(Academically Speaking) Top 5 ways to enjoy The Oscars

Top 5 Ways to Enjoy The Oscars
By Bret Dorman

The Oscars are this weekend. Normally that means a bunch of people complaining about a bunch of things that they don’t like. “Her dress is too blue!”, “That movie sucked monkey balls!”, and “Why are some characters nominated for supporting roles when they could arguably be called a lead? (Berenice Bejo?)” It doesn’t help that this year The Oscars are making it hard already by Brett Ratner/Eddie Murphy dropping out somewhat last minute, causing Billy Crystal to step in. Even though everyone seems to say “They don’t make ’em like they used to!” no one seemed happy about this. Everyone sighed in disappointment. “This guy?… Again?” Well its either you want The Oscars to be like they used to or you don’t. Which is it?

We all know by now The Oscars are a sham. People buy their votes and run campaigns. Movies like Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close are nominated while the likes of Drive are snubbed. (Side rant: The word ‘snubbed’ is thrown around WWWWWAAAAAYYYY too much. There are a limited number of spots. Certain movies/people won’t make it. It’s just how it is. If you say something/one was snubbed, I think you should also have to point out which movie doesn’t deserve the spot as well. Also if someone was nominated, but then lost, they weren’t snubbed. They just lost.) I don’t watch The Oscars because I need to know which movies were good… I’ve already seen them. I watch them because I like movies and any excuse to talk/bitch about them I’ll take.

1 Oscar for visual effects

The Oscars are not what decides what people will remember as great years later down the road. /Film highlights their latest ad campaign, where they pick a bunch of movies to say “we showed you…” As the savvy reader of that site point out in the comment section, the movies they pick only won a couple of Oscars at most and usually not the ‘big ones’. It’s us, the public and film loving community, they kept these movies such a big part of our lives.

In the end its all subjective but still frustrating that even subjective tastes may not play a part in deciding who gets what. Its also weird that some movies are more ‘Oscar Movies” than others. Even if Drive, my #1 of the year, was nominated I would still be rooting for The Artist, my #3, to win Best Picture.

So how can you ensure that these three hours (more if you watch the Red Carpet stuff) are a good three hours? Follow these 5 steps!

5) Sit Back and Relax

Get in muh belly!

It seems like no matter who hosts everyone rips ’em apart. Why? I honestly don’t ever remember watching an Oscar show where the show itself was memorable. I’ll pick on certain aspects and make jokes, but its all in fun. Post-Oscar telecast the movie blog-o-sphere lights up with bile and hatred as if it ate some bad shellfish. Lighten up people…

Sit back, grab a drink, munch on some snacks (Buffalo Wing Mac and Cheese?!), and keep the insults down to Roast Level, instead of Vengeful Wrath “George Lucas Raped My Childhood” Level. Seriously… its just a silly awards show that everyone knows by now is fake.

4) No Place Like Home

Gibbons is ready to Par-Tay!!!

If your like me, you can have your Dad need to leave town the weekend of The Oscars and have your Mom fly you up to watch the show! I recommend it! Not only do I get a break from the Chicago Non-Winter (although it did snow today…) I get to see Gibbs, the moronic idiot dog. Treat yourself to a mini vacation. Use The Oscars as an excuse to get away for a day or two! Yeah!

Or… if for whatever reason this is not possible, stay in touch with those whose opinions you value the most. Because of technology, I can text people back and forth all show long about certain aspects as if they were in the room. Sure I can read what someone I like on the internet thinks, or I can engage in actual conversation with people I know.

3) Strength in Numbers

A bunch of people I don't know. Thanks internet!

Or The More The Merrier. When I go home this weekend not only will I be watching the Oscars with my Mom and Gibbs, but with a couple others as well (including “Crazy Mom friend” Lisa). Movies are supposed to bring people together, so why not try to gather a group of people to watch them with?

Having said this, when at an Oscar party, you’ve got to know ‘your place’. If you don’t watch movies, then don’t be a drag about everything. You can’t complain about certain movies if you haven’t seen them. I don’t want to hear your thoughts on why one person should have won over another when you didn’t see either movie and have no idea what your talking about. You can try to be cute about it but I assure you, I am immune to your charms. If you’re a casual movie watcher then by all means chime in, but you have to realize this event is primarily going to be overrun by the critics (both professional and amateur). In the same way everyone can enjoy the Superbowl, its the football fans who are the authorities on the subject.

2) Know Your Movies

Best Picture Winner (fingers crossed)

Obviously not every person is going to see every movie (as of this moment I have only ssen 8 of the 9 nominees for best pic, but I’ll fix that by watching Beginners on the flight home). You could probably go the entire year without having seen any of the movies up for any of the awards and have a pretty good idea of who is going to win if you track the awards circuit, follow buzz, and know your movie industry inner workings. But if you’ve seen everything then you know what *should* win and you get to have fun ranting against anything overrated (Hugo anyone?).

Some people use the Oscars to tell them what movies to watch. Which is why nominations are important and why even if I don’t think some movies should or will win (Bridesmaids) its nice to see them get that boost or more “prestigious” recognition. Some people will only watch the winners, which is frustrating since we all know what should win isn’t what always wins.

But in the end, if you really want to have fun while watching The Oscars, you got to know your movies. Its fun to rant and rave against those that aren’t worthy while secretly hoping that certain movies will pull through.

1) Ballots and Bingo

Sasha Baron Cohen shows up dressed as The Dictator anyway FTW!!!

Make up some of your own fun. Use the show itself as a jumping point for other activities. Make a drinking game out of it, try to predict winners for bragging points, and play a game of OScar Bingo to keep you investing and watching.

This is truly a reflection on one’s character. Some people won’t want to play or be good sports about their perfect record being marred by some Animated Short losing while someone else celebrates because they picked that short because they “liked the name!” Those people have no place at my Oscar party.

The Oscars is like any show. You can have as much fun as you want, its up to you to decide!

In the end, I’m genuinely honest when the last time there was a show that left people stunned, amazed, and/or so thoroughly entertained they would watch the show again and again? What exactly are people expecting? Until I win an Oscar one day, it’ll just be some silly thing that is another reason to talk about a bunch of movies all at once without sounding crazy.

Okay well maybe I am still crazy… but you can bet that I’ll be enjoying The Oscars this weekend, no matter what. (Unless Hugo wins… then I might really be mad.)

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