The Oldsters

It’s Academy Award night.   Oh, yippee!

I’m a pain-in-the-neck when it comes to movies (ask my wife).   I’m a pain-further-down when it comes to celebrities (just read The Celebrity Bubble).   That should tell you where I stand when it comes to the Oscars.   My wife, on the other hand loves them, so tonight she’ll be planted in front of the TV and I’ll be in my office, happily blogging away.  I wasn’t always this way and I’m not sure what changed, the movies or me.   Probably both.   As award shows increasingly became soapboxes for the stars to sell their particular causes, I became less inclined to watch … probably the result of them moving west politically and me moving east.   It also seems to me that the Oscars show has become more self-congratulatory and narcissistic … but I may just be more curmudgeonly.   With respect to the movies themselves, getting a certificate in fiction writing in the nineteen-nineties certainly made me more of a critic of films than just an observer.    And I know that what I perceived as a liberal slant to many movie themes and my increasing annoyance with the off-screen persona of actors interferes with my objective enjoyment of films.   Saying that films have become more youth-oriented likely only reflects my gradual departure from Hollywood’s target demographic, but have films become more mindless?    Comparing the Oscar winners for Best Picture from the 1970s and 2000s on would suggest not – I enjoyed … and approved of … about 90% of the Best Pictures in each decade.    It doesn’t matter … I can hardly be in the room when the Oscars are on.

If you, too, are not a fan of the Oscars, I’d like to invite you to the first (likely last) OEAPA (Older Eyes Academy for the Performing Arts) presentation of the Oldsters.    This year the Oldsters ceremony is being held at the Fullerton Senior Center in conjunction with a sumptuous pot-luck dinner.   If you name begins with A-H, bring a salad;  I-P bring a main course;  P-Z, dessert; celebrities, please bring enough for 100.   Tickets are $16 at the door, $116 for celebrities.   Winners will be given 30 seconds to accept their awards unless they mention their favorite cause or wax eloquent about what their profession is doing for the world, in which case they will be tasered.    Awards are based on the mostly-intact memory of Older Eyes completely at the whim of our sponsor,

Best Picture:  The nominees are The Godfather, Pt. II (1975, better than the original); One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1976, a great adaptation of a great book); Ghandi (1983);  The Pawnbroker (1964); Crash (1996, simply a brilliant film about the prejudice in all of us).    And the envelope please?   The winner is The Godfather, Pt. 2.   I can be seduced by this film when I’m channel surfing no matter how many times I’ve seen it.  Al Pacino’s metamorphosis into The Godfather is riveting.

Best Actor:  The nominees are Al Pacino in The Godfather, Pt. II (1975); Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1976); Rod Steiger in The Pawnbroker (1964); F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus (1984, amazing performance as the tormented Solieri);  Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991, the most sinister performance ever).    And the envelope please?   The winner is Rod Stieger.   There have been dozens of films about the Holocaust … this one affected me deeply, in part perhaps, because I was dating my wife to be, who was Jewish, which brought the story a little closer to home.   Steiger’s performance still haunts me.

Best Actress: The nominees are: Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975, the nurse you love to hate);  Joanne Woodward in The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds (1972);  Kathy Bates in Misery (1990);  Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs (1991); and Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia (2009).    The envelope please?   The winner is Meryl Streep.   I have to admit, this is a lifetime achievement award … I couldn’t find a single performance that was my favorite but her resume is unsurpassed, particularly in the range of parts she’s played (Adaptation It’s ComplicatedMama MiaThe Bridges of Madison CountySophie’s Choice – unbelievable) and she was great as Julia Childs.   And, hey, I don’t especially like her politics but I still chose her … not bad for a curmudgeon.

I’d like to thank you for attending this year’s ceremonies.    Drive home carefully and let me know your all time favorites in my comments section!

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4 Comments on “The Oldsters”

  1. Oscar Says:

    I never watch the Oscars – I agree with you 100%

    You hit one of my favorites – “One flew…” GREAT movie.

    Forrest Gump, Goodfellows, Young Frankenstein..

  2. Sorry to say, I am a sucker for the Oscars and ‘All Things’ That Happen On The ‘Red Carpet’.

    I was VERY happy this year because it was THE FIRST YEAR in Oscar History that a WOMAN won for best director! YAY!

  3. marjorie Says:

    i love the oscars too because watching movies has always been one of my passions in life. and so is hollywood celebrity drooling.
    among my most favorite movies that i believe are worthy of an oscar nod are:
    “Fellowship of the Ring” – i adore only the first series in the trilogy because of its magnificent acting, special effects and heart-gripping action scenes. actually, i love everything about the movie.
    “Star Wars” – i was only 12 years old when i first watched the film. and it made me feel like i was in another world or dimension. I developed a huge crush on the lead actor who played Luke Skywalker as well.
    I do believe it’s an excellent, delightful movie that served its purpose.
    “As Good As It Gets”- no matter how eccentric a person is, some people would be willing to accept and love him for who he is. and who isn’t enchanted by Jack Nicholson in this movie?
    Okay, so my favorite movies are more on the entertaining genre. Nothing really heavy. There’s already too much drama in my life. so i simply want some escape from reality when it comes to my choice of films.
    And yes, i agree with you about “The Godfather II”.
    I love them all but part 2 stands out because of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Though i’m a fan of it’s first movie and Marlon Brando too.
    Other movies that deserve special mention in my list are: Moulin Rouge, The Pianist, Bridget Jones Diary, The Dark Knight and An Affair To Remember.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Thanks for your comment and all your favorites. I like Nicholson in The Bucket List and also loved Moonstruck, so I don’t just go for the heavy stuff. I do tend to favor it when picking “bests” though.

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