by Julia Buckley
I spent last evening watching The Oscars; this is a yearly pastime for my family, and one that I always enjoy. This year's broadcast was, I thought, particularly good. What I like best is not the pageantry and the Old-Hollywood glamor--it's the writing. Not the writing of the introductions, necessarily, although some of those were quite good (especially the Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin exchanges, as well as the Tina Fey/Robert Downey Junior repartee).
No, what I like are the little snippets of the screenplays, and then the acceptance speeches of the writers.
These people are always grateful, humble, even surprised, that the ideas which inspired them enough to write something also inspired their audiences enough to earn them a major award.
How wonderful to see the success stories of people who never imagined they'd stand on a giant stage in a tuxedo or glittering gown--the people who are much more comfortable in front of keyboards or in the landscapes of their own imaginations.
Mark Boal, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for THE HURT LOCKER (also winner for Best Director and for Best Picture), said something in his acceptance that becomes a recurring theme every year. He said that he spent time in Iraq, came home and thought that he had a good idea for a story. And then, somehow, his path led him to a year full of awards, culminating in his Oscar win.
Perhaps one of the reasons I love watching these moments on the Oscars is that it allows writers' dreams to come true--and all writers know about dreams. The first dream is to make the idea flowering in one's imagination come alive on the page; the second is to have readers appreciate that idea for what it was meant to be.
For some writers, there is a third reward . . . accolades beyond their imaginings. While no writer would expect this or take it for granted, every writer must consider it a dream come true when a work of his or her imagination captures the imagination of the world.
So congratulations to all the writers who were nominated and those who won. And all writers everywhere should be encouraged in their own dreams every time one of those Oscar champions takes to the stage with a beautifully heartfelt and--of course--beautifully written--acceptance speech.
Photo link here.