Friday, March 3, 2017

Emma Stone – "Audition (The Fools Who Dreamed)" (2016)

Here's to the hearts that ache
Here's to the mess we make

Did you watch the Academy Awards?  I did not.  The show’s always too long and too narcissistic, and this year I knew it would be too political, too.

I thought the two best movies of the year were Manchester by the Sea and Hell or High Water.  (I would have preferred Tommy Lee Jones over Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water, but that’s a minor quibble with what was a really good movie.)

But Moonlight won Best Picture in something of an upset over La La Land, which won Best Director and a whole bunch of other Oscars.

La La Land was a very appealing movie, and everything about it was calculated to appeal to the Academy voters.  If you haven't seen it yet, here's the trailer:

I saw La La Land at a multiscreen theatre in the far Washington suburbs just a few days before the Oscars were handed out this past Sunday.  

I ran into some traffic on the way to the theatre, so I arrived at almost exactly the time that the movie was scheduled to begin.  I pulled my Chevy Equinox into a parking place near the theatre entrance and hustled inside, arriving after the trailers had started but well before La La Land began.

When the movie ended, I stood up and reached for my car key as I headed for the exit.  But the key wasn’t there.

I checked all my jacket and pants pockets, but no luck.  I checked around my seat, thinking that the key had fallen out of my jacket pocket while I was watching the movie.  (I sometimes forget to zip up that pocket after putting my key into it.)  But no joy.

(Good question!)
I was seriously screwed.  I was half an hour’s drive from my house.  If I had to go home and get my spare key, I would either have to call a cab for what might be a $100 round trip, or call my wife and ask her to bring the key to me – the cost of which would have greatly exceeded $100.

I walked to my car, praying that I had been stupid enough to leave the key in the car without locking it – and that no shady character had noticed that I had my key in the ignition without locking the car.  

Good news!  Fortunately, I had been EVEN STUPIDER THAN THAT!

Somehow, I had pulled into my parking spot, put the transmission into “park,” and hopped out of the car WITHOUT TURNING OFF THE ENGINE!

So when I emerged from the movie theatre some TWO AND A HALF HOURS after entering it to see La La Land, THE ENGINE WAS STILL IDLING – AND THE DRIVER’S DOOR WAS UNLOCKED!

Good God, y’all!

I’ve tried to think of something I’ve done in my life that was stupider than that, and was able to come up with only two possibilities.

First, when two of my law school friends came to visit me in Houston one summer, we went to Gilley’s (the bar made famous by the movie Urban Cowboy) and got good and liquored up.  

On the drive back to my apartment, one of my friends uttered this challenge every time we approached a red light: “If you stop, YOU’RE A WOMAN!”  Needless to say, I stopped for no red lights.  (This was  incredibly irresponsible behavior.  Fortunately, it was about two in the morning, and there was very little traffic on the streets of Houston at that time.)

(Too late!)
Second, when my son Nick was about six months old, I bundled him into to my car and drove to a busy Washington, DC neighborhood to pick up a pizza.  

It would have been a pain in the ass to unbuckle him from his car seat and carry him into the pizzeria and back to where I had parked, so I left him in the car for a few minutes.  (Once again, this was appallingly irresponsible behavior.  But in my defense, I could see the car at all times while I was picking up my pizza . . . sort of.)

*     *     *     *     *

If I had to choose one single element of La La Land to explain why I thought it would win the Oscar for Best Picture, I would point to the lyrics of “Audition (The Fools Who Dreamed),” which was sung in the movie by Emma Stone – including these lines:

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem

You may think that most of the producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, and actresses who inhabit Hollywood are just money-grubbing schlockmeisters.

But when Hollywood types look in the mirror, a lot of them see a self-sacrificing romantic whose dream is to create great art.  That's why they're suckers for a movie like La La Land.

But this year, the timing was better for Moonlight, which was about two gay African-Americans.  Moonlight may have been a deserving movie, but if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election, there's no chance it would have won the Best Picture Oscar. 

Here’s “Audition (The Fools Who Dreamed),” which was nominated for Best Song, but which lost the Oscar to "City of Stars," which was also from the La La Land soundtrack:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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