Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do not open until Oscars!

I don't know about anyone else, but when the Oscars come around, I feel a lot like a kid at Christmas (though not as much as when Butt-Numb-A-Thon comes around, but that's a whole 'nother thing). I know it's Serious Business for a lot of people, and careers are on the line and all that, but with the Oscars less than 100 hours away, my simple, movie-loving self feels a lot like this right now...

I mean, I'm not even GETTING an Oscar. I'm getting something else, though. Four hours - lets face it, it's going to run long, it always does - of pure unadulterated gushy movie love. I've heard tell of special segments like a John Hughes tribute and a segment dedicated to horror movies (O frabjous day!), but the real juice comes from the awards themselves and the suspense about OMGWHOWILLWIN.

Which is why it galls me to know end to see Oscar bloggers proclaim in such incredibly smug and cocksure ways that it's all basically over before the envelopes are even printed, in every major category. Maybe it's my fault for peeking into the hall closet where the presents are being hidden (which is my cheesy metaphor for following all these silly blogs and ripping all the mystery and excitement out of it for myself), but I've kind of spoiled it in some ways. So much so that I'm not *quite* as excited as I usually am for the ceremony.

I try very hard not to get worked up about it. After all, I don't have an actual horse in the race. But we all have movies we root for, and it's sort of sad to see people get bent out of shape when what they wanted is not what they rip open the wrapping paper to find. I read a guy saying that this was the first time in the 20 years he's followed the Oscars that his favorite film of the year (The Hurt Locker) is the perceived frontrunner, and he's looking forward to hopefully tasting the small feeling of victory that comes when the Academy shines its light on your darling. This kind of depressing. I'm kind of meh on the film myself, but I also hate to begrudge someone the chance to feel what I've felt abnormally often (compared to this guy, that is). In fact, I felt that the very first time I watched the Oscars, when a film I really loved won Best Picture. And even when the winner (be it film, craft, or performance) is not my favorite of the year - it rarely is - I'm almost always capable of finding something that reconciles me to the notion that it's worthy of the honor it receives.

Part of this, too, is that this guy is a critic - one of many - who feels that they have had some hand in Locker's award success. As if the movie is their baby and its success or failure is somehow a reflection on them. A patently absurd notion, in my opinion, but that's another rant for another time.

The point is this - all I want for Christmas Oscars this year is some magic. Not just tributes and dance numbers but something - one lousy thing - that makes me shriek and say "I never expected that, but that's AWESOME!" Like Gabby Sidibe winning Best Actress. Like Up winning Best Picture. SOMETHING that will make the smug Oscar bloggers wake up from their comas and adjust their expectations for next time. And maybe, just maybe, admit that even in the age of information and polling, surprises are still possible. Because the fun of the Oscars is not the snooping through shopping bags in mom's secret present place and smirking that you know something you're not supposed to.
Well ... maybe it is for some people.

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