On May 16 1929, just months before the stock market would crash, tinseltown was all aflutter with starlets and dashing actors, producers, directors making their way to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for the very first Academy Awards ceremony. Wings was the first picture to take home the Oscar for Best Film, and come Sunday February 24, 85 years after the first gold statue was awarded, we’ll find out which picture will join its ranks.
From Charlie Chaplin’s iconic silent films to Talkies, from film noir to the American ‘new wave,’ from black and white to CGI, Hollywood has been there by our side to awaken our imagination, to offer a glimpse into worlds unknown, to take us on journeys we could only dare to dream up. After the stock market plummeted, Americans clung to the silver screen a little tighter, waiting anxiously for the next escape with the likes of Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to keep us company.
And through the years, we’ve continued to rely on the magic of film to make us feel, to laugh, to cry, to dream, to aspire. The movies nominated for the 85th Academy Awards make us do all of the above. With the common thread of overcoming adversity--be it for love, for survival, for one’s country--the narratives in the latest line up of nominees remind us why, for the past 100 plus years movies have been created, we’ve had such an ardent love affair with the silver screen.
And maybe our general enamor with Hollywood is why living in La La land is so exciting this time of year. The city and surrounding areas are all abuzz. People are planning their soirees, picking out their champagne, their decor, hoping to elicit an Oscar worthy feel. In an attempt to pay homage to the stars we love to watch, come Sunday night, we will gather in front of the small screen with our friends, our best champagne and maybe even a gown or tux fit for the red carpet. We will tune into the city of angels, that magical city where dreams come true, and revel in its magic.