Three Reasons Why I Love Oscar Night
By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI
One of the first Oscar ceremonies I vividly remember involved Roberto Benigni climbing over chairs to reach the stage to accept his award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, the first given to a male performer in a non-English-speaking role. That was fourteen years ago, and I’ve tried to watch at least some of the broadcast every year since.
Why do I love the Academy Awards? Here's my countdown:
3) The glitz and glamour.Those are three reasons why I make watching the Oscars a yearly ritual, and why I’ll be catching as much of this year’s ceremony as I can at BMFI’s The Best Exotic Oscar Party. I’d love to compare ballots with you.
When every fashion faux pas or bad hair day that an actor has is broadcast around the world instantly online and in celebrity gossip magazines, it’s nice to see a little bit of the classical Hollywood glamour return, even if it’s just for one big night each year. Seeing starlets posing in designer gowns with their hair done just so is a nice dose of fantasy. I know that I’ll see a shot of them in yoga pants running to the mini-mart when I open my browser the next day, but they really do appear larger than life for a little while.
2) It’s a game.
I may not always see every nominated “Best” film or performance, and until the short films began being distributed to theaters (we’re showing the Oscar-nominated animated and live action shorts starting today), I never saw any of those. Even so, I love making predictions about who is going to win. It’s like a giant, global game for film buffs and anyone can join in on the fun. Several years ago I even won a prize for getting the most predictions right in our office. (Which isn’t to say I got them mostly right—I didn’t—I just had more luck than some of my colleagues did.) Even when prizes aren’t on the line, it’s fun to test yourself to see how well your cinematic ideals match up with the Academy.
1) Dreams come true.
What child or teen who loves film hasn’t imagined winning an Oscar and practiced their victory speech? I know I certainly did. (It is a very gracious speech.) Winning is still the ultimate validation of one’s work in the film industry. Although the value of that endorsement and how it is determined can be seriously debated, “And the Oscar goes to…” is the stuff dreams are made of. When I watch the Oscars, I imagine what it must be like for the people called to the stage. Some might think displays like Benigni’s are showy or crass, but I love it when winners show how excited they are. It makes me think that my own dreams can happen too, however unlikely or improbable. And that’s the real reason why I love the Oscars.
What do you love about the Oscars? Tell me in the comments below.
Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!