As I approached the Belcourt Theater on Oscar night, I saw limousines dropping off people who looked like Hollywood royalty. I stopped dead in my tracks and watched in wonderment as these elegant men and women glided with grace down the red carpet and into the tent just outside the front doors.
As I entered the tent after my shuffle down the red carpet, I was deeply moved by the Oscar-themed artwork decorating the scene. I later found out that Melissa A. Taylor, the coordinator of the event, and her husband made all of the art themselves, including what appeared to be a six-foot-tall Oscar.
After a glass of champagne, I got a close look at all of the magnificent items up for grabs in the silent auction. Guitars signed by famous musicians and breathtaking original artwork are merely a couple of examples of the countless magnificent items auctioned off that evening.
"All proceeds from the event stay directly with the Belcourt for programming and operational needs," says Taylor. And "all of the tables sold out."
Then, I found my seat directly behind all of the circular tables set up where the first ten or so rows of audience seating in the theatre usually is. It looked exactly as I envision a Hollywood awards show. I could hardly contain myself.
When the show began everyone found their seats, sipped their cocktails, and enjoyed the show. There was a great deal of audience participation in the Belcourt, as folks cheered for their favorite celebrities, and roared when those celebrities won. It was truly exciting.
During the commercial breaks, I wandered around the lobby and the tent area, mingling with people who were dressed like movie stars. Perhaps it was the champagne talking, but I couldn’t help but compliment almost everyone I encountered on what they were wearing. I felt like I was at a party at Calvin Klein’s house.
Everyone seemed to feel the same way that evening; like it was their night to be a star. Everyone walked with shoulders raised, cocktails in hand, and mingled as the celebrities do. Taylor herself said, "I came last year. This year I’m running it, and I’m very happy." She was not alone in her sentiment. The entire crowd exuded a wonderful and charismatic vibe.
As if a classy party, open bar, marvelous hors’d’vours and desserts wasn’t enough, I also got to enjoy my own personal favorite event of the entire year…the Academy Awards.
We all go to the movies. We are all uplifted, terrified, saddened, and enlightened by these films. The night of the Oscars is the night we get to celebrate those people who have moved us, forcing us to see things differently. So, without further ado…
The Oscars Went To…
The Departed…for Best Picture
Little Miss Sunshine…for Best Original Screenplay
The Departed…for Best Adapted Screenplay
The Departed…for Best Director
Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland…for Best Lead Actor
Helen Mirren in The Queen…for Best Lead Actress
Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine…for Best Supporting Actor
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls…for Best Supporting Actress
Happy Feet…for Best Animated Feature
An Inconvenient Truth…for Best Documentary Feature
The Blood of Yingzhou District…for Best Documentary Short
The Departed…for Best Film Editing
Pan’s Labyrinth…for Art Direction
Pan’s Labyrinth…for Cinematography
Marie Antoinette…for Costume Design
The Lives of Others…for Best Foreign Language Film
Pan’s Labyrinth…for Makeup
Babel…for Best Original Score
"I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth…for Best Original Song
The Danish Poet…for Best Animated Short Film
West Bank Story…for Best Live Action Short Film
Letters From Iwo Jima…for Sound Editing
Dreamgirls…for Sound Mixing
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest…for Visual Effects
The Belcourt Theater is also home to a vast number of arts and entertainment events. They recently housed the first annual Fylmz Festival, which was an instant success, giving filmmakers from around the globe a chance to show their most personal and cherished film projects.
They are just wrapping up their "50 Years of Janus Films," where they screened a slew of old Hollywood films that many folks had never heard of before, but that helped to shape Hollywood into what it is today.
I suppose what I love most about the Belcourt is that they truly are an organization that exists for the sake of beautiful art as opposed to merely financial gain. They brighten our lives by bringing us film, theater, and so many other forms of art. If you’ve never been, or if it’s been a while…go! There are so many wonderful productions waiting for you.
The Belcourt is located at 2102 Belcourt Ave in Nashville. For more information about upcoming events or tickets for the Belcourt, visit www.belcourt.org or call 615-383-9140.