So you have been nominated for the Academy Award. Thoughts of your acceptance speech have run through your head a couple thousand times, admit it! Your biggest fear is that you will forget someone. Face the hard truth. You’ll get up there and fail because you refused to write it down, for fear of jinxing yourself. You are a superstitious lot.
Your dream comes true and you win The Oscar:
First you feign shock. You let tears well-up in your eyes while demurring to the others in your category – even though you are secretly so completely stoked to beat out a couple of them. Then you will look out at the adoring faces in the crowd and rattle off the names of your producer, director, actors, etc.
You’ll thank your parents with the overused standby, “Because without them, well, I wouldn’t be here tonight,” –insert tired chuckle from crowd– followed by other significant supporters in your life.
Without boring everyone with a list of the obvious, I thought I would help remind you of the one person you should thank, but so often is overlooked. No, it is not your 2nd grade teacher.
I am talking about the magical inventor responsible for the germ of the idea. The creator of the seed that grew into these towering productions. The architect of these monumental films is the original writer of the novel or screenplay. They may not be a flashy, red carpet, Hollywood-type at all, but someone who is proud to have watched their baby grow into something golden.
Writers of the films up for best picture – You can jot them down on the palm of your hand.
Amour – Screenplay by Michael Haneke
Beasts of the Southern Wild – Stage Play by Lucy Alibar “Juicy and Delicious”
Django – Anyone who accepts an award for this movie is off the hook since Quentin Tarantino wrote the screenplay and directed the film. Be sure to mention him at some point, but you will be screwed if you start thanking the producers. There are 14 of them!
Les Miserables – Novel by Victor Hugo
Life of Pi – Novel by Yann Martel
Lincoln – From all the press surrounding this film, I believed that Spielberg had written the screenplay, but the credit goes to Doris Kearns Goodwin who wrote the novel.
Silver Linings Playbook – Novel by Matthew Quick
Zero Dark Thirty – Screenplay by Mark Boal
There are many other films represented through nominations in categories not listed here. Take a moment and IMDb them to discover the original writer. Scribble his or her name on your palm. They may be watching in the comfort of their living room and will want to thank you for remembering.
Will you be watching on Sunday night?