Monday, March 08, 2010

Film Fest Redux?

Was that the Academy Awards that were on TV last night or was that the fourth weekend of the Santa Barbara Film Fest?

It seemed like an awful lot of people picking up Oscars at the Kodak Sunday night were at the Arlington and Lobero less than a month ago for the Film Fest. Among those stopping in Santa Barbara before heading to Hollywood were best actress winner Sandra Bullock, best actor winner, Montecito resident Jeff Bridges, best supporting actor Christoph Waltz and best director, Kathryn Bigelow.

Even though we're about a two-hour drive from the red carpet in front of the Kodak Theater, there was plenty of Oscar fever in town. Downtown at Blush, KEYT's John Palminteri MC'd an Oscar viewing party that benefited Direct Relief International. And over in Hope Ranch, I joined nearly 50 SB CAN Action Fund supporters at the home of Susan Rose and Allan Ghitterman for the group's 6th Annual Oscar Night Party. SB CAN is the group concerned about housing, open space and transportation in Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider talking to Marc Chylto

Among those attending were Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf, Christine and Bruce Lyon, Susan Epstein, Assembly candidate Susan Jordan, Dr. David Bearman, George Relles, past city council candidate David Pritchett, former Lompoc Mayor Joyce Howerton, Dick and Mickey Flacks and Joe and Vicky Allen.

And one of the hardest working women at the party was also the oldest. Instead of sitting back in a comfy chair and watching the show, Selma Rubin, who celebrates her 95th birthday at the end of this month, was staffing the check-in table at the party.

Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf and Michael Hall Gray

It was good they had plenty of food to serve at the party because that was one long show. In fact, maybe instead of popcorn they should have had a breakfast buffet.

I thought it was quite astounding that Bigelow's film, The Hurt Locker, was the big winner in light of the fact that six months ago, the average movie goer wouldn't have known "The Hurt Locker" from "The Foot Locker." The movie opened during the summer to great reviews but a relatively small box office.

About the only major award that I would argue with was in the category of best actress. I really thought it should have gone to Gabourey Sidibe rather than Bullock.

Film Fest director Roger Durling points out on his blog that this was the first Oscar for all of the actors who won awards last night. And Bridges was the only actor who won last night who had been nominated before.

Most surprising pick I heard at the party was from County Supervisor Wolf, who told me that of the movies in the category of Best Motion Picture, her favorite was A Serious Man. Considering the uncertainty regarding the County's budget, I thought her pick should have been, "Up In The Air."

More photos from the SB CAN Oscar night party are posted here.

* * *

Never miss another one of my blog posts, subscribe to Craig Smith's Blog by Email.
© 2010 by Craig Smith and