Thursday, May 30, 2024

Oscars Bring Rewards for “12 Years,” “Gravity,” Darlene Love


There were some sweet victories at last night’s Academy Awards. “12 Years A Slave” picked up Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress. The movie made history too as first one ever directed by a black man to win Best Picture. Thank god, because it was the best. When the ceremony was over Harvey Weinstein told me: “The best movie did win.” And he meant it.

At the same time “Gravity” won Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, plus Oscars for cinematography, editing, musical score, and so on. At the Governor’s Ball following the show, one table had about six Oscars mixed in with empty bottles of Champagne and designer water. David Heyman, who brought Cuaron to “Gravity” from directing the best Harry Potter movie, couldn’t believe his eyes.

Meantime Darlene Love got sweet revenge on Phil Spector. The Morgan Neville directed documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” won Best Doc. Darlene took the stage and sang a cappella. It was a glorious moment in Oscar history. I can only hope convicted murderer Spector, who screwed Darlene and all his artists out of money they were owed, was watching from prison. If “12 Years a Slave” was about liberation, then so was “20 Feet from Stardom.” Hallelujah!


Meantime, the show was so oddly set up by category that the main floor bars were constantly crowded. Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins hung out there for a bit, as did director John Singleton, Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney and Anne Hathaway.

I ran into Lady Gaga at one point, who couldn’t have been sweeter or more low profile. When Lupita Nyong’o won her award, there was a huge cheer from all the bars. You could hear a pin drop as she gave her beautiful acceptance speech. Bette Midler also got a thunderous ovation after she finished singing “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Later at the Governors Ball, Bette told me, “I’m glad I did it, but I’m glad it’s over. I hadn’t sung live in quite a while. I was very nervous.”

More from the Oscars shortly…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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