Oscar – and the Reason Award Shows are Relevant (to me at least)

The Oscar Statue

It’s almost time for the biggest film related awards show there is! Don’t get me wrong I love all the other awards shows too (the Globes for the silliness, the BAFTAs for the British sensibilities, the SAGs for the mutual support, and more), but there is something to be said for the Oscars.

I know a lot of people don’t like the Oscars or awards shows period. I respect that and I understand that these award shows can at times seem like rich, powerful people just wanting to slap themselves on the back and exclaim “Aren’t we great? We’re rich, powerful, and beautiful – and better than you.”  And yes, some of the people at awards shows fit that category perfectly; others not so much.

I’ve grown up watching the Oscars every year with my family. In fact, as a young child, Oscar night was the only night I could stay up past my bedtime.  I come from a family who loves movies and often has silly games and random conversations based on film trivia.  Before the ubiquitous-ness of smart phones, conversations would pause until someone came up with the answer to the question of “what was that movie called?” or “Who was the actor that played….?” It was fun and actually a great mental exercise for all of us. Now, we often don’t have to wait that long because someone can easily use imdb or google to answer most questions.  (Although lately, we’ve all been trying to avoid that and test ourselves to come up with the answers through our own mental prowess.)

For me, the Oscars (and other awards shows) are part about tradition, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion it’s also about the spectacle.  I’ve never been one to regularly read and enjoy the celebrity gossip sites and magazines. I’m not going to deny ever reading them – but I try to avoid them most times. Why? I think it really is despicable what paparazzi do to get many photos and stories.  I understand that some celebrities (hello reality television stars) do invite that scrutiny or bring it upon themselves with stupid public behaviors (Lindsey Lohan?), but most don’t.  I think everyone is entitled to privacy in their lives.  So for me, awards shows with all the pre-show  publicity junkets and the red-carpet glitz are my opportunity to be a voyeur without the icky-ness.  Celebrities welcome and understand the photos and interviews at these events. It’s a way to get the celebrity fix without feeling guilty about invading their lives.

So come this Sunday, I will happily be seated on my couch enjoying all the red-carpet glamour, the acceptance speeches, and the overall spectacle that is the Oscars.

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