It was announced yesterday that Julia Roberts will present the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award to George Clooney next week. The show will air on June 21. It’ll be a major movie star event because, even though Julia’s doing the actual presenting, the AFI is a tribute from the entire industry, which means that almost everyone George has ever worked with will be there. That’s a LOT of movie stars.
Like the Ocean's crew, probably. And Sandra Bullock. And some friends from ER. And Ben Affleck. Maybe Ben and Matt Damon will speak together. Remember, the AFI is also kind of like a not-that-mean roast. And George is that guy. All they ever do when he’s around his friends is take the piss out of each other.
The AFI often feels like a mini Oscars, it takes place where the Oscars happen, there’s no singing and dancing but there’s still a lot of work to be done in that room, even as people show up ostensibly to honour one person. So I’m excited. I’m still excited about classic Hollywood movie star occasions. And at the same time I’m curious. Because they keep saying that movie stars are becoming irrelevant, that people don’t care that much anymore, that the social media generation doesn’t care about it at all. I get that. I get that it’s boring to see old people hold on to old sh-t. That said… I wonder if there aren’t some parts of that old sh-t that are worth preserving.
Like whenever I think about the AFI Lifetime Achievement, I think about Nora Ephron. I’ve posted Nora’s AFI moments many times and I’ll keep posting them because, to me, they’ll never stop being great. She was GREAT at honouring people. She was great at faking exasperation at having to honour people all the time. She made the shows better for it, which she also understood to be the point – they are all there to entertain. A tribute must be entertaining. And…frankly… as much as I love memes and as much as I love Twitter for its quickness with a meme, I don’t know that a meme works in a live setting, I don’t know if meme-ing is transferable to a live setting. In-person wit, without keyboard characters or emojis, is that a skill worth keeping? Or are these just the musings of a crusty old c-nt?
Once again, here’s Nora, at the Meryl Streep AFI tribute and the Mike Nichols AFI tribute. I will always love the way she says, “What about Elaine!?”, obviously.
See? She holds up, right? In 50 years, I think, this will still hold up.
Yours in gossip,