Yesterday was certainly a promising night, with beloved Ellen DeGeneres returning as host and the attendance of some of the most cherished Broadway Queens: Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler and Idina Menzel; as well as a much anticipated tribute to the musical The Wizard of Oz.
However, did it fulfill the Musical-loving folks’ expectations?
Somewhat, it seems.
Bette Midler’s performance of Beaches’ theme song, Wind beneath my wings, was definitely a highlight of the night; while Idina Menzel’s piece, Let it go, from the animated musical Frozen, seemed wobbly, although the presence of Menzel was much appreciated.
When it comes to the long awaited tribute to The Wizard of Oz, a musical film which deserves unbridled praise for its achievements, the event certainly seemed to disappoint many, after the announcement made earlier about the participation of Judy Garland’s children sparked everyone’s imagination: would they sing Garland’s anthem, Somewhere over the rainbow, together? Would they speak about their mother and her contribution to film history?
In the end, a passing mention to the Garland children from presenter Whoopie Goldberg -who wore ruby-pumps and black-and-white tights-, and a magnificent performance by pop-rock artist P!nk, was all Ozians got from the tribute.
For us, fans of the film, it felt quite brief, a blink-and-you-miss-it event which should have been larger and more prominent given the influence and significance of this treasured musical. But since Minnelli has always been resolute about not performing her mother’s songs, and given the context of the ceremony itself, in which heroes was the main theme, the small yet heartfelt tribute to The Wizard of Oz was definitely sufficient, particularly by recognizing Dorothy Gale as the unfortunately overlooked yet brave ruby-slipper wearing heroine she is for all children which stumble upon the film.
Perhaps in a few more years the film will get the acclaim we enthusiasts know it deserves.
On the other hand, it was another big night for the animated musicals: Disney’s Frozen took home the Best Animated Feature and Best Song awards. Some of us were surprised about the latter victory, given the general favoritism for U2’s Ordinary Love, but ultimately it was wonderful to see a Musical take the award home.
Elsa’s anthem, Let it go, has topped Billboard charts and received Platinum certification in the United States, as well as Gold certification in Australia.
What did you think about this year’s Academy Awards?