So — how’d we do at the Oscars?
The short answer: not so great. There were a couple of big wins for people from our area, but in general I’d say the lower Hudson Valley could’ve been better represented at the Oscars this year.
I will say, though, that the acceptance speeches from our winners were done with flair. And by “flair,” I mean a blatant, obstinate disregard for the rules.
Take Aaron Sorkin, for instance. The Scarsdale native won Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on The Social Network. He’s nabbed roughly a jillion awards for his script so far, so he came to the Oscars with some well-thought-out remarks. That’s fairly typical. The magic happens, though, when the band struck up the “move it along” music. Sorkin didn’t blink. He didn’t speed up. He didn’t cut it short. He just deliberately made it through the rest of his speech as the music swelled behind him. He was not leaving that podium until he finished what he had to say. I almost expected a big hook to come out from the side of the stage to try and snag him. It was a battle of wills, and Sorkin definitely won. Watch it here while the obviously bootleg clip is still up; the music kicks in after a minute, and he goes on for nearly another full minute.
Despite Sorkin’s win for The Social Network, though, the movie — based ever-so-loosely on the life of Dobbs Ferry native Mark Zuckerberg — didn’t have a strong showing overall. It won for Best Editing and Best Score (which went to Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, for those of you who remember the ’90s), but didn’t win awards for Sound Mixing, Lead Actor, Cinematography, Director, or Picture. Just goes to show that the Academy members might be the few in the universe not addicted to checking their Facebook pages.
Sorkin wasn’t the only local who accepted an Oscar with attitude on Sunday. Stone Ridge resident Melissa Leo took the Best Supporting Actress statue for her work in The Fighter — and almost immediately dropped the big F-bomb. Yeah, that’s how we do it in the New York-Metro area! I couldn’t blame her for being flustered; her name was announced after an interminable intro by Kirk Douglas, who went on some kind of tangent about Australians. The whole thing was the biggest trainwreck moment of the night. Let’s watch, shall we?
(Warning, this is another of those bootleg, taped-the-TV things, so be sure to watch it before it’s taken down for YouTube terms-of-service violations. Also, this clip is uncensored. The F-bomb comes in around the 1:30-minute mark, after some awkward flirting with Douglas and stumbling around. If you want to watch Douglas’ rambling lead-up, you can do so here, until the clip is taken down.)
See the bespectacled man they flash to during Leo’s acceptance speech, when she says “actors?” That’s actually The Fighter director David O. Russell, who grew up in Mamaroneck. He didn’t win for Best Director, either. (The honor went to Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech.) Other local nominees to leave empty-handed were William Sarokin, a Mount Kisco resident and Purchase College alum who was nominated in the Sound Mixing category for Salt (Inception won); and Northern Westchester resident Alan Menken, who was up for Best Original Song for a number from Tangled. The award went to Randy Newman for his song from Toy Story 3 — see him perform it live when he visits Tarrytown Music Hall on Friday — but Menken’s song is pretty sweet, so let’s end on that note.