Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the envelope, please

The Oscar nominations came out today, firing the starting shot in a most sacred ritual in chez RC. If you combine a Film Geek and a compulsive list maker, what do you get?



Our annual Oscar routine, in all its misguided glory.


It works like this. The goal is to see as many of the nominated films as possible before the Academy Awards. Now even if you kept this to the "major" categories such as Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress it would still be an undertaking. But we have a broader view of "major" around here. I'm always intrigued by the Screenplays and the FG takes a keen interest in Cinematography. Foreign Film is always fascinating, as are the more "technical" things like editing. To put it mildly, we have our work cut out for us.


I always hang a list from the newspaper up on the fridge so we can mark off what we've seen. The more check marks on my list, the happier I am. Toward the actual awards, we may or may not pick our winners ahead of time. Sometimes we'll just shout out our choices right as they're getting ready to announce the winner. Sometimes not. For us, it's about seeing the films themselves - not picking the winners. (If you want a competitive winner picker, that would be my sister in law. She's ruthless).


This was a much easier task for me before kids. When I was working at Paramount and the FG was in grad school we saw a ton of movies. I think one year we actually managed to see everything on our "major" list. Post kids I'd go see films that had cute guys (if I was lucky) or animated mermaids (if I wasn't) and that was about it. But in the last few years I've gotten my competitive fire back and feel up to the challenge.



These are big words for a woman who has only seen one of the nominated films. Granted, it was Juno, and it was nominated in several categories, but still. I have a big hill to climb. We do have a little ace in the hole though, which evens my odds slightly. The FG gets Academy screeners at work - the DVDs that the studios distribute to sway the Academy members to vote for their film. These are, to put it bluntly, decadent. Last week I sat in front of a roaring fireplace in my living room, drinking wine and watching The Bucket List. (A film that didn't get a single nomination, now that I think of it. Dang it. And I thought it might get me a jump start. I wasn't crazy about the movie, mind you. I just wanted to be able to check something off my list).


The screeners don't always help because I have certain blind spots. Violence really bothers me (which is why I've only seen half of Pan's Labyrinth) and some genres leave me sticking toothpicks in my eyes to stay awake, but I try.


I'll keep you posted. Cross your fingers. And don't forget the popcorn.

26 comments:

my two cents said...

Last year my husband had seen all five movies nominated for best picture (we haven't ever tried to see all the nominees in all the categories!) and had decided there was only one movie that he didn't want to see win. This year, we haven't seen any yet, but maybe we'll get out one of these days.

Kimberly said...

My. Goodness. A huge undertaking indeed!

ped crossing said...

Sounds like quite the undertaking. How many movies are on the list and when are the Oscars? I will be happy to calculate how many movies you need to watch daily to knock the socks off the list.

I bet I haven't seen even one. Have fun and keep the popcorn flowing.

ped crossing said...

Two a day and you will have watched every movie nominated for anything. I counted and am shocked that I have watched 2! Both animated of course.

Good Luck!

Flowerpot said...

no I can't do violence either or sci-fi or crime so that wipes out quite a lot!

Laura McIntyre said...

Sounds like a cool idea, most of the movies would bore me silly though

laurie said...

i'm too busy reading competitively to go to movies.

no, actually, we watch a lot of movies, but all from Netflix. we work too late every night to go during the week, and that leaves only saturday nights. so we usually end up building a fire and watching something in our own living room.

but i admire your goal! i hope you make it! close your eyes during the gory ones, though.

PixelPi said...

Because of work shifts, we rarely get out to the movies, and rely on HBO etc. to see last year's.

I have a limited tolerance for some subjects (for example, I have not and will not ever see Pulp Fiction or any film by Quentin Tarantino. Mr. Pi and I both love oldies (B&W). We watched Topper last week, and I've seen The Philadelphia Story at least 20 times, the last time being 2 weeks ago.

I hope they do it in SAG format and read contenders and then winners. No red carpet, ugly dresses, and $60,000 jewelry that could feed everyone in Darfur for a month. And may Oscar himself be made of something recyclable. Amen.

Kaycie said...

Good luck with that. The last movie I saw in a theater was the last "Pirates" movie. That's embarrassing.

Lisa said...

To give you some idea what movies I get to see... The last time we went to the theater, we saw Shrek the Third. The highlight was Snow White and the Immigrant Song. ROFL

Can't wait to get your take on "real" movies! ;o)

Sweet Irene said...

Considering that Eduard is in the movie business, I see very few films and that is because I go to bed so early at night. If I do go to the movies, I fall asleep watching them. I have to do something about my schedule. I see movies that are last year's on the movie channel and that is almost as good. I hope you get to see many nominated movies, it makes Oscar night that much more exciting.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

my two cents - which one did he not want to see win? I'm curious.

kimberly - yeah, and we'll never do it. I'm just sayin'...

ped crossing - two a day, huh? Maybe it's time to go back to just the majors!

flowerpot - I don't like sci fi either, although the FG loves it.

laura mcintyre - that can definitely be a problem. Sometimes you just know in advance it's going to be a big snooze.

laurie - maybe I could talk Mike into joining our little competition. Might give you a head start.

pixelpi - I am totally with you on Quentin Tarantino. I can't watch a single thing he does and I wouldn't watch Reservoir Dogs with a gun to my head. There's uber violence...and then there's him.

kaycie - I saw Juno last week in a theater but honestly can't remember the last one before that.

lisa - I haven't seen Shrek the Third, although I'd like to. I loved the first two. But it is hard when your movie choices are dictated by kidlets.

Irene - we have scheduling issues, too. I'd rather watch movies during the day and my husband would rather watch them at night. But I like my sleep, and staying up until 1 am to watch a movie isn't my first choice.

Happy in the Abyss said...

Ruthless is something I haven't been called in years...but, THANKS! It is hard for me this year since I haven't seen any of the Best Pic- but as God is my witness....I shall! Oh, I shall! Just like PED...the only one's I have seen are animated...go figure!

Love you. Have a good day. Don't sweat the small stuff!

aims said...

I can't stand going to a theater. The seats kill my back - but more than that - it's the people who talk during the film! It drives me insane to the point where I can't concentrate!

So we wait until they come out on the tv.

Sad isn't it?

Potty Mummy said...

God, you made it half way through Pan's Labyrinth - respect. I couldn't even watch the trailers...

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Lordy I'm impressed! The last film I saw at the cinema was Pulp Fiction!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Leigh - maybe I just think of you as ruthless from Trivial Pursuit. You remember me - your old buddy "One Slice"??

aims - I hate it when people talk in the theater too. Or cell phones. Grr...

potty mummy - well, it wasn't my favorite movie last year. Let's just leave it at that.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

aoj - Now see, I couldn't watch Pulp Fiction for anything. Way too gory. I like 'em light and frothy!

david mcmahon said...

Got my popcorn. See you there!

Amy said...

Your pre-Oscar viewing sounds like fun. I miss seeing movies. Before kids, we used to go a lot. After kids, it wasn't as fun and a lot more expensive. Now, my husband can't really deal with them at all. I'm hopelessly out of touch.

Diana said...

Coooooool. You get the studio DVDs! As we see everything at home from DVD, we rarely see anything before oscar time but it's still fun. So many good films this year that my Netflix queue will be bulging.

Eileen said...

Wow, that is a lot! I would love it, as would Melanie. She was so upset about Sweeney Todd. She and Charlie (her best friend) were in total shock and in protest mode. Between that and RENT going off Broadway, not a good week for them.
XOXO

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Haven't been to the pics for 12 months! Took Amy last January to see "Flushed Away" but my nearest pictures means a 90 mile round trip I tend to wait for the DVD.

Enjoy the popcorn.

Crystal xx

lynn said...

I hardly go to see anything. Occasionally i'll watch DVDs but usually i'll stumble across a film years after everyone's seen it, rave about it and take in people's open-mouthed, incredulous faces as i extoll the virtues of something they've known for ages.

I actually recall being ostracised at a stupid dinner party once by an ill-mannered man who kept repeating in squeaky voice "You've not seen FRIENDS??? Are you mad? Do you not have a life?...." blah blah. Well, no, i was just late. I adore FRIENDS but i didn't need to be there with the hordes to do so lol! Happy viewing. Talk about it with you in a couple of years.

pursegirl said...

I do the same thing, only I usually only attempt Best Pic. category and hope there is some overlap in other categories. I love movies. I will see any movie. I've only walked out of 2 movies in my entire life: one was due to a scene with a baby who got into Mommy's heroin (Trainspotting) and another was due to extremely bad movie making/acting (Broken Arrow). I don't mind violence in a movie. But, you do NOT EVER need to show me a child dying, being hurt or tortured, killed... you get the picture. That was a damn good movie up until I ran out sobbing, literally stepping over people, being chased by Chef Boy. Let's make it happen this year! I'm with you!!! Of course, I also attend/host a party each year for which I have created a travelling trophy b/c we DO indeed care about winning. It's fun and one year I dressed as Bjork in a swam costume. Fun. And one year we did a version of "INside the Actor's STudio" (my favorite show)

Faye said...

I am so hacked this year. I've seen over 30 movies, obscure and mainstream. Do you think any were nominated? Just barely--"Away from Her" and "Atonement" were my only hits. Now if I want to vote must do some major movie marathons. Aghhh-tt--ttt!