- Film Festival
Seeing as Bryn Mawr Film Institute and Philadelphia Film Society have an affiliation during each Philadelphia Film Festival, I thought I introduce PFS members to BMFI members; actually found one person during the evening who is a member of both!
This excellent Oscar ice sculpture greeted the guests at the 3rd Annual Oscar Party and Simulcast at The Bryn Mawr Film Institute. After which you had the choice of mingling in the lobby or mingling upstairs where the silent auction was taking place, and more importantly where a flat screen TV was set to Academy Awards red carpet!
As happy as I was to receive press credentials and to be a part of this gathering of enthusiastic film-goers. I really missed being at home glued to my TV for every fashion moment on the red carpet. I did happen to catch Mila Kunis resplendent in lavender, from what I saw, my best pick for the night.
Shannon Leahy-Miller (Matti ) and Allyson Gant (Rooster) were obviously big fans of the movie True Grit, but they were rooting for Amy Adams - “She played a different character, instead of just being an apple pie little girl, this time she was a little gritty”. Shannon had seen all 10 Best Picture nominations along with Biutiful and would have preferred to see Javier Bardem take home Oscar gold.
Thank the gods of good taste that Hailee Steinfeld dressed elegantly, yet age appropriate, and didn’t try to play dress up, like a lot of young starlets tend to do.
Of course I got to know the woman sitting closest to the TV and pouring champagne. This is volunteer Toby Blender and she’d like to give a shout out to my good friend Cynthia who used to manage all the volunteers at The Prince Theater.
In fact, my former life of employment collided, as I too used to work for The Prince Theater and I also worked for the Racquet Club of Philadelphia, where these two fun and dapper people, Lily Williams and Craig Starn were members.
Deborah McKibben was dressed very Oscar appropriate for the event. It was her first time attending, but said she and her friends would like to make this BMFI Oscar Party an annual tradition. She saw all the best picture nominated films (except for Toy Story 3 and 127 Hours) in a week! Her pick would have been Black Swan for Best Picture.
Most critics and movie-goers alike predicted The King’s Speech would sweep the Oscars this year. They threw us off briefly with the loss of the first two categories; which included Helena Bonham Carter losing in a role that was a refreshing departure from her usual wacky, witchy husband casting characters. And I have to say, if you watched her often unpleasant facial expressions (not to mention her style) during the evening, I think she rather deserved an Oscar for playing a conservative, compassionate wife.
John McKee and Elise Laird are new to Philadelphia, but where most people make getting a dry cleaner, new doctor and dentist a priority, they sought out a great place to see films. Elise was another BMFI member who saw all the nominated films and then some.
That’s what I enjoyed most about this year’s Oscars, their really were no losers. I saw and loved every movie nominated and in my opinion every actress/actor was deserving of the honor (except I can’t speak for Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom, that totally got by me). Normally, there’s one film that I just don’t feel like seeing, like last year’s The Hurt Locker. My Netflix Queue still contains The Last King of Scotland and Syriana, but I know I’ll never actually see these movies.
I don’t think anyone enjoyed James Franco’s stiff and grimacing turn as Oscar host. What happened to that charming young man with the 10,000 watt smile that makes women swoon and men want to be his best friend. He was just a shell of himself, often looking off to the side somewhere. And why was it only when he was dressed as Marilyn Monroe that the dark circles under his eyes got covered with makeup. This is a prime example of what happens when you spread yourself too thin.
Thank goodness, they let Anne Hathaway do most of the hosting. She, at least was effervescent and genuine. She played to her strengths, entertaining us with glorious gown after glorious gown on her lithe, lovely figure. But as Whoopi & Sherri said on The View this morning, there’s a reason why it’s important to have a comedian/comedienne do the hosting, so that when things happen during an acceptance speech, they can come back to the podium and make a quick funny to keep things lively.
I don’t think Christian Bale really forgot his wife’s name, I think he was trying to think of a more poetic way to thank her and was getting a bit choked up, so it looked like he went blank. Or perhaps I’m giving him too much credit. At any rate, it was interesting to see both he and Melissa Leo turn their Golden Globe wins into Oscar gold.
Speaking of winning and gold, I really enjoyed talking to this party attendee, Lee Cummings, who’s also a Philadelphia Film Society Member and Ambler Film Member. She said she had the opportunity to meet film historian Robert Osborne and was told she could rival him in film facts and history. I asked her to name her favorite classic film, to which she replied, Cinema Paradisso (Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore). Have I seen it? Of course not, I’m just glad I at least knew of it!
What I do know is that I wish I had Jennifer Hudson’s new svelte figure without actually having to do Weight Watchers.
That this chick Lora Hirschberg who was part of the winning sound mixing team for Inception has huge biceps (or “guns” as my brother would say). That Atticus Ross (Oscar winner The Social Network, Composer) and Angus Wall (Oscar winner The Social Network Film Editor)have awesome names!
Russell Brand and Helen Mirren (Helen, so lovely as always) were actually funny introducing the foreign film category; Brand deliberately mis-interpreted Mirren’s french as “My queen was much more realistic than Colin Firth’s king”.
Reese Witherspoon’s hair was the best of the night, although a close second was Sandra Bullock.
The best speech of the night is a tie between The King’s Speech Director Tom Hooper who said his mom who almost never goes to see plays, happened to see a very early version of “The King’s Speech”; after which, she called her son to say, I think you should do this as your next movie!
And Luke Matheny, short film winner for God of Love, who opened his speech by saying he should have gotten a hair cut!
Once I took my seat inside the theater it immediately struck me that I needed some dessert. I turned around and queried these women, Donna and Olga, asking, “will they be putting out a dessert buffet?” The quickly chimed in with “YES! dessert and coffee comes out at 9pm and we can bring it to our seats”. That’s all I needed to know. Donna also has an aspiring filmmaker daughter (away at school) who started loving the Oscars at the age of 4.
I’d like to thank BMFI director, Juliet Goodfriend (pictured with BMFI members, Donald and Billie Lee Orenbuch) and all her staff, particularly, Devin Wach, for a terrific evening.
There’s something so fitting and exciting about watching the movies you’ve seen on the big screen, be honored on the big screen.