I’m watching the Oscars this year.
Big woop, right?
The thing is, I haven’t watched the Oscars, let alone movies, in almost four years. It is somewhat of a big deal for me because I used to work in the movie business. It was my life, if you will. I wrote screenplays and made some short films, and one indie, with my ex-husband. Movies were our life. We made a point of seeing everything that was worth seeing or relevant to the projects we were writing. We would discuss them during the film - or at least I would. I’m one of those annoying people who can’t shut up and states the obvious. It doesn’t matter who is sitting next to me. I’ve been known to turn to a stranger in the tensest of moments and ask, “Omg, is she going to die?” and even, at the height of a happy ending, when the guy is about to kiss the women he’s been pining over: “Oh!!! They’re in love!”
I love movies. I used to make shitty black and white ones on 16mm. They were about repression and squashed dreams. I didn’t have the capacity back then to comprehend what my choice of subject might actually be saying about me or my subconscious desires, but looking back, it’s as obvious as the symbolism in “Black Swan.” Similarly, I knew it was telling that since my divorce, I have been unable to go to the movies. When I did, it would fill me with melancholy. It made me miss my ex-husband, who analyzed them in the same manner and with the same objective as I did. A random line or a name in the credits would remind me of an idea he and I had come up with, or an absurd meeting we had with some douchebag executive - that no one else could relate to.
So I just stopped going. I wrote essays and fiction instead. I banned the whole screenplay writing thing. I wasn’t interested. I decided that novel writing was more worthwhile. At least with a book, the end product lives on paper. The writer has some semblance of control (save a publishers notes, of course). With a piece of fiction, at least you’re not dependent on fund raising, director and actor attachments, and the stars aligning when the moon is not in retrograde over Venus and Mars at the same time.
But in the past year, I started taking an interest in movies again. Perhaps it’s another indication of my emotional progress. I might even consider writing a screenplay, if an idea is more suited to that format than a book. Once I finished my novel, and started writing other things, I realized that all those years of toiling in the movie business was the best storytelling school I could have ever attended. So thinking about that time no longer makes me sad or regretful.
So this year, I managed to see “127 Hours” (loved it), “Black Swan” (eye roll) “The Fighter” (an admirable rip off of “Rocky” meets a Ben Affleck Boston movie), “Inception” (who cares whether Leo was dreaming or not; all that matters is that he is dreamy), and my favorite – probably the best film I’ve seen in a decade (minus four years of seeing nothing) – “The King’s Speech.”
I hope “The King’s Speech” wins, although it probably won’t. Movies with British accents always have a good shot, but Dame Judi isn't in this one.
My mother (who hasn’t seen any of these) thinks that “127 Swans” is going to win, and by the time any of you read this post, we will probably both be wrong.