Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Movie-Lovers Day

This is the one night out of the year when I can geek out amongst friends about movies and know that I don't sound like a freak for being so enthusiastic.

It almost feels like I shouldn't be writing about the Oscars. It's too big a subject - there's really too much to say. What right do I have to make judgments? So I'm not going to...not necessarily.

At least no bashing will commence.

There is something about the Academy Awards televised airing that I find comforting each and every year. Like the Tony Awards in a few months, it's become a tradition in my life to carve out a sizable portion of my Sunday night once a year to make time for the three and a half hour award show. It seems ridiculous even, thinking on how much could have been done it that time, that I was able to sit still and watch famous people reward famous people for being awesome without remorse. But somehow it leaves me more with a feeling of accomplishment than wastefulness.

What is it about award shows anyway? There's nothing incredibly instructive about them, nothing too inherently interesting. They're captivating, I suppose, what with all the waiting for winners to be announced. And of course there's the added spectacle thrown in for good measure - song and dance numbers, sparkly stages, beautiful montages. Tonight's was particularly wonderful with performance numbers from various musicals turned films - a genre of movie that I have a particular affinity for.

It almost seems like a silly way to spend time though.

I can say that from an objective point of view, but subjectively I don't feel my life would be complete without an annual viewing of the Oscars.

I love making predictions on movies I haven't seen and passing judgment on some that I may never even hope to see. It's fun to look at dresses from designers I'll never wear and ogle at attractive actors in dapper suits (Hello, Eddie Redmayne and Aaron Tveit).

It's one of the few times that the whole world is comfortably shallow. While I must often shush myself when I'd like to talk about the most recent episode of The Bachelor, worrying that if I should do so I might risk being judged by society, the same is not true of the Oscars. The overblown pageantry is outweighed by the cultural phenomenon and the love of quality film, so I feel no shame.

When it ends however, I'm incredibly sad. Another year has gone by and while I will continue to watch and critique movies, and I still have the option of guessing what will show up on the nominee roster next year, right now I feel almost incomplete. If I didn't have a nephew to look forward to meeting in a few weeks (I blogged about him last night), then I might have very little to look forward to.

Yet I will be going on with my life, movie-loving tendencies and all, even with the Oscars firmly behind me. That being said, some fond memories will suffice. It was not a particularly enthralling show, but the scene of the Les Misérables cast singing "One Day More" will continue to give me chills upon repeated viewings on YouTube. And maybe that alone will prove the three and a half hours well spent.

I love that I can share this obsession with so many other people now. My friends, my family, even some more distant acquaintances will have - in a rare instance in our heavily fragmented society - all watched the Academy Awards tonight or at least be up on the winners. It's like watching the Super Bowl for nerds and homebodies.

The activity in itself is something to celebrate. You'd be hard-pressed to find another time when a whole dorm can come together to watch a single event (I was lucky enough to watch the Oscars along with the rest of my dormmates last year and the year before), or even when you can drag a friend into your room to watch a show for nearly four hours because you're the only one with a small working television on this floor and you're just both so in love with film.

I had a lot of fun tonight. It took me out of the real world for a moment - kept me from thinking about homework and responsibilities and anything else that's been weighing me down - and let me dive into frivolity for just a few hours.

Now I'm not ready to re-enter the real world again. A new week is starting and I will inevitably have to start remembering what it was I blocked out of my thoughts so I could whole-heartedly enjoy the Academy Awards.

But I think with the added pleasantness of a night spent watching Paperman win an Oscar, listening to Anne Hathaway rattle off too many names, seeing Jennifer Lawrence trip on stage and hearing Ben Affleck speak faster than Cary Grant in a 1930s screwball comedy, I can take on what the week has in store. I'm looking forward to it even. Who knew a little award show could turn things around so much?

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