The annual Academy Awards are being broadcast from Los Angeles tonight, but New York City rules this year’s awards. How? Many of the Oscar nominated films feature NYC based actors, actresses, or writers, are based on Broadway shows, or on NYC events. And while you’re sounding off about celebrity chic, cheer on some of the homegrown talents that have a chance at Oscar gold.
Let’s start with the Best Actress category, where NYC rules. Michelle Williams, nominated for best actress in a leading role for the film “My Week With Marilyn,” lives in Brooklyn. She’s up against Rooney Mara, who is part of the Mara family that owns the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Glenn Close, nominated for her role in “Albert Nobbs,” grew up in Connecticut, the daughter of a physician. And Meryl Streep, nominated for her role as the “Iron Lady,” former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was nominated previously for her role as the imperious fashion editor in “The Devil Wears Prada,”, loosely based on Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine, which is published in NYC.
Several nominees for Best Picture have strong NYC connections. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close“, starring Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks, is based on that horrible day we lost more than 3,000 souls in the World Trade Center disaster, forever known as 9/11. “Midnight in Paris” is written and produced by long-time New Yorker and film-making legend Woody Allen. “War Horse,” Steven Spielberg’s film based on the successful play that continues to draw sell-out crowds at Lincoln Center.
Kristen Wiig, a cast member of Saturday Night Live, broadcast live from the NBC studios in Rockefeller Center, is up for a writing Oscar for the original screenplay of “Bridesmaids,” and J.C. Chandor is nominated for writing “Margin Call,” about an investment bank during the start of the global financial crisis.
Oscar host Billy Crystal grew up in Long Beach, the son of a music and concert promoter who also owned the Commodore Record Store in Midtown. Crystal also was a cast member of Saturday Night Live, after attending NYU and studying directing in NYC with Martin Scorcese, whose animated film “Hugo” also is nominated for Best Picture.
So, even though the Oscars broadcast is coming from Los Angeles, the Oscars really live in NYC. FYI — You can see real Oscar statuettes FREE at Grand Central Terminal through 7 PM today. Click here for the NYCOTC posting earlier this week.