Love finds its way to the Oscars

by Kelly on February 27, 2009 · 12 comments

in Film. TV. Books. Music,Life. People. News

I love all art, but stories are my oxygen.

I couldn’t live in a world where I couldn’t watch, read or tell stories. And film is the most engaging storytelling device of all, with the maestro of this experience being the screenwriter.

As you’d expect of a long time film buff and writer, the Academy Awards are a special television event I look forward to every year. I can see why people may see them as extravagant and self indulgent, but I think celebration of art is important.

Film is a powerful medium.

It can ease contentious issues into everyday dinner conversation and open people’s minds to the plight of others without the confrontation that can go with political activism.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was very controversial in its day for its depiction of an inter-racial relationship. I’d like to think that controversy is much diminished today. And at a time when just the word, AIDS sent people into a panic, Philadelphia gave an empathetic face to this disease with Tom Hanks, the all-American hero.

And that’s why sometimes the Academy Awards are not just all froth and bubble.

This year a young screenwriter named Dustin Lance Black won the Oscar for Best Original Screeplay for Milk, the biopic of murdered Californian politician and gay rights activist, Harvey Milk.

I haven’t seen this film yet (it hasn’t come out near me) and only know some basic elements of the story, but I am definitely going to see it.

Has there ever been a more emotionally compelling Oscar’s speech? I’ve been watching these awards for about 25 years and I don’t think so.

This speech is beautiful for the simplicity of its heartfelt message and the emotion that this young gay man feels about his place in society, in his country.

Even if you don’t care a toss for films or film folk, you have to take a minute and a half to watch this video. It makes me even more convinced of the power of love and the need to afford equal rights to all citizens, regardless of who they choose to love.

Because love and respect are as necessary to humans as food and water. By giving someone unconditional love, you really can change their world.

Start with your own children. Regardless of who they are, love them fiercely.

Show them you are on their side. Tell them they are okay exactly the way they are. That they deserve something great in this life. And there is nothing greater than love.

And if you haven’t already, watch this other inspiring video over at Jungle of Life.

Have a good weekend, my friends.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Urban Panther 02.27.09 at 10:59 am

I find it mind boggling that he had to even give that speech, but then I guess the sky is a different colour in my world. My brother never had to ‘come out’. We’ve simply always known and accepted that he’s gay. Who the frig cares? Sadly, I guess a lot of people in the world do. And to reject your very own child based on who they love? Now THAT is a true sin.

Urban Panther’s last blog post..Leaving words behind

2 Robin 02.27.09 at 11:37 am

“It can ease contentious issues into everyday dinner conversation and open people’s minds to the plight of others without the confrontation that can go with political activism.” – I like that, Kelly – story-telling, including film, can be a much better way of involving people in ideas than ramming it down their throats. As for the Oscars, I think it’s great that so many people these days are more in touch with things that go to our core.
love, Rob

Robin’s last blog post..The Fountain Of Youth Gets An Update!

3 LisaNewton 02.27.09 at 12:33 pm

It just so happens that last weekend, I flew to my sister’s house in Boise where she was holding a baby shower for her daughter. It’ s the first child of any of my sisters or brothers children. My other sister, who lives in Ohio along with her daughter and her son’s fiance, flew in, plus, two of my children, who live in MD, flew in.

It was a great family weekend, full of special times, intimate memories, and fun for everyone (well, except maybe my brother-in-law who had to put up with 9 women).

On Sunday morning, we started talking about our all time favorite movies and both my sister and myself said, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Low and behold, my sister owns this movie, so Sunday night found all of us, two generations with the third on the way, watching the movie.

I couldn’t have planned a better ending to a joyful weekend……………:)

LisaNewton’s last blog post..Architecture as Art

4 Evelyn Lim 02.27.09 at 12:53 pm

Thanks for sharing the video. While I know that “Milk” is currently showing in the theatres here, I’ve not heard of Dustin Lance Black. He’s quite cute, aye?

I also don’t understand the non-acceptance of gays. I don’t find them any different. They are just as human as anyone else. In fact, a lot of them are very nice, fun-loving and creative people.

I sure hope to see the day when they are given equal rights. I’m practicing non-judgement for most issues now but your topic has stirred up this thought (which may appear like a judgement) in my mind: it is a shame that society does this to gays or any minority group.

I repeat the same message to my kids every night. No matter how naughty they have been or what they have done throughout the day or how frustrated I have been with them, I love them any way. My love for them is unconditional.

Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..How To Get To Enlightenment

5 Lance 02.27.09 at 1:25 pm

Who are we to judge?

Kelly, I love this post! I love it for the message it spreads. And, I think the Urban Panther really says it well – “who the frig cares?” – so what, it shouldn’t matter. Does it matter that I’m American and you’re Australian, or that your female and I’m male?

And I don’t think it matters one bit whether this is a “sin” or not. The simple truth is that we are all sinners. That none of us are perfect. And if that’s the case, then who are we to judge? What makes me better than you? Nothing. I’m not.

Now, I want to see this movie too. And “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”…

Thank you for this today…

And thanks for the link too, Kelly, I appreciate it very much.

Lance’s last blog post..Getting The Helm Back When You’re Overwhelmed

6 Vered - MomGrind 02.27.09 at 3:08 pm

“Very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights.”

I totally believe that too. What a beautiful speech.

7 Kelly 02.27.09 at 3:23 pm

@Urban Panther
I agree, it is hard to get my head around the fact that there are people out there who would make a snap negative judgment about a person just because they’re gay. As for equal rights, it’s pathetic how far behind so much of the world still is. Here in Australia, gay and lesbian partnerships are still not legally recognized. I have friends who have been partners for 10 years now, but in the eyes of the government, they are not a couple. It’s outrageous.

I agree, I don’t think ramming an idea down people’s throats ever works, though there will always be a place for activism because different methods work on different people and for different times.

@Lisa Newton
Sounds like a great weekend, and its a fabulous movie. I have my annual girls only break this weekend, so I hope there will be lots of women, good conversations, good wine and good times.

I really do think unconditional love is the best gift we can ever give our kids. And good on you for striving for non-judgment. It really can be a tricky one at times. :)

You’re welcome for the link love – that was a great video. And like you, I don’t get why people need to differentiate themselves as worthier than others based on nationality, skin colour, sexuality or gender. It just seems like a giant waste of energy to focus on these matters. How do people think it will help them exactly to throw their judgments and hatred upon others? It’s crazy…

I’m away now for two days so I’ll return to attend to other comments on Sunday afternoon.



8 Dot 02.28.09 at 4:49 am

Can’tview it from work — will have to come back when I’m home. I’ve never understood homophobia nor the position that “we” have the right to judge “them.” All of us are “we.”

Dot’s last blog post..Akashic Record Reading, Part 2

9 Cath Lawson 03.01.09 at 6:16 am

Hi Kelly, I didn’t see the film yet but the writer made an awesome speech.

I don’t watch general tv too much but I really love film. And it’s great when sometimes a film comes out that is so inspiring and brilliant that it can influence millions of people in a positive way. It sounds like this one is definitely worth watching.

10 Kelly 03.02.09 at 10:14 am

I’d like to believe gay and lesbian couples will soon have equal rights. In my country, I can’t see it happening too soon. Our PM is progressive in some ways, but traditional in others, and he sees marriage as something for only heterosexual couples.

I love that – “All of us are WE” – so true. :)

Yes, I love inspirational films. I saw “Gran Torino” last week, the new Clint Eastwood film, and that is definitely uplifting and sad all at the same time. It’s a story of redemption and quite beautiful.


11 Chris 03.04.09 at 7:43 am

I don’t doubt that gays and lesbians will have equal rights eventually but what I hope for is tolerance and acceptance.

Chris’s last blog post..His Moment

12 Marelisa 03.06.09 at 6:49 am

Hi Kelly: I agree that there are some films that aren`t just about entertainment, but that teach us and make us think. In fact, sometimes films can help push society along toward being more accepting and tolerant. I haven’t seen Milk yet either, it hasn`t arrived in Panama yet, but I`ll definitely go see it when it`s here.

Marelisa’s last blog post..5 Imaginative Ways to Generate Ideas

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