On the surface, there isn’t much to be learned from watching
the Academy Awards. Sure, there’s the obvious—like “Birdman” is apparently good
enough to win best picture and Patricia Arquette has to make more room on her
mantel for another win for “Boyhood.” Also new information? Lady Gaga can really sing. Not to mention the annual reminder that celebrities sure do clean up nice (well, most of them).
But if you’re like me, then you’re
always searching for nuggets of knowledge and helpful hints wherever and
whenever you can—even while watching the Oscars.
Here are nine things I learned this year—lessons to be handed down to our children and for all of us to live by.
J. K. Simmons may have taken
home an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in "Whiplash,” but we
won with his advice for us all:
“If I may—call your mom, everybody. I’ve told this [to], like, a billion people, or so.
Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two
alive on this planet, call 'em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the
phone. Tell 'em you love 'em, and thank them and listen to them for as long as
they want to talk to you.”
2. If you do a bondage film, don’t try to force your mom to go see it.
Let’s learn a valuable lesson from the mother/daughter duo of Melanie Griffith
and Dakota Johnson. If your mom doesn’t want to see you tied up in some rich
guy’s playroom, don’t force her. And if your daughter happens to follow some
kind of career path, where an event like this is captured on film, you do not—I
repeat, you do not!—need to watch it. Just let it go, for reals.
3. If the music starts playing, just keep talking.
If you have something to say, don’t
let anyone (or any full orchestra) drown you out. Just keep talking and let yourself be heard.
If you have something super-duper important to say, you’re given a mic and have
access to billions of people, then do what Patricia Arquette did and say it!
The best supporting actress (for "Boyhood") seized the opportunity to share these
“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we
have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage
equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of
Bonus: You might get Meryl Streep to totally give you a “you go, girl” ovation.
5. Stay weird.
Graham Moore, who won the best adapted screenplay Oscar for "The
Imitation Game," stole the show with a powerful and very personal
"I tried to commit suicide at 16, and now I'm standing here," he said.
"I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like
she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different and then, when
it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message
6. Don’t touch people’s faces.
Don’t pull a Travolta. Yes, the person you're standing in front of may be
beautiful, charming and/or irresistible, but unless you are related to them or
dating them, do not paw at their face.
7. Open your eyes. Selma is now
After Common and John Legend won the award for the Best Original Song, they
shared their “Glory” with a very important message that raises awareness for an
"'Selma' is now," Legend
began. "The struggle for justice is now. The Voting Rights Act that they
fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today.
Right now, the struggle for justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated
country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today
than were under slavery in 1850. When people march with our song, we want to
tell you: We see you, we are with you, we love you, and march on."
8. The “Sound of Music” will never go out of style.
Even in the hands, albeit very capable hands, of Lady Gaga, we were all
reminded that “The Sound of Music,” which turns 50 this year, will never, ever
go out of style.