Before the New Year, most Oscar prediction experts were in agreement that it would be Leonardo DiCaprio winning Best Actor. He will most likely win Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes on Sunday, because those dicksuckers at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association love him. But they don’t get a say at the Oscars. Many people who do have a say at the Oscars are in Palm Springs, which is where Bryan Cranston was on Saturday night.
Cranston was there to receive the Spotlight Award for his work in Trumbo. They love him in Palm Springs. He owns a theatre in Palm Desert. And, according to Deadline, his acceptance speech was all “class and elegance”, taking his time to talk about the message in his film, and why it matters just as much today as it did then:
“Dalton Trumbo was not a hero. He was a man who was just defending his civil liberties. He would not have said he was a hero, but there were many heroes during that dark time in Hollywood and American history. Certainly Kirk Douglas is a hero. Certainly Otto Preminger is a hero. And there are thousands of other people who were not blacklisted who saw an injustice and tried to right the wrong. Those are the people who should be celebrated for the message of Trumbo, and if our little movie is successful then hopefully the next generation of filmgoers will come away with asking the question: Did these 10 men go to prison knowing that they committed no crime? That they had an ideology that was not popular at the time but that was no crime? Hopefully they will realize that the blacklist was not a show on NBC, or also the blacklist is not that list writers want to get on so hopefully their screenplays will get sold. I would love to see that name change … My favorite line in the movie is when Dalton Trumbo confronts John Wayne and says ‘the whole point of this fight is that we both have the right to be wrong’. I am still questioning whether the Palm Springs Film Festival got this Spotlight award wrong, but I am going to get off this stage before they can change their minds.”
Those old white guys in the Academy who remember the Trumbo times? They’re all over this. As Sarah remarked to me when Cranston started making serious moves a month ago, Hollywood loves to celebrate itself, to highlight its (hypocritical) integrity. This is the kind of speech that would make Hollywood very happy on Oscar night.
No doubt, right now, because Leo was cold and didn’t really get penetrated by a cartoon bear, Bryan Cranston is an underdog. But a LOT can happen in 8 weeks. At the very least, he can make Leo really, really work for it.