Posted by: ritagone | March 1, 2017

Where Grace Abounds…and Where It Doesn’t!!




Sometimes you are confronted with two situations or two visual events where you see grace being exhibited and…NOT. And the contrast is so startling that it must be noted.

Okay, you know I’m a self-professed movie and TV junkie, so the Academy Awards are a big deal in our household. We take it seriously, (I more than Michael, admittedly) both the attempt to watch as many of the contenders and nominees as possible and the actual voting on a printed up ballot from the Internet. (No, we don’t give prizes. We do draw the line somewhere.) We had a few friends with us this year to watch with us, and it was a lazy, comfortable evening, complete with easy food and beverages. Nothing fancy. Good conversation, comments and lots of laughter.

Of course, there’s that gnawing concern nowadays that awards ceremonies will convert to political outcries, and there’s only so much of that one can take. So I was pleased when Jimmy Kimmel seemed to take the rhetorical air out of everyone’s sails right from the beginning by telling everyone – both the television viewers and the live audience at the Dolby Theater – that we should basically all try to get along, at least for Sunday evening. It certainly made launching diatribes much more difficult and the program much more enjoyable.

When the world-renowned gaffe or snafu came at the end of the program, where “La La Land” was awarded Best Picture instead of “Moonlight” and the producers, smack dab in the middle of their acceptance speeches and thanks to their wives and mothers, had to recognize that they hadn’t won after all, talk about grace under pressure!! All kinds of things could have continued to go wrong. It could have gone from bad to worse, but instead, the La La Land men (it just happened to be men, but it could just have easily been women) put on their big boy pants and stepped aside graciously for the real Best Picture winners, the producers of Moonlight. I can’t even imagine, can you, what that must have felt like, that moment – literally – of glory followed by the torrent of cold water of reality? Your biggest dream closely followed by your worst nightmare for the La La Land people, and just plain bizarre and then wonderful for the Moonlight people. It must forever be one of the most surreal experiences of both groups’ lives.

But what I will remember when I can’t remember which two pictures we’re talking about is the grace of the losers and the grace of the winners, who recognized that they were standing on the stage with classy people. That’s what will stand out in the minds and hearts of so many, I truly hope and believe.

Then, in stark contrast, I decided to watch Jimmy Kimmel’s regular show on Monday night, thinking he might have some interesting comments and segments after the Oscar hosting. After all, as he asked his audience, “How many of you have ever hosted the Oscars?” knowing that no one else in the auditorium would raise a hand.

One of Kimmel’s ongoing segments on his show is called Mean Tweets, where he has celebrities read real tweets sent to them by real tweeters (is that the right term?) and respond. I’ve seen this segment, and it’s often very cute and funny. Monday night he had Robert DeNiro reading tweets to…Robert DeNiro. It was not funny. It was not cute. In fact, it was mostly bleeped because of the foul language of DeNiro’s responses to people who had tweeted him. All I could think as I reached for the remote control to turn it off after about one minute of the segment was: “Come on, DeNiro, if you can’t do better than four letter curses, don’t bother to respond.” After the third or fourth response it just was junk, pure and simple. Tainted, cruel, and low class. Pointless. I could go on and on, but you get my point.

It made me think again about the classy, grace-filled response of the La La Land people to something that truly must have pulled the pins out from under them at the Oscars versus the gutter response of Robert DeNiro that was completely unnecessary and tasteless.

Sometimes you can see the beauty of grace by its absence. And sometimes by its presence. In either case, I’ll always choose grace over grunge.




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