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5 March, 2018

The Academy Awards only last a few hours (if you include the red carpet), so aren't as all-intrusive as the Olympics, but they are no less addicting for me.  (I was happy to learn I could cook frozen chicken in the instant pot, so I don't have to get up from the TV to cook dinner)

We have seen a grand total of ONE movies this year (Jane about Jane Goodall), so I have watched all the hoopla surrounding the nominated films, but haven't seen them.  Today I realized that I could rent a couple of them through X-finity.  (Shape of Water is only to purchase, as are a couple of others), so I did a 4 hour "mini marathon" of two nominated films, Lady Bird, which I have been wanting to see ever since it got HUGE publicity around here, since it was written and filmed in Sacramento.  That was my first choice.

I have to admit I was disappointed.  I found it ok, but nothing special, except it was fun to see our friend Eric Daniels pop up briefly a couple of times (playing piano, and conducting a choir).  But to tell you the truth, it put me to sleep.

Not so my second choice.  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has intrigued me.  When I first heard the name months ago I thought what a dumb name and couldn't imagine how this could be a whole movie.  How wrong I was.  It was totally different from what I was expecting and I was riveted throughout. 

I didn't have enough time to see a third movie, but at least I wasn't completely in the dark about the nominated films.

I watched at the red carpet and had no real strong feelings, except Sandra Bullock had entirely too much eye make up and Allison Janney was stunning all in red, my favorite color.  And I was sad my only option was to watch interviewer Michael Strahan, whom I have not really wanted to see since his dust-up with Kelly Ripa.  (On Oscar day, I become the movie-crazy kid that I was in grammar and high school, unlike the blasé person who doesn't recognize the names of 90% of today's stars that I am normally)

This is the 90th Academy awards and I have been watching every year since the first year they were televised (1953, coincidentally the year we got our first television).  I still remember the second year when all the nominees appeared on stage on a giant revolving cake (I especially remember Loretta Young), which I thought so clever that I expected it to be an annual thing...but what did I know. I was only 11.  I remember being disappointed when there was no cake.

I also remember seeing the streaker who ran behind David Niven in 1974, and Niven's famous observation,  "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen... But isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"  Niven was always a class act.  Watching my mother deteriorate from Alzheimers, I hurt for Niven's friends and family who watched him deteriorate from the same terrible disease.

I remember Sacheen Littlefeather who accepted the Oscar for Marlon Brando in 1973, when he refused to attend the ceremony as a protest at the treatment of aboriginal Americans.  That was the same year that everyone hated the opening of the show so much but I loved it because it included San Francisco's famous Beach Blanket Babylon.

 There was a time when the high point of every red carpet was Cher's outlandish costume (except, perhaps for the year that Bjork wore her famous "swan dress")

The designer gowns these days are beautiful, but they aren't nearly as much fun as they used to be.

Then of course there are the memorable gaffs, like last year when the wrong movie was announced as the winner and the year John Travolta called Idina Menzel "Adele Dazeem."

I always love the retrospectives, showing a mash of movies old and new.  This year started with a retrospective of actors who had won Best Actor award and I'm sure there will be other such retrospectives as the ceremonies continue.

But for now I'm going to stop, post this, and get back to watching instead of typing.


If you haven't already seen this, you must!
(especially if you love Hamilton)

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