It’s Oscar time!
Long ago, when Sandy (of the Wales trip) and I were younger and had more energy, we made a pact. Each year we would get together and see each movie nominated for “Best Picture.” We made a sport out of watching the Oscars and felt we could be indignant, but not RIGHTEOUSLY indignant about the results unless we had ACTUALLY SEEN the movies. (We’re sticklers that way.) We prefer righteous indignation any day. So, THE PLAN was born.
This was back when they allowed only five nominees, so it really shouldn’t have been that challenging. Confession: We usually only made it to four. Sometimes only three. 1995 was a pretty good year in which we saw everything except The Postman. (Apollo 13, Braveheart, Babe, and Sense and Sensibility.) Yes. Babe was nominated for Best Picture. Braveheart won. Remember, this was before Mel went publicly nutso. Damn him.
In 1996, The Plan totally fell apart with this line up:
Jerry Maguire, The English Patient, Shine, Fargo, Secrets and Lies.
I believe I saw Jerry Maguire in the theater. That’s it. Sandy saw The English Patient and described it thusly: “Long. Boring. English. Girlfriend. Death.”
I have tried to watch it three times myself, and agree wholeheartedly with Sandy. In fact, The English Patient makes me almost hostile. My husband cannot comprehend my reaction. I actually wish death upon them throughout much of the picture. Sometimes screaming “DIE! DIE! DIE already!!” at the screen.
1997 was the year that will live forever in our hearts as the year WE DID IT!! We actually managed to see all five nominees; Titanic, As Good As it Gets, Good Will Hunting, The Full Monty, and L.A. Confidential. (I believe that was also the year of THE INCIDENT. Sandy became audibly snarky in the theater when they lost power during The Full Monty, accidentally starting a fight with the girls sitting in front of us – which nearly ended in a girl-brawl in the parking lot.)
Funny now. Then, not so much. It was more like, “THEY ARE GOING TO CUT US.”
That year, Titanic won Best Picture. Another confession. I saw that movie not once, but twice in the theater. I LOVED it. I BOUGHT it. This was in spite of the fact I couldn’t be “on board,” so to speak, with Rose, who was annoyed at having to marry a rich dude. At one point my eyes rolled so far back in my head I saw stars. It’s when Rose said, “I saw my whole life as if I’d already lived it. An endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches. Always the same narrow people, the same mindless chatter.”
Talk about mindless chatter. “Really?” I thought, “Parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches? Sign me up!” Big whiner. A girl can’t lounge around forever being sketched in the buff by penniless artists. I know. I’VE TRIED.
At brunch today, I was asked the nominees for this year and could name only a handful. Keeping to my old standard, I’ve seen four: The Help, The Artist, Midnight in Paris, and Moneyball.
Other nominees this year include:
War Horse – Cannot possibly see it because the horse is no doubt unhappy and mistreated, otherwise, it wouldn’t be a riveting story.)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Best described by a radio personality: “Sounds like an encounter with a drunk.”
Hugo – I would probably see it if I could borrow someone’s kid.
The Descendants – Not sure why this doesn’t appeal to me, if only for the Hawaiian ambiance, but it doesn’t.
The Tree of Life – Frankly, never heard of it until the nomination. And I cannot support Sean Penn emotionally or financially, so that’s out.
We watched Moneyball Friday night. It’s a good movie, but why it’s up for Best Picture is beyond me. Unless it’s for Brad Pitt’s work out sessions. But there weren’t enough to warrant an Academy Award for that.
(This is NOT a scene from Moneyball, but who cares?)
So, which piece of cinematic glory is going to win?
The Los Angeles Times reported that nearly 94 percent of Academy Award voters are white, 77 percent are male and the median age is 62.
That said, I predict the Best Picture award will go to…(Drum roll, please.)
“The Best Years of Our Lives,” starring Myrna Loy and Frederic March. (Somehow, the doddering, yet spunky Academy Award voters thought they were watching their DVDs, but were actually on TCM, thus the confusion.)
Hey, with a median age of 62? It could happen.