For as long as I can remember, I've been Oscars obsessed. I always tried to see every movie, and whenever I tell people this, they say, "oh yeah, me too." But what I mean by every movie is EVERY movie. If there was a way to see movies to justify the awards for technical merit, I would see those too.
What separates me from others who do this is that they are usually professionals in the entertainment industry who are probably getting some form of payment to sit through all of these films. I am not one of those people.
I do this for the love of seeing great stories, and inevitably, nominations have introduced me to films I had never even heard of prior to the Oscars. Two such examples are In The Loop (nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2010 - see it just for Peter Capaldi's swearing and James Gandolfini's indecision), and Lars and the Real Girl (nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 2008 - see it, I cried at a funeral for a doll scene, and I bet you will too), but I could go on and on.
I have been attending DocuDay sponsored by the International Documentary Association for 15 years, and this is an extraordinary day (from 9 a.m. - midnight) in which they screen all 5 short and all 5 full length documentaries in one day. There are two kinds of people in the audience - the docunerds (term intended with great respect) who want to know how the producers raised the money and what kinds of lenses they used, and the general nerds like me who asked questions like, "is your mom ok now?"
The hardest ones to see have always been the foreign films, because those are not always released in the United States prior to the Oscars telecast.
The closest I've ever come to seeing 100% of the nominations was last year where I saw every single film with a nomination except for Chasing Ice, which had a Best Song nomination, but was a documentary to which I never had access, because it wasn't featured at DocuDay.
Anyway, I love the Oscars and since it has been my passion for so long, I thought it would be fun to share my reviews of the nominated films. I will do my best to comment specifically on the category(ies) for which the film is nominated, as my obsession has gone a long way into researching who gets to vote in which categories, what the demographics of the voters are, and what the heck each one is evaluating. I'll share links to good articles that help illuminate these questions, as well.
I'd love to hear what you think, so feel free to comment, and I'll try not to post too often!
One more thing - here is my system for seeing everything, in case you are wondering how I fit all these films into such a short time period.
When the Golden Globes nominations are announced, I print out a list of the films and identify the ones I haven't seen. There is generally a lot of crossover between the two awards, so this gets me started. Many years ago, I didn't begin until the Oscars list was announced, and it was virtually impossible to see all of these films in the time allotted.
I make as much progress as I can, and then once the Oscars list comes out, I dump the GG list, and start over with the Oscars list of films I haven't yet seen.
Doing this over the last few years has made seeing all of the films much more realistic, and feels far less like homework. Tomorrow, I'll know how many I need to see until March 2nd, and my amazing husband is great about helping me track down the ones on the list.
Happy Oscars season and thank you for joining me on this journey!