I’ll be watching tonight. I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was a little kid and it’s something we look forward to and enjoy around here. I’ve held a few Oscars. (They’re as heavy as you’ve heard.) I’ve met a dozen or so Oscar winners and have enjoyed discussing their Oscar night experience. I probably wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to attend but unless I had a dog in the fight, watching from home in a quiet room is always my first choice.
I don’t make Oscar predictions. Trying to guess who or what will win, or getting worked up over someone being “robbed” just adds stress to the whole thing that I don’t need. I have enough disappointment as a Dallas Cowboys fan. I don’t care how long the show lasts or if it’s boring or entertaining. I have no opinion about the host. It’s the Industry’s prom and I’m glad just to peek in and see what’s going on.
The Oscars are not indicative of who or what is the “best” in any given year of movies. The Oscars are a snapshot of the taste and temperament of the majority of Academy voters in any given year. Sometimes the Academy gets it right and sometimes they get it wrong but it’s never an objective evaluation of anything.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may or may not have been started primarily as way for the Moguls to deal with unruly labor disputes. In other words, as a way of keeping an eye on the bottom line. Back in 1926, MGM’s Louis B. Mayer, who was for several years the highest paid executive in the United States, proposed the idea of the Academy at a social gathering. No one objected. The Moguls put the organization together and asked for a non-profit charter from the State of California. Someone suggested that, like any professional association that promotes its wares, some kind of annual awards of merit should be presented. Everyone thought that was a capital idea. The Oscars have been and will always be a way of promoting the movie industry – which is fine by me.
I love movies. I love making movies. I love people who make movies. Whatever happens tonight – sincere or insincere, tasteful or over the top, humble or outrageously arrogant – will be in the neighborhood of those three loves. And that’s why I watch.