For various reasons, I’ve gone to an actual movie theater and seen more films this year than ever before. That may be bucking the current home theater trend, but market conditions have converged to convince me that the higher ticket costs aren’t always an extravagance.
Specialized cable television packages are convenient, but not a great deal IMHO. I was a Netflix customer for awhile, but my angle was to join once or twice a year for a couple of months and “catch up” on all the films I hadn’t seen. But then the price nearly doubled, and the service was tiered so that the convenient PC streaming membership offered a more limited selection than the physical mail-in DVDs. I find it well worth the savings to order a movie online and pick it up at the convenience store a mile away for about a dollar. The theater is reserved for either films that are best enjoyed on the big screen format or those that I just didn’t want to wait to see.
So this year, I had more interest in watching the orgy of self-congratulation better known as “The Oscars”. I haven’t seen the big winner, “The Artist”, yet. Perhaps it will surprise me, but I don’t know how excited I can get about a movie with virtually no dialogue. With that said, it follows that most of the stars and movies I’d seen went winless. Except for “The Help”.
I touched briefly on this movie in an earlier blog (“Cry Me a River…or a Poopy Chocolate Pie”), and I really wanted to see both Octavia Spenser and Viola Davis take home a statuette. Davis lost to perennially amazing Meryl Street, whose performances I can rarely fault. Am I alone in feeling there ought to be a limit to the number of Oscars awarded to the same person in a lifetime?
And then I heard Spenser state what she wanted to do if she won the Best Supporting Actress category: to get her “girls” lifted. She described it as having them stapled to her shoulders, so that when she turns 70, they’ll be in just the right place. Her refreshing candor was especially striking in a setting where enhancements and augmentations are much more the norm than the exception. Signs of aging are often the kiss of death in any business where the perception of beauty is synonymous with a youthful appearance. Somehow, I don’t put Ms. Spencer in the Botox/Restylane/liposuction crowd.
When one of my books hits the New York Times Bestseller list, I’ll confess my own plans. But in the meantime, go ahead, Octavia. If it pleases you, if it improves your self-image, just do it!