Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's That Wonderful Time of Year! Oscar Season.

It's all about Oscar, baby. Yes, this is MY superbowl.  I carefully view contenders throughout the year, with a wild last minute frenzy to see the last few nominees (if they make it here before THE night) in the weeks leading up to the most exciting night of the year!  For me.

I realize this is all kind of strange, but remember I am a pop culture junkie going way back.  In fact my own mother encouraged this when I was younger by letting me stay up late on Oscar night so we could watch the splendour together - in black and white.  When we finally got a color television in 1974 I thought I had finally arrived.

Of course I missed a few Oscars over the years.  There was college afterall.  Although I do recall watching "Rocky" win for best picture while I was slaving away at my studies.

Then there was the year The Maven broke her arm.  I had just put chicken in the oven to cook so we could watch the "Barbara Walters" lead-up interviews when The Maven's two friends came running in to tell us she had fallen off her bike and her arm was "messed up". Try getting the ER staff to put the Academy Awards on will you?  Of course, The Maven's arm was more important, but come on people...

The year that Cher won for Moonstruck, The Maven was 2 weeks old.  Mr. Tennis was out of town on business.  Grandma Hughes had left for home suffering with a really bad cold.  I was sick as a dog, but I watched "my" Oscars.  Dang it, I did!

My children know I get excited about it.  I can't help it!  I even won a contest one year and predicted all the winners.  I got a t-shirt for that skill.  My dream, of course, is to actually attend the awards in person.  Not as a screaming fan in the bleachers along the red carpet. I want to-be-in-the-building. They do have such a thing as seat-fillers and I suppose that will be the way I will worm my way in there one day.  Can't you just see me filling in for Meryl? Or Sandra? Or George?  Oh yes, I'd definitely fill in for George. 

Anyway, I digress.

I actually get more excited about the individual performances than which picture will win or which director.  My favorite categories are the acting ones, the costuming, the writing and music categories.  To me it's hard to pick a "best" picture when all nominated are so very different from each other.  Because I liked them for different reasons, I simply cannot choose one.  Favorites this year from pictures nominated:  "The Hurt Locker", "District 9", "An Education", "Precious" and "Up in the Air".

Now, ask me about Best Actress.  Saw all performances except for Helen Mirren. "The Last Station" has not come here yet. So, I am choosing from four of the five nominees.  I pick Gabourey Sidibe from "Precious". Love Meryl, love Sandra Bullock, thought the actress Carey Mulligan ("An Education") was great, but Gabby's performance was a career making one, in my opinion. I hope she will not be a one time contender.  The movie was wrenching, but really gave it's audiences a peek into a world many of them know very little about.

For Best Supporting Actress I have to go with an actress from "Precious" as well, Mo'nique.  To witness the transformation this comedienne underwent to play this role was incredible.  I hated her character with all my being and what a challenge it must have been to portray such a despicable character. If it can't be Mo'nique, then I'd give it to Anna Kendrick from "Up in the Air". What a controlled and believable performance she gave. 
Mo'nique as Precious' nasty Mama.

Best Actor is a difficult choice for me because any time I see Colin Firth, I want to give him any award possible.  How can you turn down "Mr. Darcy"? 

He was painfully good in "A Single Man", but my choice is between Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"-just saw it this last weekend. Engrossing) and Jeremy Renner from "The Hurt Locker".  My crazy heart wants Jeff Bridges to get the award, but I think it will go to Jeremy Renner for his tense, steely portrayal of a military bomb defusion expert.

The Best Supporting Actor category is my weak area this year because I have yet to see any of the movies the nominees were in.  I do have a beef that Peter Sarsgaard was not nominated for his slimy performance in "An Education", but as I said, I haven't seen the others.  Although I will blindly throw my support behind Christopher Plummer ("The Last Station"-I can't abandon my childhood fear/love for him as Captain Von Trapp) and Stanley Tucci who plays against type in "The Lovely Bones", a wonderful book.

I also wish that the actor/technician that portrayed the lead "Prawn" in "District 9" would get a nod.  I felt such empathy for this atrocious looking alien, and I'm not an alien-lovin'-science fiction-gal.  But this creature/actor/special effect gave a heart-wrenching performance.  I hope they are recognized in the Special Effects category. I should also mention the performance by the lead actor, Sharlto Copely, who played a hapless Afrikaans Government Agent.

Okay, okay, okay.  I've indulged myself long enough with this.  It all started because Mr. T and I went to see "Crazy Heart" this weekend and I started thinking about "Oscar Season".  So, I've said enough for the moment, except..... Colin Farrell gives a really suprising performance in this movie as a country singer - who knew?

What do you all think?  Any favorites?  Any disappointments?  From this year or previous years?  Is there anyone else out there besides me who looks forward to this evening of glitter and glam?

Alright, you pulled it out of me.  I want "The Hurt Locker" to win for best director because it would be the first time a female director would win that category.  Besides she's up against her ex-husband.


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

We too are Oscar obsessed but for 3 other reasons: What shoes, what dresses, what jewels. :)

eggzachary said...

Wow, I can't believe I never realized it was Christopher Plummer in Sound of Music....

Anyway, I know you're lamenting the omission of Peter Sarsgaard, but I would've like to see Alfred Molina for that same movie. He was strange and interesting as a supporting actor.

The Boston Lady said...

I can't believe you didn't know that was Christopher Plummer. Where did I go wrong?