Considering it’s Oscars night, I had expected a lot of festivity at the club, especially after the bash Sarah Miller and Chanrda Chakravarthi threw last year to commemorate the 85thannual awards ceremony.
“Look,” she said to the screen, “you’ve had plenty of time to make your point. Maybe you should come back to Birmingham before you get arrested.”
“Arrested?” I echoed. “Who are you talking to, Chandra?”
“Sarah,” she replied wearily. “We’re Skyping. She’s in California.”
“I’m revolting,” the artist’s voice said.
“I shall resist the temptation to say that you have been for years and simply ask what you’re revolting against.”
“A gross and egregious oversight on the part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Sarah said as a picket sign flashed in front of her digital face. “I am here at the Dolby Theatre exercising my First Amendment rights in an effort to bring this injustice to the eyes of the world.”
“The film in which she starred wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, nor was she nominated for Best Actress, so she’s protesting this year’s ceremony,” Chandra translated.
“Ah, yes, ‘We Never Talk Anymore.’ A classic. I take it Sarah’s boycott explains why there isn’t a party tonight.”
“Yes. She seemed to think it was more important to protest than it was to help me plan the party,” Chandra said as Sarah broke into a chorus of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”
“She’ll be a while at that. Okay. No party. But surely you made some predictions.”
“Naturally. Where do you want to start?”
Chandra’s first – Jared Leto as Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club – was right on the money, although she hadn’t seen the film. “I need to watch it and see what all the hype was about. I spent a better part of my time obsessing over his ombre hair than his role in this movie. I think his hair received just as much attention if not more than his movie.”
“Best Supporting Actress?” I prompted.
“I think Lupita N’yongo will be taking home the award. She has been winning at many of the precursors, so it would be a surprise if the Academy gave this award to someone else. If she doesn’t win, then I’ll probably find myself saying some not-so-nice words at my TV. I’m also excited to see what she will be wearing on the red carpet. For an award show newbie, I’ve been impressed with her style choices. She’s a budding fashionista.”
Sarah’s voice continued to come through loud and clear. “Everybody sing! Where have all the movie critics gone? Long time passing!”
“Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. He seems to be in a really, really good place in his career. Like I said, I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t really know too much about it other than it being during the AIDS movement. I think he’s now at a phase in his life where he can be taken as a serious actor, because to me he has always been a rom-com star alongside Kate Hudson.”
“Sarah Miller for We Never Talk Anymore,” the tablet screamed.
Chandra muted the volume. “Cate Blanchett. I never got to see Blue Jasmine, and I really don’t even know what it’s about. I know that she’s been getting a lot of buzz for her role in this film, so it seems like she’s a predictable win for this category. I’m sure she deserves it though. I’ve always liked her and I think she’s incredibly talented and can completely immerse herself in any role. Didn’t Woody Allen direct that movie?”
“He did,” I acknowledged.
“Yeah, I feel like I found out about this more because Woody was directing it and there was this alleged scandal that’s been surrounding him. I know I should judge him based on his work and not on his personal life, but I find it disturbing that he had a relationship with this stepdaughter and he married a 16-year-old when he was only 19. He is a cinematic icon though. I can’t deny that.”
“Got a Best Directing favorite?”
“Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. He made a technical masterpiece, and he delivered with something pretty unique. His film was the most challenging to make in that sense. I’m always interested to see the best director and Best Picture winners announced because there have been times when there has been a split between these categories. So if Alfonso Cuaron wins for best director, then there is a small possibility that Gravity may not win Best Picture but I think this year Gravity might sweep both categories.”
“We Never Talk Anymore!”
“I thought you muted that.”
“So did I,” Chandra said, scowling at Sarah’s digital face. “Injustice aside, I think all the movies that were nominated in this category are worthy contenders, but I think it’s definitely going to be between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. I think both are equally-deserving of this award but for different reasons. Gravity was impressive because the technical and visual effects were taken to a whole new level. 12 Years a Slave was really heartbreaking and often times difficult to watch but you really feel this emotional pull towards the characters. It’s not always easy for a movie with a historic statement to accomplish that.
“However, I think Gravity will end up winning this award simply because it was groundbreaking. I would give the Oscar to 12 Years a Slave, because I do like movies that have something meaningful to say and have the cast portraying characters that allow them to push their boundaries as actors/actresses. Then again, we could be thrown for a loop and American Hustle could take home this award. I would love to see a comedy win in this category. I mean has a comedy ever won the Best Picture Oscar?”
“I don’t know,” Sarah said, “but Home Alone 2 should have.”
“Did you protest that too?” I asked.
“I should have,” the artist replied. “But they won’t get away with this oversight.” Chandra and I watched as she hoisted her sign and called to the red carpet crowd. “The Times They Are A-Changing, everybody! On 1…2…3!”
Chandra sighed. “Now she’ll probably expect a Grammy.”