February 24, 2013

The Academy Awards and Why I Love Them, an Intro to Oscar Night

The Oscars. Ermahgerd.

Lots of people like the Globes, or the Grammys. When I was younger, I was down with the MTV movie awards. But I've been glued to the screen on Oscar night for years, with my hardcore, wear-a-dress-even-though-I'm-not-at-a-party-and-usually-alone, vigilance since I was old enough to drink.

 I only know this because I remember my mother coming home from work Oscar night to find me passed out in a chair in the living room  -this was the 80th Academy Awards, hosted by Jon Stewart, and the year No Country for Old Men took Best Picture. That year, I was in love with NCFOM, Juno, Eastern Promises, and Sweeney Todd. It was the first year I realized I liked movies that critics liked (as opposed to my usual garbage like Good Burger or every bad comedy, ever; keep in mind I'm not judging anyone who doesn't like the nominees, taste is something that's straight-up subjective) -with empty Smirnoff Ice bottles around me. Seeing as I don't remember being reprimanded for this, I had to have been 19. Now, at 24, I know this is my 5th year of Academy Awards full-out celebration.

My first job was at the local movie theatre and when I worked there, I watched EVERYTHING. Before I was of working age, I used to go to the video store - the same one I actually work at now - and rent 4 old movies for 4 days for $4.99, and spend the weekend holed up in my bedroom with a litre of chocolate milk and a box of Junior Mints, losing myself for hours in movies spanning every genre, decade, and rating (cartoons are my Favorite Thing, but highly gory Tarantino films are also a huge part of my "best-ever" lists). Once I realized that IMDb was a Thing, and I could read trivia, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find out who played what part and what other movies they were in, I knew I'd always view the movies as more than just a way to kill an hour or two when bored; I now appreciated the work that went into them, fell in love with different directors (Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton being my two favorites), actors, and even composers (James Horner, Hans Zimmer, and Danny Elfman ftw!) - I was now viewing film as the most impressive of all art-forms. My favorite category at the Awards is actually Cinematography; in fact, there was a brief period where I entertained the idea of film school, to become a cinematographer myself.

And so it came to be that tonight, I cracked a bottle of wine*, donned a red dress - one I bought yesterday, actually, to wear out to dinner for my boyfriend and I's 4-year anniversary), put on my gaudiest jewellery, and am now sitting patiently, hoping to watch Django Unchained before the Red Carpet specials start - I can't miss the fashion, after all.

I'm pulling for Jennifer Lawrence - a/k/a KATNISS EVERDEEN OMG for Best Actress, although I love Jessica Chastain with all my heart and won't be upset if she wins. And seriously, how good was Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild? Sure, she's 9/10 now, but she was FIVE when she auditioned, and probably around 6-years-old during filming. It's insane. She was phenomenal.

I'm predicting that Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis has the Best Actor category in the bag, as he ALWAYS does when he's nominated - but I watched Lincoln, and he really and truly becomes a character so far removed from anyone else he ever played - just like he does with every role. He's got a gift, and I love that he gives it to us every few years. Actually, that fateful 80th Academy Awards that started my tradition saw him winning for There Will Be Blood.

Best Picture? I have no idea. I've seen 5 of the nominees; hoping to make it a full 6 and maybe half of Argo before the show actually starts. That means I'll have seen NONE of Les Miserables, which sucks because it's something I actually wanted to see, not just because of the awards. Also missing from my viewing will be Amour, but I read the synopsis and I know I'd be reduced to a bundle of sloppy, sobbing, sadness if I chanced it. Of the nominees I've seen (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, and half of Zero Dark Thirty), my favorite was easily Silver Linings..., and I'm not even into the Rom-Com genre. As I mentioned earlier, Jennifer Lawrence is just wonderful to me, my absolute girl-crush. Bradley Cooper is one of the few male actors I find attractive, so while I've always enjoyed him based on that, he showed phenomenal acting chops in this movie. I was blown away. I'm hoping the film takes home at least one win in the many (major) categories it scored noms in.

Well, the time is drawing near and I have some mawfuggin' dresses to look at, so I'll conclude this lengthy spiel now.

*I crack a bottle, or a can, of wine almost every night.... but usually not on Sundays, so work with me here.

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