February 2010

Editor’s Letter—February 2010

la times magazine, february2010

L.A. owns Oscar. The rest of the world can come visit, yearn, ogle and share in all the hoopla that is the Academy Awards, even swoop in and throw a party. But at the end of a week of shimmery events, when the carpetbaggers have decamped for wherever it is they hail from, he is ours. Oscar lives here.

We feel proprietary toward him—protective even. We forgive him his eccentricities, like mandating the closing of Hollywood Boulevard for days on end. Because while Hollywood Boulevard may be a street of dreams for the rest of the world, it is for many of us just a part of our commute. But that’s okay—he’s Oscar.

L.A.’s relationship with Oscar isn’t easy to explain to anyone who doesn’t live here. To those who view the festivities on TV, Oscar is all about the glitzy, glamorous universe of celebrity. But as our philosopher of fashion, Cat Doran, explains in “Awarding Behavior,” it seems Angelenos think it’s perfectly normal to dress up—okay, maybe just short of full hair and makeup—for a friend’s gathering to watch the show. Hey, it’s our party, too.

No matter how the rest of us feel about the little gold guy, it’s the top echelon of the film world that gets to cozy up to him, and that includes Emily Blunt, who graces this month’s cover. In “Blunt Force,” the star—who is currently receiving her share of buzz for her titular role in The Young Victoria—talks to Leslie Gornstein about being royalty, joining Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins for The Wolfman and steering clear of the paparazzi. Ruven Afanador returns to the magazine to photograph her.

It seems that regardless of how successful you are in Hollywood, there’s always a next rung. Brett Ratner is by any definition a phenomenally successful director. In “Why I Need an Oscar,” he comes clean about his years-long desire to grab the statuette. Naturally, all of Hollywood wants one, and yet his hunger for it is about far more than the obvious.

Movies are multifaceted. They tell worthy tales, add songs to the cultural playbook and fulfill fashion fantasies. For “Send in the Gowns,” editor at large Robin Sayers confabbed with fashion pundit and superstylist Freddie Leiba to get the inside story on some classic big-screen dresses—along with dish about the actresses who inhabited them.

There are times when the drama in filmmaking takes place behind the camera. Such was the case early in the career of cinematographer Radan Popovic. In “Camping with Qaddafi,” by Annie Jacobsen, Popovic explains that while it may have seemed a questionable career move to travel to Libya to film the impetuous dictator, in fact he had no choice. You don’t say no to Muammar Qaddafi.

Los Angeles revels in being the center of the awards universe. The eyes of the world are upon us, and we love to flaunt our stuff: celebs, cars, cachet and really, really great weather—okay, usually. We just ask that you take a short break from watching your town take its star turn to read some of its stories.