The Oscars…Why?

by Andrew Osborne

For as long as the American Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences has been handing out awards, people have bitched about the Oscars:  they’re pointless, they’re boring, they’re self-indulgent, they’re predictable, they’re pretentious, they’re tacky, they celebrate the wrong films, etc. etc. etc.  But you know what?   I’ve never missed a broadcast…and here are seven reasons why.

1) It’s a summation and farewell to (some of) the previous year’s movies and dead people…and sometimes a nomination or award gives new life in the new year to deserving, underseen films.

2) For me, watching the Oscars is a tradition stretching back as far as I can remember, and a yearly excuse to get together with friends/family (not unlike similarly meaningless sports playoffs, which also tend to be more interesting some years than others).

3) It’s fun to sit with friends/family and make wisecracks about some of the ridiculous people and things happening on the TV during each year’s Oscar broadcast.  Occasionally you even get to root for people/movies you actually like, or gasp at those rare unexpected moments of memorable peculiarity or emotion (like Woody Allen finally attending after 9/11 to introduce a tribute to NYC).

4) It’s an excuse to get all het up and opinion-y about, say, Annie Hall beating Star Wars, Forrest Gump beating Pulp Fiction, Crash beating Brokeback Mountain, David Letterman getting lambasted for what seemed to me a pretty funny broadcast, how unfair it was that Hoop Dreams and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work weren’t nominated for Best Documentary, how Albert Brooks got shafted this year, how certain aspects of the show are better or worse than previous years, and so on and so forth.

5) There are dumb intros and some boring parts, but overall I find the show itself to be fairly entertaining.  Maybe not Breaking Bad season finale entertaining, but not bad for what it is.  Bruce Vilanch is a funny mofo, and he and his colleagues manage to slip in some decent one liners, montages and set pieces every year (plus there’s even a decent Best Song performance every five years or so)!

6) It’s fun to beat Mom in the annual Oscar pool (NOTE:  voting with your heart for the most deserving nominees almost always guarantees Oscar pool defeat)!

7) It’s an excuse to be my wife’s catty gay friend for the night and judge red carpet fashion!

That said, as an Academy Awards aficionado, I will admit this year’s broadcast looks to be a bit of a snooze…but swing by the Screengrab In Exile on Oscar night and I’ll do my best to liven things up with my annual live blog!

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