Monday, February 25, 2008
I used to host an annual Oscar party which I affectionately called Oscarfest. It was truly something I used to look forward to every year. I haven't had a party in a few years. I just don't have the same enthusiasm for the Academy Awards that I once had. I've been trying to figure this out. I know that in this stage of my life I don't see as many movies any more and it really takes a lot to wow me. Anyway, I watched the 80th Academy Awards last night and I wondered where all the excitenment has gone. Is it perhaps that I would never see a movie titled There Will Be Blood? Is it that out of everything nominated I've seen a cartoon about a rat than can cook and Enchanted which happens to be half animated as well. Well, I actually did see Atonement, but man, what a downer. Although I liked it, I didn't see myself rooting for it to win the Oscar.
I held my first Oscar party in 1998. It was a great year for movies. At least, there was a lot of excitement about the Academy Awards that year. Most of the nominees had general appeal. Titanic was huge (no pun intended). Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had garnered a lot of attention for the their little screenplay that could. Cuba Gooding, Jr made the phrase, "Show me the money!" part of our lexicon and well his accceptance speech for his supporting role in Jerry Maguire electrified the crowd.
Anyway, that year, my dear friends Steph and Krissy surprised me by making themed desserts representing all five of the best film nominees. Let's see there was jello in the shape of ships for Titanic and a sheet cake with a mathematical equation written in icing for Good Will Hunting, lemon bars somehow made into the likeness of Kim Basinger for L. A. Confidential, stick figure men sugar cookies for The Full Monty and I lament that I cannot remember what they came up with for As Good as it Gets, but you get the picture (again, no pun intended). The movies were fun and most of us had seen the films nominated. We had a great time. We continued the tradition for years even when we all didn't live in the same state anymore. A couple of years ago, Stephanie and I were in Boston visiting Krissy and we had a good time creating desserts for that year's Oscars. Somehow, they managed to design Neverland Island out of a pan full of brownies and some blue and green frosting. They made cookies in the shapes of planes to represent The Aviator. They are geniuses when it comes to themed desserts!
Well, This year, the Oscars just snuck up on me. First of all, we don't have TV. Since our antenna broke during that last snowstorm last May, we've been without TV. I don't really miss it (okay, I really miss The Office) although we are finally catching up on Season 3 of Lost on DVD, but that's another story. When the nominations came out, I barely even looked at the list. I wasn't excited at all. This year, I briefly thought about the best picture nominees and thought not only would I probably not see a movie titled There Will Be Blood, but what kind of dessert do you make for that? I don't know (although I know that Steph and Kris would have come up with something imaginative involving red icing). I have no desire to see No Country For Old Men which just happened to win the top honor of Best Picture this year. The point is something has been missing from the Oscars for a long time. Maybe there has been something missing from the movies and I have to say that the 80th Academy Awards were a total snoozefest instead of Oscarfest. Hopefully, this year will be better because I really do like movies, just not lately.
By the way, here are the best picture winners from the last 10 years. How many have you seen?
1997 - Titanic
1998 - Shakespeare in Love
1999 - American Beauty
2000 - Gladiator
2001 - A Beautiful Mind
2002 - Chicago
2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (That was a good year!)
2004 - Million Dollar Baby
2005 - Crash
2006 - The Departed
2007 - No Country For Old Men