If you've known me longer than five minutes, you know I LOVE movies! I'd go see one every single day if I had the time. I even spend part of my vacation time each year attending a film festival so I can see what may or may not ever make it to American theaters. (In fact, it was at a film festival that I saw "The Messenger" and "Precious" before they were released.) So, I anticipate the Academy Awards as much as anyone and last night's was no disappointment, in part because there were so many fabulous artists to admire, but also because it was a night for boomers.
Did you realize that all the major category winners, except one, Mo'Nique, are boomers? What a kick to see Kathryn Bigelow (58) become the first woman ever to win the statue for directing! Meanwhile, Jeff Bridges (60) finally won on his fifth nomination for best actor. Sandra Bullock (45, the youngest boomer) took home a little gold man for her fabulous performance in "The Blind Side" and Christoph Waltz (53) won for his great performance in (IMHO a terrible movie) "Inglorious Basterds."
One thing they all have in common is that they've spent years studying their craft and turning in solid performances time and again. But what I also enjoyed was hearing how their acceptance speeches reflected boomer values and experiences.
Kathryn Bigelow used her time to thank the soliders who fight on behalf of our country. Rather than use her stage time to protest the war, she let the film speak for itself and took satisfaction in knowing that her win will most likely result in more people seeing the movie and getting her message. (Boomers have evolved from our days of carrying protest signs to speaking out by using our skills.)
Jeff Bridges focused on the importance of family, thanking his parents, his wife of 33 years, his daughters and his family of actors who helped make "Crazy Heart" his best work. (Boomers tend to be close to their families and friends.)
Christoph Waltz thanked Quentin Tarantino and his castmates for the lessons learned from exploration, noting that it was their gift for navigation that enabled him to try something new and to challenge himself. (We boomers love to try new things!)
Sandra Bullock first honored her peers, offering each a gracious nod for their own fine work before emotionally thanking her late mother who taught her that "We are all deserving of love." (Boomers have led the movement toward equality and self-actualization.)
What I love most is that each of these artists chose to take the high road, developing and using their talent to influence others. Too often, boomers are seen as self-absorbed mouthy malcontents looking for a platform to push an agenda. These winners all prove you can make an important point simply be being the best at what you are and trusting that others will see the value. Congratulations to them all!