All I want for Christmas… – December 19, 2013

filmsAre Awards season films!  Yet, this year, I feel horribly behind on my viewings.  I was just talking to a friend today and began to feel overwhelmed as I realized how many films I’ve yet to see.  Nebraska.  12 Years a Slave.  Inside Llewyn Davis.  Saving Mr. Banks.  August: Osage County.  Philomena.  Frozen (OK, not an Oscar-esque film, but I’m still looking forward to seeing it).  Oy!

For me, one of the highlights of this time of year is the plethora of quality films (note: some years may not be inundated with quality films, but there is at least the hope of such films being released).  Like some people get excited about football season, I likewise spend my year prepping for Oscar caliber films.  I do my research and keep my ear to the ground, listening for the buzz on each film.  One of my favorite pop culture sites, Vulture, has been doing a weekly recap of films that are contending for awards season and chronicling which films are going up and down in terms of nomination expectations.  It almost makes me giddy!

Last week the Golden Globe nominations were announced and I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the nominations – exclaiming at the unexpected nods (Julia Louis Dreyfus for Enough Said – excellent) and in shock by the snubs (James Gandolfini also from Enough Said – to be honest, I wouldn’t have nominated him myself, but Hollywood loves to award actors posthumously). 

Now, at times I step back and reflect on how silly this all is in a way.  I mean, there’s an existing system that says if you want recognition in award season, release your film at the end of the year.  There are intense strategies and marketing ploys that are concocted to garner attention for each respective film.  In a lot of ways, the winner is often determined by the company that spends the most money or arranges the most appearances by their actor/director.  It’s for that reason, that I appreciate directors who refuse to play that game.  One who comes to mind for me is Woody Allen.  I don’t see him “play the game” for awards.  His most recent film, Blue Jasmine, was released over summer – definitely not the location for quality films.  Yet, despite the film’s “poor placement” it has been receiving nods this awards season, especially for Cate Blanchet’s mesmerizing performance (side note: one of the welcomed surprises was seeing Sally Hawkins recognized for her supporting performance in the same film).  Allen has typically not attended any of the awards shows (even when he was heavily expected to win).  You get the sense that he doesn’t make films for the awards, but because he is an artist and is always creating.  I can respect that. 

Despite my frustrations with the system, I still find myself each year eagerly awaiting the films to be released.  And the deal has been sweetened again this year with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey returning to host the Golden Globes.  While the show itself cannot top the Oscars in terms of overall importance, I’m giddy squared to see my two favorite comediennes hosting.  It absolutely makes me want to do a little jig in excitement.  Basically, it will be the equivalent of a little girl getting a pony for Christmas – this is me having Amy and Tina host.  OK, maybe a slight exaggeration (slight). 

So, while I may be behind on my film screenings, I’m eager to catch up with my upcoming Christmas break.  To the theaters!

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