oscar, oscar, oscar* [Updated]
It happens every January. I get all excited for the Oscar announcements, and then I realize that I haven't seen any of the movies that are likely to get nominations. This is a recent trend; years ago I used to watch the Academy Awards ritualistically - TV Guide ballot in hand, my heart racing in anticipation of my favorite movie winning a coveted statue.
That was a long time ago, when the movies I liked were the movies Hollywood liked. I wonder what happened? Has my taste in movies changed or has the snobbery of the Academy reached a crescendo, so that the kind of films I enjoy no longer have a chance of winning anything but a Razzie?
Granted, I don't go to the movies that much anymore - the cost is too prohibitive - but I do buy DVDs of good movies the day they come out (I'm going to write a poem called Tuesdays You Will Find Me At Best Buy) and I manage to see plenty of movies in a manner that requires me to not reveal it, lest the Feds come banging down my door, demanding my cable modem.
The word on the street is the following movies will receive several Oscar nominations: Ray, The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, Finding Neverland and Sideways.
I've seen none of those movies. It's not that I don't want to - it's just that most of my movie theater money goes towards films we see as a family, and none of those would get the necessary unamimous vote needed in order to make the $500 investment in tickets, food, etc. Ok, so maybe I only want to see one of those movies. If there's an opposite phrase for movie snob, that would be me. Tasteless? Low brow?
So the Oscars mean nothing to me except a chance to see a few wardrobe malfunctions and the hope that one of the presenters will show up drunk and offer up some quality television time.
I miss my TV Guide ballot. I miss being able to check off movies that I watched from the back of dad's station wagon at the Westbury Drive-In. I miss having friends gathered in my bedroom, fingers crossed, hoping against hope that Rocky wins every award it's up for, even the technical ones.
Now, I just shrug and wonder when half the nominated movies actually were showing in a theater. I don't remember ever seeing Million Dollar Baby on the MegaPlex marquee - but I don't think the Academy really cares for MegaPlex quality movies. Too bad, they're missing out on some quality films.
In a perfect world (well, my perfect world), the ballot would have all these movies listed:
Dawn of the Dead, Napoleon Dynamite, Shaun of the Dead, Mean Girls, Shrek 2, The Incredibles, Spider-Man 2, Team America, Lemony Snicket.
Oh, I know what you're thinking. But honestly, Princess Diaries 2 just fell flat for me. I can't in good faith put it on my list.
You're also thinking that I need to get out more. Or refine my tastes, adopt a little culture in my life. I get plenty of culture, thank you. In fact, we watched the entire I, Claudius box set in 2004. If that's not culture, I don't know what is.
And I can say with pride that this year, none of my favorite movies are on the Razzies list. Even I know that Baby Geniuses 2 is awful without actually seeing it. Maybe there's hope for me, after all.
Update: The nominations have been announced.
Thomas Hayden Church? Wasn't he that stupid guy in Wings? Shows you how out of the loop I am. I just assumed his career died with that show.
Oh, and yay for Viriginia Madsen. I've had a crush on her ever since I saw her in the HBO movie Long Gone (1987).
Jammie Foxx: from Booty Call to Oscar. Now that's what I call career enhancement.