Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Oscars

Even though I don't see very many movies anymore -- certainly not in theatres, and even on TV I'm not very well caught up -- I am strangely enthralled by the Oscars. This morning, the nominations were announced. I hadn't paid a lot of attention to that, but when I checked the news this morning and saw that the announcements were coming on, I went out and turned on the TV -- something I have not done at this time of day in quite a long while.
I looked first at CNN Headline News (my default channel, the one that comes on when the set is switched on), then to NBC and finally to E!, where there was a live Oscar special going on, and I saw the nominees on a scroll bar at the bottom of the screen.
I've only seen a few of them -- Don Cheadle, Kate Winslet, Sophie Okonedo -- and yet I was disappointed that Julia Roberts was not nominated for Closer, a movie I have not seen, nor Jim Carrey for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I saw and loved. Why was Before Sunset, another movie I loved, nominated in the adapted screenplay category? What was it adapted from?
Why do I pay so much attention to the Oscars? Why is it that I can recite lists of past winners going back years and years? Why have I watched the ceremony all but a few years of my life (I missed about three years of it when I lived in Europe).
I remember the first Oscars I watched, allowed by my mother to stay up late and see Julie Andrews win for Mary Poppins. That started it.
Is it the cult of celebrity that draws me?
It's certainly not the entertainment quality of the shows themselves. I often miss the Grammy awards, which are a much more entertaining show.
I don't really have an answer, but it may be something worth trying to figure out.