Oscar Fever: Substance over Style

With Oscar blog buzz over Reese Witherspoon’s awful dress, I turn our attention to character and two worthy nominees, who deserve our respect as good, interesting people. Let’s call it substance over style.

First is Melissa Leo, Oscar nominee for Best Actress in Frozen River.  Leo is a considerate actress. She cares about people and mentioned, on her press junket for the movie in Georgetown, that her son encourages her to “meet people in the moment”. Like a special doctor, who takes time out of their schedule to chat with you about your concerns without regard to time passing, Leo is there with you no matter what to discuss whatever concerns you.

 The Washington Post said that she is one of the few actors you see in Hollywood with “a web of lines” across her face. A slightly unfair remark, considering Leo is not a young actress and who’s beauty comes from within. If they had spoken to her, they might have softened their view. With calm and patience, she may have even said that she earned those lines. Check out the article at


Second is Peter Morgan, Oscar nominee for Best Screenwriter for Frost/Nixon. Here is a calm Englishman, who chose Ron Howard over George Clooney to direct the movie even though his wife will probably never forgive him because she may never see Lake Cuomo. As he talked about the story behind writing about the famous scandal, I told Peter how only 4 people showed for the Nixon cabinet photo shoot for Vanity Fair called “All the President’s Men”. Check it out at www.vanityfair.com

Historically, the magazine went back to Truman’s administration and covered all the people up until Clinton’s administration. Clinton’s group included 12 people with Rohm Emmanuel the most notable in Obama’s administration. One of  Nixon’s men, Paul Butterfield, who was a FAA official, was still feeling guilty these days about finding the Watergate tapes and having to turn his boss in. Although he didn’t interview Butterfield, Morgan mentioned how much research he had done for the film and how people still found positive characteristics about Nixon that would be shown in the movie. The gist, according to the writer was that Nixon would have been a better reporter and Frost would have been a better leader.


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