Back in the day, when it came to awards shows like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes, I knew it all. I did research on movies months before the shows were on, even months before the nominations were announced, because I was that much in the know. And then on Oscar or Globe night, I had all my predictions written down in three categories: Who I Want to Win, Who Should Win, and Who Will Win.
Yes, I was that organized. And I was good.
But unfortunately, things change. My life got busier, theaters got pricier, and movies got crappier. Okay, well maybe that last point isn’t quite true. But for some reason I started becoming less and less interested in the majority of movies that were coming out. It seemed that the only movies I was interested in were franchises like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and nothing else seemed to compare to them.
But because I wasn’t seeing as many movies anymore, I started to feel a little clueless while watching awards shows. I had heard about the movies, I knew most of the actors, but beyond that I didn’t know a thing. Take a look at the last seven Oscar winners for Best Picture since Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won Best Picture in 2003. We have:
1. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
2. Crash (2005)
3. The Departed (2006)
4. No Country For Old Men (2007)
5. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
6. The Hurt Locker (2009)
7. The King’s Speech (2010)
Of all those winners, I’ve seen one of those – The Departed – which happened to be on DVD before the Oscars aired, so I rented it the night before the show. But those stats are pretty pathetic, right? Well, not as pathetic as this: Of the 45 Best Picture Nominees from 2003-2010, I’ve seen 15 of them, and only four of them were seen before their awards show: Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Departed (2006), The Queen (2006), and Inception (2010).
All this may seem trivial to some people, but researching and watching these awards shows used to be a huge part of my life. But while I was watching the Golden Globes last week, I felt like a total loser because I haven’t seen any of the movies from any categories. Over the last few years, it seems the only categories I could really say anything about were the Visual Effects and Sound categories, because movies like Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean always seemed to fall into those categories.
The 2011 Academy Award nominations are going to be announced tomorrow and, once again, I probably won’t have a say in any of it. I saw a total of three – THREE – movies in the theater in 2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Captain America, and Drive. And the latter two I probably wouldn’t have seen had I not been at Comic-Con for the premiere of Captain America, or if my brother hadn’t suggested we see Drive when he flew out to visit me. So I could have easily seen just one movie this year. And that’s pathetic.
Obviously I don’t know what the 2011 Oscar nominations are going to be, but here’s what people are saying about Best Picture: The Artist, The Help, The Descendants, Hugo, and Midnight in Paris. Do I want to see any of those movies? Sure, maybe someday…about the same as all the other past nominations. Will I make an effort to see any of those movies before the award show is on? Probably not. Of all of them The Artist sounds the most entertaining, but with all that’s going on in my life right now (The Move, finding a job, raising a kid, blogging and reading), I probably won’t get to.
When it comes to movie priorities for 2012, it seems I haven’t changed a bit. We have The Hunger Games (franchise), The Dark Knight Rises (franchise), and The Hobbit (uber-franchise) coming out, and if I only see three movies again this year, it will be those.
So once again I remain an Awards Show Loser. I’m going to cross my fingers for an Alan Rickman nomination for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but if that doesn’t happen I can at least depend on Visual Effects and Sound, and the occasional Film Score since I am, as you know, a Film Score Geek.
But I wish all the luck to the nominees announced tomorrow morning. I’m sure your movies are good, I’m sure your performances are good, and I’m betting that the effects and sound are phenomenal. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to see what everyone else is talking about.