On Sunday, February 25, Hollywood's biggest stars will come together for the 79th annual Academy Awards. Hundreds of millions of movie fans around the world will watch to see who will receive the highest honor in filmmaking, the "Oscar" statuette. For those who cannot make it to Hollywood for the big night, there is a special exhibit in New York City at Times Square studios, where visitors can "Meet the Oscars." For producer Michael Gutkin, VOA's Jeff Swicord narrates.
"Meet the Oscars" is an interactive exhibit in the heart of New York City featuring dozens of Oscars including two awarded to Hollywood legends Clark Gable and Bette Davis. Others are new and will be handed out to future winners.
Each Oscar is handmade by and is covered with a mixture of copper, nickel, silver and gold. All of these facts are presented at the "Meet the Oscars" exhibit by Hollywood writer Robert Osborn, author of the book: "75 Years of Oscars."
Osborn says as the night draws near, the tension in Hollywood is building. "You could strike a match in any restaurant and it would explode because there is all this tension going on," he says. "Because the build up is so enormous and the focus is so enormous, who's going to win and all that?"
Osborn is not about to make predictions about this year's winners. One thing he is sure of, whoever receives an Oscar will have won fair and square. "There's never been a scandal connected with the Academy. No one has ever been accused of buying an Oscar," he says.
In the past, a few winners have used their moment in the spotlight to make political statements. Osborn believes Oscar Night is not the time or place for such things. "You are not in a serious frame of mind. It's not a time to have a discussion about politics, what the government is doing or shouldn't be doing. And it falls on deaf ears," he says.
Few will leave Sunday's ceremony with an Oscar, but here at the "Meet the Oscars" exhibit, visitors are given a chance to pose with a real Oscar and, for a moment, live a Hollywood dream.
"I thank you so very much," winner, Morgan Freeman thanks the crowd.
For the real stars, that opportunity could come on Sunday night.