My birthday has always been within 3-4 days of the Oscars, which when I was in high school, made me think that there was some cosmic reason why I was meant to go to film school. Um, yeah. The Oscar that popped my cherry was the 1996 show, where the English Patient won best picture, and I was completely disappointed, hoping Cuba Gooding Jr’s ass cheeks might take the cake for Jerry McGuire (he DID win for Best Supporting Actor, though).
But the 1997 Oscars were the most memorable for me. Why? Well lets see, I was 15 years old, and it was the year that every teenage girl’s fantasy came to life. In other words, the year of TITANIC. I mean come on, I was set up for a year of Leonardo DiCaprio-related OCD behavior. It was obscene. I drew every angle of that man’s face, bought enough Maybelline lipstick so I could get the free Titanic promotional items, and yes, I saw the movie SEVEN times.
Titanic was my drug of choice. Every weekend, like a heroin addict, I debated on how to spend my time: Homework, Part Time Job, and a Social life vs. the 3 hour sickening indulgence of “I’M FLYING JACK!” and “I’LL NEVER LET GO!” Yes, as a 15 year old Pisces, there was no contest. I tapped my arm, and inserted the needle every chance I could get.
So when the Best Picture Award was handed over to my baby in the big boat, I swore the world stood still. It was like all 21 hours that had been drained from my young life that year, were suddenly validated. I knew I was in a Epic-Disaster-induced coma, and that I could not be held accountable for my actions. But I wasn’t the only one! Even the snobby old men in Hollywood felt the same way I did! I wasn’t just some simpering teenage DiCaprio-Freak, my interest in the film held some water (no pun intended…hehe).
Since then, no year has been comparable. Great movies have continued to be released, and honored. Once I made it to film school, my peers turned up their noses at the Oscars, telling me they were just part of the Hollywood machine, and that the REALLY great movies never were recognized. I wasn’t ready to be jaded, not at 18. I went to college to enjoy myself, not doom my movie-watching ability forever. I still think the Oscars are worth a damn, even if I barely make it to the theatre more than twice a year.
This year I saw two of the best picture nominations, and neither of them won. Is it ironic that both of them could be considered chick flicks? Not even gonna go there. is 26 too early to be jaded? Hmmm. I guess I have until tomorrow to find out.