I adore the Academy Awards. That beautiful gold god named Oscar signifies something we’re after here — a genuine Ah-Ha Effin Artist moment.
In the past, my husband and I considered it a tradition of having date nights leading up to the Academy Awards. We’d enjoy a few cocktails prior to viewing that year’s Oscar-nominated movies. It served as a connection for us. At the time we were living the fast paced urban lifestyle in San Francisco. I took the train to and from my nine-to-five soul-sucking corporate job, leaving little time for my husband. This gave us a night to look forward to, a break in the routine.
Our escape into Hollywood’s idea of “normal” was fun, and the opportunity that my husband and I had to see a movie and have intelligent dialogue about the movie was a boost to our relationship. It created another way for us to bond. Turns out that we shared opinions on most of the movies we viewed, which was surprising.
Fast forward a few years. Our fast-paced, urban lifestyle has been replaced by a slower paced, DIY-infused, sobriety-enhanced existence, in a very small mountain town. Life’s dramas and dilemmas pressed pause on our Oscar love affair. Until now. We dusted off the old tradition and kicked it into high gear again. We have lost time to make up, so let’s do it fast. Our happy hour study hall has been replaced with the quiet, calm of our local coffee shop. We’re making our way through the movies, but with the big night coming up in a month (A month!!) we need to get fully up to speed.
Here’s what we’ve seen so far:
American Hustle – Does David O. Russell know how to put an Oscar-worthy cast together? For two years in a row now his top four are ALL nominated. And then there is Jeremy Renner’s role, which is also great. Deep, deep characters in this film. My husband says it’s the mark of a great writer to have such depth in the characters. Though, I don’t really think the movie will win best picture. I DO, for the most part think all of the actors up for Oscars are worthy of their nominations.
Wolf of Wall Street – Great movie. Leo definitely was worthy of his Oscar nomination, but did you check out Jonah Hill’s performance? He’s a contender for the award in my mind. Who would have thought the guy from Super Bad would have two academy award nomination’s?
12 Years a Slave – How does one call this a “good” movie? At the end of this movie I was emotionally drained. It took every ounce of energy to get through it for me. It’s a very important movie to be made. The story needed to be told. But ugh… not a joyride, that’s for sure. In many ways, I feel that Chiwetel Ejiofor should win the award, but I doubt that Matthew McConaughey will let him take it away. Speaking of Matthew McConaughey…
Dallas Buyers Club was strong, very strong. I was unaware of the story. Matthew was great. Jared Leto was amazing! He seems like a lock in the supporting actor category.
Blue Jasmine. I liked it. Cate Blanchett was utterly amazing. What a way to end a picture, though. My husband called it a cop out. (“I hate this whole ‘I don’t need to write an ending pretentious crap,” he said as the credits rolled. “I blame the Sopranos!” He’s still mad about that ending. “Art my ass. End the story. That’s your job!” and on and on… he makes me smile.) Anyway, I’m not so sure…
Captain Phillips: Tom Hanks continues to amaze. Do you know from 1994 to 2004 he had more award nominations and was only one of two actors to win back-to-back best actor awards? Can you name the two movies? Reply in the comments below! I love me my trivia. Don’t cheat and Google it. The movie was very suspenseful, and my husband, who thinks Tom Hanks is the best actor of our generation, topping both Sean Penn and Daniel Day-Lewis, says he got robbed not getting a nomination (“Jimmy Dugan got robbed!” he said when the credits rolled. Actually I think my husband believes Tom Hanks really is Jimmy Dugan, so maybe he thinks Jimmy Dugan is the best actor of our generation. I get confused). See it for yourself to decide.
Due up – Gravity, August: Osage County, Philomena, Her, Nebraska
Getting lost in the Hollywood fantasy world is sometimes fun. It makes me feel like the problems in my small world are just that. Small. Yes, it sucks that I can’t find a job, and my federal unemployment benefits were cut off, BUT, still..it could be worse…I could be told that I have 30 days to live, or my husband could be gone from suicide, and I could still be drinking my problems away, and talking to voices (out loud) that pop into my head…..Wait…I do the latter. Scratch this one! See how the Oscars make me so… dra-ma-tic!?
If there’s a point to any of this, it’s that I can find pleasure in something as meaningless as a Hollywood story. Sometimes I think just getting lost for those two hours does my mind a world of good. Turning off the problems for a bit is healthy. It might even help to give a new perspective on things.
At the end of the Oscar nominated viewing we have a celebration. We make a wonderful meal, get dressed up a bit, watch the awards (it’s a party even if its just the two of us, or even better if others come) and celebrate with the winners. We fill out our ballots (will win, should win) and see who does better. This year we’re offering a special DIY award for family members who submit the winning ballot. It’s all a way to connect and celebrate one form of art in our culture.
Besides, someday when my husband is nominated for best screenplay, I’ll be practiced up and ready for the red carpet! Besides, those that play along now will earn a place in the limo that night for sure!
Stay tuned for more Oscar updates as it gets closer including the menu and our ballots.
Try it yourself, create your own Oscar worthy party, complete your ballots of the year’s best, and just get lost for awhile.