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Oscars 2022 Wrap Up

Every film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture deserved to win it. As in all the Oscar categories, often the winner is somewhat arbitrary due to certain voters that might like two or three films equally, and perhaps those films lose votes based on the difficulty of deciding between them.  However one thing we can always be sure of is that the excellence in skill and heartfelt dedication to the teamwork required in the making of the winning movie is absolutely unquestionable.

These were the nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards 2022: Dune, Belfast, CODA, The Power of the Dog, King Richard, Nightmare Alley, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, Licorice Pizza, and Westside Story. Any of those films merited the award.

The Best Picture Award went to…CODA! The name of the film is an acronym for Child of Deaf Adults. And, this film is absolutely deserving of the Best Picture Award. Of course, I thought tick,tick…BOOM! should have won the Best Picture Award too, and it wasn’t even nominated in that category. CODA is a beautifully made film directed by Sian Heder, winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Award. Growing up, Heder had spent a lot of time in Gloucester, Massachusetts (as did I) and had listened to the cadence of the language of the fishermen there, so she was adept at writing the hearing roles. However she was not familiar with ASL (American Sign Language.) She said that writing a script in which half the dialogue is in ASL was an eye opener for her. She notes of the experience: “Along with the (ASL) signs, your expressions, energy and the space around you are all used to communicate meaning…The past is literally behind you and the future in front, and instead of using tenses…you place it along this invisible timeline…There are limits to words. ASL expresses emotion and meaning in ways that English cannot.”

Troy Kotsur, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in CODA, is a consummate theatre actor. Deaf since birth, as a child he loved the Star Wars franchise because of its extraordinary visual storytelling. In his youth, he moved to Los Angeles and spent two years with the National Theatre of the Deaf, and he appeared in more than 20 Deaf West productions here in LA. His stage career also includes a role in the Tony-Award-Winner Big River on Broadway, and performing at the Mark Taper Forum in Spring Awakening. Kotsur has also won critical acclaim for his roles in many Indie film features. He referenced his theatre experience in his Oscar acceptance speech.

You should see CODA if you missed it, for many reasons in addition to the fact that it is a beautiful tale with a stupendously talented cast and an excellent rhythm of storytelling. The film will also introduce you to the Deaf Community.

About the Slap Heard Round the World…Had I been a producer or director of the Oscar telecast, I would have gone to the microphone and shouted, “Is there a Kindergarten Teacher in the house?” The teacher would come on stage and say to Will Smith, “Willie, we don’t hit people just because we don’t like something they said. Now, you go sit in the corner…no, all the way back up there at the end of the last row of the theatre. When I tell you it’s OK to come back down, you’re going to go on stage and you’re going to tell Chris you’re sorry for hitting him, in Front of the Whole Class! Now go!” Because Kindergarten teachers know how to deal with Kindergarten behavior.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

in Film
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