I love the Oscars and I’ve watched every year since 1980, which was the year that celebrated Kramer vs. Kramer, a movie I loved (I was a weird kid) and the beginning of my Meryl Streep adulation. The incomparable Johnny Carson hosted – I miss you Johnny! I was also excited that the girl from Smokey and the Bandit (my point of reference, since I’d not seen Norma Rae) won Best Actress. The next year I sang along with Irene Cara as she performed Fame. Coal Miners Daughter was one of my favorite movies, so it was very exciting for me when Sissy Spacek won Best Actress. At the time, I had no clue who Robert Di Nero was, but he’d gained and lost a lot of weight so I thought he was the bomb. Apparently that was a great strategy, because over the years many actors have emulated him in their quests for the golden statue.
I have many memories of the Oscars over the years. I was fascinated by Cher’s audacity to show up at the ceremony in a headdress, but later concluded she was totally disrespectful. I always love it when Jack Nicholson wins, because I know there will be a kick-ass speech. Ditto for Meryl Streep. I cried like a baby when Jane Fonda accepted her dad’s Oscar. My favorite year was 1998 when Titanic, Good Will Hunting and LA Confidential ruled the nominations. I was crushed when Annette Benning lost for the second time to Hillary Swank. I take it all way too personal, often yelling at the T.V.
Then there were the WTF memories. Rob Lowe singing with Snow White? Why? Madonna on a date with Michael Jackson? Yuck. Angelia and her brother? Double Yuck. Marissa Tomei (who I love, btw) beats Judy Davis, Vanessa Redgrave and Miranda Richardson? Recount! Bjork and that swan dress? Really? James Cameron’s “King of the World” speech? Puhleeezzz!
Okay, so my awards show love may have begun with the Oscars, but I am far from monogamous. I also fawn over the Golden Globes (my favorite), the SAGs (bless them for being only two hours!), the Emmys (love my Primetime), the Grammys (which I prefer to record so I can fast forward though less favored songs). I love it all – the red carpet, the dresses, the jewelry, the suspense, the reading of the names, the reactions of both the winners and losers, and the speeches! Extra bonus points for the Golden Globes. All the schmoozing and back slapping that goes on just before and after commercial breaks are fascinating to watch. God bless you NBC for having the cameras on till the last second.
I have awards show rituals. I love the pre-game shows and prefer E! to the primetime network shows. I can’t stand Joan and Melissa because I think they’re rude, clueless of the actor’s resumes and I have no clue who designated them fashion experts. I always drink champagne. I always keep score. I always make my husband watch the opening monologue and the first two awards, after which he either runs from the room, or I kick him out for making annoying comments about narcissism and nepotism. I always call, or text, or email my girlfriends about all the goings on. During the Globes this year, I exchanged 157 emails with one of my peeps.
Okay, one more little ritual – and it’s kind of embarrassing. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an actress. Watching the awards shows, I’d dream of attending one day and of course, winning. I’d daydream about and practice my acceptance speech in the bathroom mirror. My dreams of fame and glory have long since dissipated, but I still run my acceptance speech through my head. Depending on the champagne consumption, my acceptance speech may even be practiced out loud – aaaahhhh! I know, I know. Times have changed though; nowadays I’m accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. In my dream world, I thank Oprah for discovering and championing my book, producing the movie and asking my girl Jennifer Aniston to star. I get excited just typing these words!
Tonight, I anticipate good things for my Boston boy, Ben Affleck. When he wins Best Picture, he’ll probably be joined on the podium with his producer, George Clooney, so I’ll be a happy girl. I just have to stay up till the bitter end, which gets harder and harder every year. Damn you Pacific Cost Time!
I’ll sign off with a “…And I’d like to thank the Academy…”
Post Script: Benny Boy did win! And out of twelve top categories, I picked eleven winners. My best year yet.