Oscar Buzz

Oscar and I have an uneven relationship. Last year I didn’t even bother to watch the awards broadcast. This year, on the other hand, I became a bit obsessed with the nominations.

It probably helped that I’d seen 8 of the 10 Best Picture nominees already. Somehow, Oscar and I were in sync when it came to 2010 films, or maybe 2010 was just a good year for good movies. (Or maybe it’s a sign that I’m in the final stretch of the dissertation and just saw too many movies last year to relax and unwind!) Whatever it was, the nominations came out just as I was ready to hand back my dissertation draft to Advisor. So, with this lovely bit of downtime while the dissertation and I are seeing other people, I made it my mission to catch the final two Best Picture contenders (The Fighter and Winter’s Bone). Then I discovered I was missing only one film in each of the actor/actress categories (lead and supporting). Last weekend, I rented The Town and Animal Kingdom, then spent President’s Day creating my own double feature: Biutiful at one theatre and Blue Valentine at another.

Of course, at the end of the day, The King’s Speech ruled the night – or more accurately, tied in the Oscar count with Inception. As it turned out, I didn’t even need to see any of those final four movies, but I’m glad I did. It’s nice to be able to have an appreciation for each of the nominees and their work – and even better when two of your favorite films do as well as The King’s Speech and Inception did.

Next year I may be back to ignoring the show, but I suppose it all depends on those pesky nominations. I like the idea of catching all the major nominees now, but what it really comes down to is whether anything good gets made. Movies for me are all about the story – and if I’m not into the plot line, I just won’t go (case in point: I didn’t bother with The Fighter because boxing movies don’t interest me. After I saw it, I felt like my feelings were confirmed: I should only see movies with stories I care about.).

All of this is probably a good sign that I’ll be ready to deal with the dissertation again soon. I’ve noticed I’m less likely to blog or tweet if I’m not in the midst of research, writing, or teaching. This is okay with me, though, because breaks can be good. Still, breaks can also be too much of a good thing. Next week, Advisor and I meet….and we’ll see what comes next. ‘Til then, I’ve got some more movies and television shows to watch.

And I don’t feel guilty about indulging in those one bit.


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