paralyzes you.  Not only was Bertie brave to accept help, but Elizabeth was brave to seek out and find the help Bertie needed.  She had the courage to never give up hope for the person she loved.  She braved a world that was foreign to her.  A world where she was a wife and not a queen.  A world where her husband was a patient and not a king.  She braved the turmoil and wrath that would come from continuing to push her husband toward a "cure". She offered encouragement and pure tenacity in the pursuit of the help she knew had to exist. She was determined to find the help even if it meant resorting to a sort of witch doctor.  

The personal struggle that Bertie endured is immense.  One that can take my breath away when I ponder it.  When public life was thrust upon him, Bertie's handicap was one that could not be overlooked. His handicap was considered to be personal weakness.  There was immense embarrassment and shame as he had to battle an affliction thought to be somehow within his control. The feeling of powerlessness only echoed the feeling of personal failure.  Yet, Bertie stepped up to the challenge that was bigger than he.  The challenge to be the voice of courage for a nation being thrust into war. 

The story is inspiring to me as I contemplate my own past secret struggles.  I know that the fates have not singled me out.  The fates seem to make sure struggles are tailor made for each individual.  A King without a voice?  I can not think of a struggle that could have been more devastating.

And so it may be with each of us mere mortals.  The secret shame we feel as we try to fight our personal battles may be in direct proportion to our secret belief that we somehow deserve our own misery. Any of us lucky enough to have a partner willing to fight with us and for us has a greater chance of victory.  And so, today I count myself blessed that I have such a partner.  I count myself honored to stand together to push each other to our own personal greatness.  We should all be so lucky.


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