“And the Oscar goes to......”
Yeah, yeah, I know it is December and we still have 2 months to go for the 84th Academy awards that will be held on 26th Feb at the Kodak theatre. Why am I writing about it now? Well, my senior colleague and dear friend, Mr. Zahid sheikh got me thinking about it.
This is what I wait for through the year. Why do you think I watch over 100 English movies (the count increases as the ceremony nears) every year? The answer is the Oscar night (Oscar morning for people reading this in India).
For me, the Oscar night frenzy started the year Lagaan was nominated in the “Best foreign film” category. I loved the movie, and was happy (for the lack of a stronger word) when I heard that it stood a chance at being honored at “the biggest stage for movies”. The 12th of Feb, 2002 was a Tuesday and the whole world was gathered (well, my world then was pretty much limited to the bunch of my loony friends). We waited to watch a sardonically (much against the Oscar dress code) dressed Aamir khan walk up to the stage and receive the award as A.R.Rahman’s “O re chori” played in the prestigious Kodak theatre.
Thus began the ritual of taking a day off from college / work for witnessing the evening / night when Hollywood’s best of the best turned up in their best. The word “glitterati” was etched in my mind forever. I mean, here was a show where people were asked about the dress they wore before they were asked about the movie that got them here in the first place!! The suave suits, the plunging necklines got me hooked. This was and still is the place that truly celebrates celebrities.
This was also the year when my dad gifted me my first ever Manorama yearbook, and said, “I do not see you reading your textbooks, see if this interests you”. It did, as I directly flipped to the movies section that gave me a list of all the Oscar winners till then. I thought I had the knowledge of “the secret scroll” as I rattled off names of Academy award winners and trivia a couple of days before the ceremony. I was conferred the title of “Shrinivas Oscar Vasishta” (which I boastfully accepted).
Much to our & the Indian media’s dismay, Lagaan was piped by No man’s land (Bosnia) won the Best foreign film award. The Oscar was lost, but the ceremony itself managed to hook us. Whoopi Goldberg (who hosted the show a record 4 times) became an overnight star for us. It made us download (from limewire, which was pretty much found in every boy’s computer those days) all the nominated movies on to our 20 GB hard disks. It converted us into movie freaks. It made us go to this newly discovered website “ww.imdb.com” and scrape for info on all the nominated stars and their movies. Never had me and my bunch of friends found ourselves so busy and passionate about something. We had found a passion we could hold on to and nurture. The Oscars gave us something that mathematics and physics never gave us.
As the years have passed, the Oscars got better (or worse, take your pick), but one thing has not changed. Every year, our secret brotherhood exchanges notes on the year’s best movies and root for them. We make our own lists and like young kids, match our picks with the actual winners.
This year will be no different. It is that time of the year. The time of lists. The time when you, amongst other things, take stock of the year gone by. I have my list ready, waiting to tick off one by one. Watched the splendid Ides of March yesterday. Shall watch Midnight in Paris tonight. I hope to get all my predictions right on the 27th Of Feb, 2012.
Before I sign off, here are a few links to some awesome Oscar trivia for you guys to dig on: