I’m obsessed with the Academy Awards. In fact, I’m obsessed with all kinds of award shows but the Oscars have always held pride of place. I’ve always had this uncanny fondness for the drama that unfolds at the Kodak Theater each year, but have never been able to explain why. It’s quite funny if you come to think of it; the high profile guests arrive in broad daylight wearing the most formal of evening gowns and tuxedos. The presenters and hosts, including some of the world’s most accomplished performers, read their lines off a prompter with the confidence of bumbling teenagers and sometimes make the silliest mistakes in front of the whole world literally! And yet, (like today’s stats show) 44.4 million people tune in, no matter which time zone they’re in, to gape open mouthed as the who’s who of the Hollywood film fraternity make their way to the biggest party of the year!
So on the bus ride home this evening; I tried to figure out where this obsession of mine stems from. What is it about the Oscar’s that has had me captivated from as far back as I can remember? Here’s what I came up with.
You see, I don’t have any secret wishes of being a movie star and I’m under no illusions, my face will hardly sell a film. Neither do I harbor any unfulfilled dream of being involved in the process of making films. Yet, I love watching the entire Oscars telecast, from red carpet to reviews and even love watching those obscure awards like sound editing being given away to nameless, faceless individuals I haven’t even heard about before.
The thing about watching the Academy Awards is that for me, it’s only partially about watching the awards. You see, cinema and the Oscar’s too, are not just about the movies, they also have to do with something more tangible, something special – The stories. The stories that are validated each year are simply riveting and the stories of the lives and loves of those that play out the parts are in themselves inspiring. Imagine the myriad number of lessons one can learn from watching a stalwart like Christopher Plummer lifting a trophy at the age of 82! Now that’s inspirational. For me, It’s all about the stories . When we watch the Oscars, the story becomes this grand thing again, because sometimes we forget just how huge our own stories are and how inspirational the live sof those around us can be.
It’s no secret, Im a pop culture addict. I love the glitz, the fashion, the backstage moments, the tensions on the red carpet, the ‘gracious loser faces’ of those whose names are not announced, the rehearsed speeches, the brilliantly humorous ones…I love the whole shebang! But, behind all of that, these popular, accessible movies creates not just entertainment for viewers like me– but also, a longing and a yearning deep within us. In the depths of our being, I believe we all just want our stories to be told. Not for the glory, but for the validation, the recognition and the knowledge that our stories are worth something too. The Oscars accomplish that and how! The Golden statuette is no longer a mere metal shaft but a symbol of inspiration, hope, perspective…and everything life giving. It is in so many ways a reminder that our stories really do matter!