And the award goes to...who?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

When I turn 80 years old, I hope people still come to my party -- and yes, I will be a partying 80-year-old.

This Sunday I stayed at work extra late to watch the 80th annual Academy Awards. (My television, while bigger, gets terrible reception on that and the one other channel that I get.) As I watched the show, I struggled to find recognizable faces. I knew a lot of the presenters (I heart Owen Wilson and who doesn't know Miley Cyrus by now?), but the winners, even most of the nominees, were lost on me.

"Who won that?" I asked after several categories. "Oh ... who is that?" I would say after being told the actor/writer/cinematographer who just took the little Oscar statue from the person stage right. Do you think they have hundreds of the little guys at the ceremony or do they just reuse the same one or two and mail the rest out afterward?

After a while, I stopped trying to recognize the names and faces and just began paying attention to the movies.

I've seen three. I counted. I've seen three movies on the Academy Awards nominee list. It's sad.

What have I been doing for the past year that I haven't seen but three movies the Academy thinks worthy of award nominations? Oh, that's right, I've been seeing movies I thought would be good.

I'm not alone, though. Only a handful of nominated movies raked in big money in the box office, meaning most people only saw a handful of nominated movies. I felt slightly better knowing that a lot of the movies left not only me, but several people in a state of confusion as to what they were, when they came out and why they got the award.

It may have been a better way to go, seeing movies I chose to see, but I'll have to watch the academy's choices to know -- which I plan to do at some point over the next year. Money in the theater isn't the only sign of a good film, but then again neither is someone else's opinion of it.

Let's face it: For most people, the Oscars are about all about the party. I can guarantee more was written on who came with whom, who wore what and who shouldn't have worn that.

So when I turn 80, I want pretty dresses, red carpets and a big gold man on my cake. Oh, and it would be nice to recognize more than a handful of people, too.

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