Monday, January 28, 2013

The Pre-Oscar Buzz Is Getting Serious

'Tis the season to watch movies, fa la la la laaaaa la la la la! The holidays might be over, but ever movie lover knows that January and February are the most exciting months in the cinematic calendar. This year the 85th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on February 24, a date I am certain most of you have marked in red ink in your daily planners.
The first couple Oscar ceremonies were held in the Spring, then a few took place in November. It wasn't until the sixth or seventh ceremonies that they started hosting them in late February or early March. The first Academy Awards dinner was a private event held in a hotel. About 200 guests attended at the cost of 5$ per head. Not to bad, eh? Did you know that the first ever recipient of an Oscar statuette was not even an American? The very first Academy Award ever presented was given to German tragedian Emil Jannings. Here are some more fast facts about the Academy Awards:
  • Oscar ceremonies were held in hotels until 1942, when increased attendence necessitated the move to theatres.
  • The first televised Oscar ceremony was in 1953.
  • 1966 was the first year a full color televised ceremony was broadcast.
  • The ceremony was first broadcast internationally in 1969, and has been ever since.

As you know, there are two distinctive periods within the calendar year that the best films are released: over the summer break and in the bleak midwinter months immediately preceding the Oscars. This second period is not only because the timing makes good promotional publicity for Oscar buzz, but also so you can pack your family off to the movie theatre before everyone starts going a bit ape-sh*t over the turkey and cranberry sauce. Let's face it – movies keep us all sane.

Or do they? Each year, when the list of nominees is announced, controversy and consternation soon follows. On the Cinematic Katzenjammer blog you can vote on what you believe to be “the biggest snub of the Oscar nominations.” And that's before the awards are actually given!

Then there is the whole red carpet ordeal – who's wearing what and with whom and why. There's always at least one idiot (usually Sacha Baron Cohen or Kathy Griffin) who is going to embarrass themselves before they even make it into the theatre. And what about the hosts and presenters? Is Cher going to wear enough clothing to satisfy the Hayes Code?
Sacha Baron Cohen is up to no good on the red carpet 2012
While I was at college, I started my own tradition of printing out ballot card for my my friends and having an Oscar party. Before the ceremony we would vote on who we wanted to win and then we would tally the points throughout the show. There was no winner, because just because somebody agreed more with the Academy doesn't mean that everyone else was wrong. The Academy has made its share of mistakes. For example: Viola Davis totally deserved to win Best Actress over stupid old Meryl Streep! But maybe I shouldn't open up that can of worms.

I would love to hear what traditions you and you friends have for Oscar season. Do you have a particular method of viewing Oscar-worthy films throughout the year? Some people try to see every summer blockbuster, or every movie that premiers Christmas week. Others get really deep into the Indie and international scene. How do you celebrate Oscar night itself? Are you a red carpet gossip, or are you hard-core there just for the awards? I can't wait to swap Oscar stories with all my fellow film fans!

This post was originally written as a guest post for my friend Marc over at Love Your Movies.

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