Friday, March 7, 2014

Hilariously overdue post-Oscars piece

Hey there. Forgotten about the Oscars already?

Sorry about that. It's been a busy week, as I think I told you it would be.

However, just as it was not right to write nothing on my blog anticipating the Oscars, it's not write to do away with the post-mortem, either, just because it's being written at least 24 hours after everyone on the internet had already figured out how John Travolta would mangle their names.

Especially since year, something personally noteworthy happened that hasn't happened to me in 23 years:

The Academy crowned a best picture winner I had not yet seen.

That's right, that hasn't happened to me since Dances With Wolves won best picture in 1990.

I anticipated that this might happen, of course, and had scheduled a viewing of 12 Years a Slave for the Monday before the Oscars. However, the theater where I was going to see it -- Cinema Nova in Carlton -- doesn't post its Monday showtimes until Monday morning, which I think has something to do with the steep discount they offer on Mondays. In the past, the schedule is often the same as Sunday, so I was relying on that being the case this time. And though 12 Years a Slave was being shown only 35 minutes earlier than I was expecting -- 1:25 p.m. rather than 2 p.m. -- that was the crucial difference that made my intended viewing impractical. I ended up at a 3 p.m. showing of Nebraska instead.

As Will Smith was preparing to tell us what had won best picture, I found myself hoping he would say "Gravity," just so this indignity of not seeing the best picture winner could be avoided.

Ah well. That will make this a memorable year, even in addition to it being my first Oscars in Australia.

And how exactly did my geography manifest itself in terms of watching the Oscars? Well, instead of watching the show live, which we actually could have done, we were living through a regular Monday afternoon. Though it was actually quite irregular, as my father and his wife arrived in Australia just an hour before the show was to start, 24 hours late due to some weather and mechanical problems back in the U.S. As I was driving around town (borrowing my father-in-law's car) on this errand or that, I had to make sure not to accidentally hear Oscar results reported on the radio as they were happening, especially with Aussies particularly engaged in this year's ceremony as a result of Cate Blanchett's candidacy (and eventual win) for best actress. This is to say nothing of the two Oscars Baz Luhrmann's wife took home for The Great Gatsby (which, as a champion of that movie, I was pleased to see). I was actually lucky enough to hear one DJ on Triple J confirm that he was not going to be giving any Oscars spoilers, but that the DJ following him would be under no such restriction.

Having strictly avoided the internet all afternoon, we ended up firing up the Oscars on our DVR after 8 p.m. that night, when our jet-lagged travelers and sleep-avoiding children were all tucked away for the night. With fast-forwarding through the ads, my wife was able to stay up to watch all but the last few awards. We even filled out predictions, and I got more correct than I usually do, even just running through and selecting them in about three minutes.

Did I have some catty observations about things that occurred/were said? Sure.

But too much time has definitely passed for me to dredge those up now.

And now it's finally, officially, on to 2014. I'll resign myself to catching 12 Years a Slave on DVD, and may -- just may -- be finally looking to see my first 2014 film this Tuesday.

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