Why does everybody like to hate the Academy Awards? I’ve been befuddled by this ever since I started watching the present keenly twenty years in the past. My first yr of breathless pleasure is one for the file books: when Titanic swept the awards.
Since then, my fascination for Hollywood’s most prestigious awards ceremony has solely elevated, as my data of cinema and of the lives of the wealthy and well-known have expanded in equal measure. The awards usually are not nearly cheering on the movies that captivate us, however getting a ringside seat in an effort to witness the feelings of the crème de la crème of the movie fraternity, on an evening when something can occur.
As a movie journalist, my pleasure for the awards units in January, when the nominations are first introduced. From that second, I frantically try to look at as many missed films as doable earlier than late February, when the occasion is historically scheduled. That is no imply feat residing in India, the place award candidates both have staggered/late releases or none in any respect, although this has improved in latest occasions with the inflow of streaming platforms. Expectations intensify when the Academy host/s are finalised, by which era agency camps are in place for the Finest Image and Finest Actor classes. (My favorite class is Finest Animated Function.)
I usually keep up the entire night time in wide-eyed anticipation as a substitute of setting an alarm to look at the present. There’s all the time a stunning vogue revelation or fake pas to stay up for. And when showtime begins, I attempt to determine if the hosts are going to create a viral second, corresponding to when Ellen DeGeneres took that well-known selfie, or if there’s going to be a spectacular practice wreck, corresponding to in 2011 when Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted the present. From the presenters’ banter to the jaw-dropping musical acts to the awards themselves, the Academy Awards are a breathless 4 hours of elation, heartbreak, shock and shock.
In contrast to others, I take pleasure in watching the post-interviews too, as winners are given an opportunity to talk in-depth about their craft, versus the dramatic and rushed speeches on the Academy stage. After which comes my one true responsible pleasure: the after events such because the Governors Ball or the Self-importance Honest occasion the place Hollywood royalty cuts unfastened.
It’s a lot to soak up. And it’s simple to grasp the place the reluctance to rejoice this present of avarice and privilege comes from, to not point out the various issues which have surrounded the gala lately: the #OscarsSoWhite protest in 2016 and #MeToo and Time’s Up taking center-stage in 2018 within the wake of Academy heavyweight Harvey Weinstein’s conviction. Nevertheless, additionally it is essential to notice that the Academy (not like, say, the Golden Globe Awards) have acted shortly to right a number of basic errors. In addition they present stars the largest stage to make clear points which can be near them. This usually makes the Academy Awards an evening of political activism, not like the favored award ceremonies in India. Whether or not it’s Frances McDormand’s demand final yr for an “inclusion rider” in clauses or Ariana DeBose this week batting for queer and Afro-Latina illustration, the Academy Awards have all the time led to heated debates and elevated consciousness on subjects of significance (In fact you seemed up ‘alopecia’ too). After having doubled the variety of feminine members and tripled the members of color, the Academy has put out one other promise: from 2025, movies might be eligible for consideration provided that they meet the requirements of two out of 4 broad teams of standards.
This time, after two years of the pandemic (and final yr’s pared-down occasion), it was surreal to welcome the celebs again to the Dolby Theatre. Whereas there’ll all the time make certain riveting moments from the awards that we are going to bear in mind years later, the Oscars are an incredible night time to understand and rejoice the flicks, to understand and determine with struggles, to see up-close-and-personal the feelings of stars as they unfold, to root for favourites, to enter a world of glamour. What’s there to not like?