It happens every year at this time. In the two months leading up to the Oscars I task myself with making sure I’ve seen all the films which are nominated, or all those that I think “count” which means they aren’t too scary for me like last year’s Django Unchained, however good, however highly regarded and however many awards it receives.
Don’t force me to choose between reading and films; it would be a very difficult choice indeed. I think I would have to come down on the side of reading but I love cinema with every fibre of my being. More than that, I am still in love – just – with the magic of the movies, the cinematic experience that I call The Big Dark.
Today a bit of a thrill. My Odeon points card paid for a free movie and a free small box of popcorn. Re-sult! The entire afternoon’s escapism, entertainment and stimulation paid for by my loyalty to my favourite movie theatre. In truth, I love that cinema for its free parking because it certainly isn’t the handiest. By such quirks are loyalty won.
Cinema in the afternoon – alone – is my bestest of all treats. I don’t have to concern myself with my companion’s comfort level or enjoyment factor, I can lose myself in the cinematic experience. This is the ultimate in relaxation for me.
So, back to the frenzy that is my diligent choice each year. The Oscar nominations close today and will be announced next week which will help. A bit. It’s already pretty obvious what I will need to see and this week that includes, but is not limited to, American Hustle (chock full of acting talent), Walter Mitty (trailers didn’t light my fire but it’s probably a movie a coach should see as it’s about dreams and the importance of living yours), Last Vegas (being a bit of a completist here, cannot imagine that will feature in any awards whatsoever) and All Is Lost with my all-time heartthrob, Robert Redford; sigh.
At the weekend I will want to see Mandela, Beloved Idris and his Long Walk to Freedom. And next week will include The Railway Man (Colin Firth) and 12 Years A Slave (Chewetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch et al). The stories, the music, the pictures, the drama, the talent on both sides of the camera. Yum.
And all too soon it will be The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis, Dallas Buyers Club and on and on and on. I’m sure I have left several out but good to have started a list because I couldn’t bear to be found wanting on the night, without an opinion as I didn’t manage to squeeze any one film in by my own self-imposed deadline. And I’m not interested in seeing them after the brouhaha is over. I’m a buff, for goodness sake. I care enough to subscribe to some form of TV facility for the day (or month) of the Oscars so that I can sit up and watch them all night. Don’t want to miss a moment. Note to self to put in my diary that I need to take it easy the next day.
This is a veritable feast of cinema. Films are one item on my very small list of specialist subjects and although this is an expensive couple of months at the movies, I am looking forward to endless afternoons in the dark, transported by cinematography, writing, acting and my almost first equal art form. Lucky me.
[This year’s Oscars 2014 are on Sunday 2nd March.]