To truly understand how much I love the Oscars you might need to be in my home last night at about 5:50 (ten minutes before Barbara…) as I gathered snacks and turned the furniture just how I wanted it and literally jumped up and down from the giddy feeling that the show was about to start. And when it did, a deeper sinking into my comfortable chair and a happy sigh of relief. Neil Patrick Harris was singing, women in feathers were popping out of nowhere, and it was just as magical as I’d hoped.
My usual Oscar party hostess was out of town this year. She sent her son to my door a few days ago with a gift basket overflowing with sweets, a chic flick on DVD, and two Oscar ballots to keep track of my predictions. I could have thrown my own party – and maybe that’s what she meant for me to do. But this year I decided to go retro. The last time I remember watching the Oscars alone, Michael and I were first married – I don’t remember where he was actually – and I curled up in a chair in my own apartment, mere feet from my television and discovered for the first time just how much I loved this show. That was the Titanic year, and I’ll never forget that. For a girl who’d been living in a hotel-dormitory for two years and probably had to watch with tons of other people equally adoring and mocking, and who probably didn’t even get to see the entire show because it lasted past curfew, that first year in my own home was heaven.
So last night reminded me of that, only now there are a few little boys around.
Now, I don’t know what it is, but it’s very difficult for me to live in the moment during the Oscars. The whole thing feels more like a memory than something actually happening. I think it’s because they come back every year with all new actresses coming out of nowhere, all new beloved veterans finally getting their due, all-new fashion hits and misses. It’s sort of cyclical, because each one points to others too. And, of course, there’s that little part of me that still says, “Hey, you never know….maybe someday.” So I’m living forward and I’m living back, and I can’t even imagine how much it must be that way for the people who actually go.
The highlights of last night for me – the moments I’ll remember fondly like I remember that year in my own apartment with Kate Winslet’s green, Titanic-y dress – are as follows:
1. The opening number, as mentioned.
2. Christoph Waltz – because I didn’t see his movie (Inglorious Basterds) but I saw him win the Critic’s Choice and the SAG and the Golden Globe, so I had him comfortably marked on my ballot. And, well, that dude is weird. At the Critic’s Choice his speech was all about choices. At the Golden Globes he talked about global things. And I wondered how he would do the Oscar speech. Turns out, his theme for it was exploring new territory and frankly, I didn’t understand it at all.
3. Tina Fey and Robert Downy Jr. I adored their opening for the screenplay categories in which they bantered about what writers expect of actors (just memorize, People) and what actors expect of writers (stay in the background and provide lots of amazing monologues).
4. Geoffrey Fletcher, because he spoke directly to me. He won for adapted screenplay, and he said it was “for everyone who works on a dream every day.”
5. George Clooney. No, he didn’t really do anything. I just like having him around.
6. The surprises. Neil Patrick Harris? Yay! An eighties reunion? Totally cool! A horror film montage? Wait… That one can go. Although I do love me some Jaws.
7. Sandra Bullock, because I can’t help it. I like it when box office numbers and Oscar ballots finally seem on the same page. I like it when a person is honored for playing somebody pleasant. And I like Sandra Bullock. That is all.
8. Young Hollywood. They were everywhere, and it was a nice generational balance to the classics (a la Meryl, James Cameron, etc), whom I love as well. On the red carpet, Zac Efron said we are just at the beginning of a new age of film. And I don’t really know what he meant, and I may not approve of that Age for all I know, but I so appreciated the passion and the confidence of a young person with something to say.
My favorite dresses are basically the poofy ones. Although the statuesque forms are very beautiful, it’s the full skirts that I’d rather be in. Still, for favorite looks I’m picking Sandra (with maybe a slightly less fluorescent lipstick), Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Lopez (yep, I liked that one – it looked fun to wear), and Anna Kendrick – the color was a little too bland, but it looked like it grew on her and it draped there so beautifully. I don’t like to gag at any of the dresses really – I’m very generous with other people’s fashion choices. But in this case, Charlize Theron freaked me out. Beautiful color, bad placement of decorative roses. Ew, ew, ew.
And that’s my Oscar post. I really love this show.
P.S. I had 17 out of 24 correct on my ballot. Oh for 4 on the shorts and foreign films. Ah well.
Photo by Roobee on Flickr.