I usually keep this blog fairly light. I attempt to be humorous, whinge and whine about things, or just journal my day-to-day "stuff". I rarely get seriously emotional about things here, but today I will.
It's not about the award. It's not about "winning" or "losing". It's not even about seeing my favorite actors dressed to kill, although I will freely admit I enjoy the hell out of that.
For me, the Academy Awards is a celebration of the most amazing thing that humanity has ever come up with: the ability to stop time, completely capture a moment, make it re-livable over and over again. To chronicle the cars, the clothing, the streets and buildings, the speech of people from an era that will never come again.
Movies are the best and biggest magic that has ever been. I am in love with every aspect of the industry, from the people who get to be stars in front of the camera to the people behind the scenes. Directors, stunt people, designers, decorators, artists, musicians... all of these people working in concert to bring us works of art that are just as wonderful eighty years later as they are the year they're released... and, when the magic is super-strong, even more wonderful.
Sure, there are a lot of "schlock" movies made every year. Always have been. Stuff cranked out to placate the masses. Garbage that will be relegated to internet download and never even show up in a movie theater. But it's just so much chaff that's winnowed away, leaving the life-sustaining stuff behind. The mud screened off of the gold.
A good movie is a chemical reaction - each movie has a different effect on each person. It's like falling in love. Just because a movie wins an Oscar doesn't mean that I will like it or even watch it... but that's not why I tune in to the Academy Awards.
Lots of folks say, "Oh, I never watch the Oscars because I haven't seen any of the movies that are nominated." I take the opposite tack. I haven't seen a single film nominated this year, either... so I use the clips and songs and comments from the Oscars as a sort of super-preview. The show gives me a nice juicy bite of each film, and from that taste I can decide which one will make me a great meal. Also, because I haven't seen any of the films, I really don't care who wins... I'm just as happy after the show as I was before, just a little better informed on the movies in question.
Aside from the individual movies, the Academy Awards show is a part of history. There's a grandeur, a classy old Hollywood tradition to the thing (some particular guests aside). There's always a segment where they honor someone's lifetime achievement, and to see someone like Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, or Morgan Freeman get up on stage, and see the camera pan the faces of the younger actors in the crowd... to see the respect and honor and sheer awe, it just sends chills down my spine.
There's also the thrill of seeing some newbie actor hitting the big time. Some girl who used to live in Alabama watching soap operas on a TV with tin foil for an antenna who gets to walk across the stage and accept an award like that... someone not jaded, someone who is truly blown away by the honor. It makes me cry every time.
Yes, there are boring acceptance speeches where people feel the need to list every single person, right down to the lawyers and catering staff, who had to do with the production... there are people who use their acceptance speech time as a political platform... there are people who run past their allotted time with drivel that no one cares about. For me, though, the diamond moments - the acceptance speeches that open up the heart of the speaker and the hearts of the hearers, if only for a few seconds, the emotional speeches that are mostly just tearful smiles, the speeches which include a special behind-the-scenes story that no one else knew... those are the moments that make watching the show so special to me.
Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford will always sizzle in "Gilda". Paul Newman's blue eyes will be sparkling to set hearts of all ages aflutter in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" forever. Audrey Hepburn will never stop being a doe-eyed ingenue. Jimmy Stewart will come home to Donna Reed and their drafty old house in "It's A Wonderful Life" until the end of time... because there are movies. Thank goodness for movies.
Bear and I are making a special "paleo party dinner" and curling up on the couch to watch the show tonight. Cold steak strips and dipping sauces, spinach salad, hot wings and celery and bleu cheese dressing, and some fresh home-made guacamole on the side.
I CAN'T WAIT!