Once upon a time I really enjoyed watching movies and I enjoyed watching the Oscars. Nowadays I have to be really bored to watch a movie. I have to be at peace with the fact that two hours of my life are most likely going to be completely wasted. That’s not to say that I don’t spend plenty of time as a couch potato, but that time is reserved for the better storytelling medium – television.
Alas, this is not an Emmys post nor will I at any point get to talk about Breaking Bad. (Hey! I just did!) This is my Oscar post and the major plot twist this year is that of the nine films nominated for best picture, I have not seen a single one. Oscar goes to all that trouble to nominate up to ten films (they couldn’t come up with ten this year – my point made?) and even that can’t generate a drop of interest from a devout Oscar watcher such as myself. There are several of the nominated films I want to see – Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty – but whether or not they win any awards will have little impact on my interest. (Argo being nominated may have reminded me that it existed and that I wanted to see it because Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad (Hey! I did it again!) is in it.)
In fact, not only have I seen none of the films nominated for best picture, I’ve only seen three of the films nominated for anything. (Although those nine films seem to make up the bulk of the nominations.) I’ve seen Moonrise Kingdom, Brave and Wreck-It Ralph. My husband and I started watching one of the other nominated animated films, Pirates! Band of Misfits because we love Aardman, but we got tired halfway through, shut it off and never went back to it.
I’ve thought extensively and blogged occasionally about the transition from films being a more highly respected form of entertainment than television. I think it’s an irreversible cultural shift. Technology made television and serial storytelling the better art form. Movies are trying to keep up. Why else would every movie ever made have to have three sequels and sometimes a prequel? But they can’t keep up. There’s not enough time to tell the story and there’s too much time between stories.
Which is not to say that occasionally the time spent on a movie doesn’t feel like I’m throwing my life away, but the several hours it will take to watch the Oscars…