OSCAR BITS : JODIE'S DEDICATION

I'd like to dedicate this award to all the women who came before me who never had the chances I've had, and the survivors, and the pioneers and the outcasts . . . and to all the people in this industry who have respected my choices and not been afraid of the power and the dignity that entitled me to. . . . Thanks to the academy for embracing such an incredibly strong and beautiful feminist hero that I'm so proud of.'

JODIE FOSTER,

Best Actress, "The Silence of the Lambs"

AT LONG LAST, JACK

A long time ago, in 1949, when I did my first picture, the producer came to me and said, "Jack, you're going to win the Academy Award . . ." Forty-two years later, he was right.'

JACK PALANCE

Supporting actor, "City Slickers"

CRYSTAL'S FACIAL

Host Billy Crystal made his entrance on stage at the Academy Awards wearing a mask like one worn by Anthony Hopkins as the maniacal killer in "The Silence of the Lambs." Crystal then walked into the audience and said to Hopkins, "I am having some of the academy members over for dinner. Care to join us?"

TRIBUTE TO ASHMAN

Double Oscar winning composer Alan Menken was among the many celebrities at the Academy Awards wearing a red lapel ribbon, symbolizing support for AIDS awareness and research. But in Menken's case, there was a special connection. His partner, lyricist Howard Ashman, recently died from complications from AIDS at age 40. Menken's score for "Beauty and the Beast" was an Oscar winner, and he was called to the stage again when the movie's title song, written with Ashman, won as best song. "Howard, I wish you could have seen the finished product . . . you would have been proud," he said.

LONELY VICTIMS

We see ourselves (in movies) as freaks, killers, psychopaths and perverts. We see ourselves as lonely victims. We see ourselves made to reflect straight anxieties about sexuality and gender.'

KATE SORENSEN,

Spokeswoman, Queer Nation, activist group

THANKS TO JOE

I went through scores of rejections, prophets of doom, and at this moment, all those doleful memories transfer themselves into charming and amusing anecdotes for my memoirs. . . . The late great Joseph Papp, who gave me my first shot on the New York stage, once in a rehearsal nudged me out of the shadows and into the light and told me to stay there in no uncertain terms. I have, I do, I will. Thanks, Joe.'

MERCEDES RUEHL

"The Fisher King,"

best supporting actress

THANKS TO TEACHERS

Thanks to my teachers, from kindergarten through college. Their struggle--and it was a struggle--to help me learn and grow was not in vain, and it is greatly appreciated. I've always tried to be aware of what I say in my films, because all of us who make motion pictures are teachers, teachers with very loud voices. But we'll never match the power of a teacher who is able to whisper in a student's ear. . . . Thanks to my current and most important teachers, my two daughters.'

GEORGE LUCAS

Irving G. Thalberg Award

SILENT COMEDY

TV viewers had to be lip readers to catch what movie veteran Hal Roach said after he was saluted at the Academy Awards. There was no microphone to pick up the remarks of the 100-year-old producer-director, who spoke from his place in the audience. "It's only fitting," host Billy Crystal said of the moment. "Mr. Roach started in silent films."

THE MOVIE LOVER

Everything I learned about the craft of cinema was from American films. I've been watching American films very carefully over the years, and I love them for how they entertain and later for what they taught. I express my gratitude to the American cinema.'

SATYAJIT RAY

Lifetime Achievement Oscar

ALTERNATE ENDING

For everybody who wanted to see a happy ending to "Thelma & Louise," this is it. . . . My husband wasn't the model for any of the characters. My brother was--just kidding!'

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