2011 Best Picture Showcase: The Setup

As ultimately pointless as it may be, I’ve always liked watching the Oscars with a well-formed opinion on who and what is the worthiest of awards. Back in the day, movie-going was one of our main hobbies/social endeavors, so chances are we saw most everything that was being nominated. It may have been a challenge to catch the art films, or anything that was in that window between theatrical release and DVD, but we made do with what we knew. As the years have passed, our desire (and ability) to spend hard earned money at the box office has dwindled. I’ve missed “knowing what I’m talking about,” though, even if I’m watching the awards show on my own. (For all his love of movies, Ryan can’t stomach award shows)

A few years ago, a local movie theatre chain made seeing the bulk of the Oscar Nominated films even easier by offering a marathon viewing the Saturday before the Oscars of all the Best Picture nominees. You wouldn’t catch *everything* that was nominated for the main categories this way, but you’d get a pretty crisp picture. I went in 2009, fortunately during a year of great films and got to see movies I never expected to see or enjoy.

I really enjoyed the experience, but I skipped 2010.

Last year, they upped the nominees to 10(!) and AMC spread the event over two consecutive Saturdays. Not only is that a huge commitment, but for the most part, I’d already seen everything that season I’d wanted to see. There were a few that I was curious about, but there was so much that I actively did not want to see. Had they put the right movie on the right day, I may have gone, but it just didn’t feel worth it.

2011 is different. Although I did manage to catch 2 of the films when they were originally in the theatres, this is a list chock-full of potential. There are a couple I probably wouldn’t get around to seeing and one I’m flat out dreading (more on that later), But it’s a good list and there’s something deliciously decadent about turning off the world for 11 hours at a time and just enjoying oneself. When I asked R if he wanted to try and wrangle up some epic babysitting and attempt the two-Saturday affair, he declined. He also practically insisted I go by myself, because he knows how much I dig this sort of thing.

So I’m going!

I’m taking you with me, dear reader. I’ve never been to the movies by myself and doing it 5 times in a single day sort of freaks me out. To give me the allusion that this is serving some sort of “purpose” (and to keep any would-be chatty strangers at arms length), I’ll be blogging the experience. Not during the movies, mind you. That’s horridly rude. There are breaks, however, and in them you will get some raw impressions of both the movies and my experience in general. I”m not quite sure how that’s going to happen, but it will be either in a updating post on the blog, or in the comment stream of said blog post. WordPress, my iPhone and I still have some kinks to work out on that score.

Watch this space (and twitter), and as long as my phone battery holds up, we should have lots to talk about!

A Look Ahead: 2011

2010 is officially over now. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about it for months, but life got in the way. It’ll be a bit more concise now. Lucky you.

If the second half of 2010 had a theme, it was Challenge is the New Black. A couple of months ago something snapped and I realized that who I think I am isn’t set in stone and even though I’m 33, I can still redefine the things about myself that I’m not down with. Continue reading A Look Ahead: 2011