Monday, February 28, 2011

Nice to Meet You Oscar, Let's Be Friends

Apparently the Academy Awards have been airing for an impressive 83 years this year. That's pretty remarkable when you consider that "talking pictures" came out at approximately the same time (or so decrees Wikipedia. Because Wikipedia never lies). I've been watching the Academy Awards or "the Oscars" (apparently nicknamed that sometime in the 30s or 40s) probably for about 10 years or so. When I was younger all I really cared about was the pre-show, where all the actors and actresses paraded out on the red carpet and I could admire all the beautiful (and often weird) dresses that the actresses wore. As the years went on whether I watched it or not depended on other events of the evening, but I would always be interested to read who won in the various categories the next morning and make a note to watch any films that sounded particularly interesting. This year, however, was different.

In the last year, since I've been living on my own, I've found myself watching (and appreciating) more movies. Part of this stems from the fact that when I first got cable I got a free subscription to the "Movie Central" channels, which (in part with my PVR) allowed me nearly unlimited free movies, all fairly new releases. I found myself suddenly able to watch any movie that I had even a passing interest, and not needing to worry about the cost of rentals. The other part of this stems from a sudden freedom I had to go to the movie theater and actually watch movies as they came out. Originally I felt that going to the movie theater on my own would be "weird" or not any fun. When I complained to a fellow single friend that I had no one to go to the movies with she said, quite frankly, "Why do you need to go the movies with someone?" It's true! While going to a movie with someone is definitely an enjoyable experience, being alone has never stopped me from watching television or movies at home, why should it interfere with watching movies in public? My first movie that I went to alone? Toy Story 3. :)

Since then I have seen multiple movies in the theater - both alone or with someone else. In the past year I have seen "Alice in Wonderland", "Inception", "Toy Story 3", "The Fighter" and "The King's Speech." When the Oscar nominations came out a few months ago and all of those movies were nominated for at least one category (the latter four all receiving a nomination for Best Picture), I was suddenly interested in who won and who lost. Would the Academy agree with my choices for Best Actress, Best Actor, and "the big kahuna" Best Picture? By far the movie that I watched this year that affected me the most was "The King's Speech" and I was thrilled when it won Best Picture.

Of course what the Academy decrees over various movies really doesn't matter in the end. What I think I enjoyed most this year was sharing in the love of great movies that is celebrated yearly at the Academy Awards. I'm sure my love of cinema will only continue to grow over the next year, but come February 2012 it will be interesting to see what Oscar has to say about my favorite movies over the past year. Hopefully he will continue to remind me to love the movies that I love despite critical reception, and to keep on supporting Hollywood for making movies that we can all enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. 'The King's Speech' seems to have had a pretty profound effect on many. On the PostSecret blog, someone said that it they had considered suicide on more than one occasion because of their stutter. 'The King's Speech' helped them to see it was not such a terrible flaw, after all.

    I loved the year that 'As Good as it Gets' won so many Oscars. Such a good movie, and I think it won Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture. There is something so validating when Oscar loves the same movies as you. ;-)


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