So did anyone out there watch the Oscars? Not just the red carpet "what’s everybody wearing" pre-show, not just snippets here and there … but the whole dang thing?
Not terribly long ago, I would have watched the entire telecast from beginning to end, not even minding some of the tedium that goes on throughout the ceremony. On Eastern time, the show would last well past midnight, which meant I’d walk into work the next morning in a daze – only to get re-energized by talking all about the Oscars.
This year, I watched a total of maybe 45 minutes tops. As I wrote in a blog a few weeks back that discussed movies and the Golden Globes, I just don’t follow "the current cinema" much anymore. Between work, family, reading The New Yorker and an occasional novel and idling away on Facebook, there isn’t much time left for sitting down for two hours and watching a movie.
And then there’s the matter of the different tastes Bec and I have. Here’s the latest in a long series of examples: A couple of weeks ago, it was my turn to pick our Saturday night rental (this isn’t an every Saturday type of deal, but I’d say somewhere between 60 to 75 percent of those evenings). I opted for "The Informant!", a Steven Soderbergh-directed flick I’d heard some pretty good buzz about. Starring Matt Damon, it’s the story of a whistle blower involved in the lysine price-fixing conspiracy of the mid-1990s … not exactly the action movie Bec was expecting. She was asleep on the couch in less than half an hour.
Then, last Saturday – perhaps as revenge – she chose "2012." I must stress that she didn’t tie me to the couch and watch it. Usually I’ll watch just about anything, particulary if there’s popcorn involved. When I said I would sit with her, though, she made make adhere to following edict: "No comments, grunts, snorts or grumbles." Or, something like that. That turned out to be a pretty tall order. Even for the genre of explosions, major special effects and less-than-snappy dialogue, "2012" gets one star on a four-star scale from this reviewer.
Now that the Oscars are over, we have already reached an easy agreement on what to rent this Saturday: "The Hurt Locker." (Of the 10 nominated, we’ve only seen "Up," "The Blind Side" and "District 9" so far). That is, if we can score a copy; I don’t think there’s nearly as many DVDs of that film at the local movie rental place as, well, "2012."
If "The Hurt Locker" isn’t available, my rental choice would be the latest Coen Brothers’ film, "A Serious Man." Something tells me, though, that the mere title alone would have Becca snoring on the couch very early on. Maybe we’ll have to consult the list of Oscar nominees for some additional ideas.