This past Sunday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held the 95th Academy Awards with all its glamour and glory. The Hungarian Hollywood Council honored the event by having its own Oscar gala for the 6th time this year. The night was a festive mixture of an award ceremony, a celebration of a legendary Hungarian movie and excited anticipation for the results of the Oscars, specifically regarding one nominee of a Hungarian origin.
The exclusive Hungarian Oscar dinner took place at the beautiful Vadrózsa (Wild Rose) restaurant, former home of S. Z. Sakall (Szőke Szakáll), a Hungarian-American actor who played in many old Hollywood movies such as “Casablanca”, “Lullaby of Broadway” and “Christmas in Connecticut”. Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, widower of glamorous Zsa Zsa Gábor, was the evening’s guest of honor, who shared some fond memories of his time with Zsa Zsa in Hollywood and expressed how happy he is to be back at the event.
As in years past – and in line with the organization’s activities – the dinner also celebrated the greats of Hungarian filmmaking by handing out the Council’s distinguished Adolph Zukor Award. This year Mari Miklós became the first female recipient and first editor to be honored with this recognition, given either based on professional merit in the film industry, or as a result of one’s outstanding work inspiring younger generations. Miklós earned it for both. She expressed her delight about receiving the award and told a story about how much it means to her that Origo Studio’s famous Hungarian editor László Hargittai, aka “Pamacs”, claims that she was the one who made him want to become an editor. Pamacs is known for his outstanding work on movies like “Dune”, “Blade Runner 2049” and “A Good Day to Die Hard”, among many others.
Balázs Bokor, President of the Council, also praised “We Never Die” (1993) – the Hungarian classic celebrating its 30th anniversary this year – and handed over a certificate to the members of the crew who were present: director Róbert Koltai, music composer László Dés and editor Mari Miklós. Written, directed by and starring Koltai, it was the official Hungarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 66th Academy Awards. Bringing delight to the attendees, Dés jumped on the piano and started playing the famous tunes of the movie’s soundtrack, prompting Koltai and everyone else to join in on the singing.
Throughout the event, there was also much talk of Jamie Lee Curtis’ nomination. Everyone in attendance was rooting for her to win her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in ”Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. It seems like it sure brought some good juju because Curtis ended up winning a few hours later, becoming the 59th Hungarian or person of Hungarian relevance to win an Oscar.