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Feb 26

I Survived the Oscars Best Picture Marathon and All I Got Was This Crappy Cold.

For the second year in a row, I attended the Best Picture Marathon that’s held the day before the Oscars, where you watch all the Best Picture nominees in a movie theater with other “movie lovers.”  (Or misfit toys, your pick).   Last year it was ten movies, this year it was nine.  Here’s my experience:

Attending the AMC Oscar Best Picture Marathon is a lot like what I think childbirth would be like, minus the tearing.  At times unpleasant – you feel nauseated, your bottom half goes numb, and if you’ve done it before, chances are you forget how painful and draining it is.  But by the end, you feel a sense of accomplishment.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I went home and took a nap during “The Help” and the dinner break because I had already seen that movie last summer and didn’t want to get a headache from crying at film #3.  But it was still a long 20 hours.)

Here are a few of my observations:

The dog in “The Artist” was WAY better than the dog in “Hugo.”  Just sayin.’

I went into “Tree of Life” with an open mind, but it pretty much lost me at the dinosaurs.  I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a 2.5 hour Kate Moss “Obsession by Calvin Klein” perfume ad.  I also thought it was over five times before it actually was.  I kept saying, “Is it over?”  I don’t usually talk during movies, but I was frustrated and confused.  The lady next to me felt the same way.

The scheduling was a little off (again).  For the second year in a row, the marathon kicked off with a kids movie (This year: “Hugo.”  Last year: “Toy Story 3.”) Why not have the loud/confusing/emotionally upsetting movies closer to the start and the lighter movies at the end when everyone is delirious? (Last year: “Inception” at 2 a.m. This year: “War Horse” at 1:20 a.m. and the 9/11 movie last.)

And while we’re on the subject of “War Horse”:  A curmudgeon at the marathon announced loudly, “War Horse – more like Snore Horse!” and was very pleased with himself.  Yes, the movie was cheesy and totally predictable, but c’mon, it’s about a boy and his horse.  Damn you, “War Horse.”  The last time I cried at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night I was in college.  I thought those days were behind me.

“Moneyball” at 4 a.m. went much better than I expected.   A baseball movie with math in it that I actually enjoyed – shocking!

Trivia facts that I learned during the breaks, where people with even less of a life than me earned prizes ranging from a “Joyful Noise” cd to a “Moneyball” t-shirt, or an “In the Land of Blood and Honey” movie poster to an “Arthur Christmas” holiday scarf:

  • “Uggy” (the dog from “The Artist” is making his final appearance at the Oscars and will be retiring due to a “shaking syndrome.”  That fact makes me sad.
  • At least four actors appeared in two of the best picture nominees each this year: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis and John Goodman.
  • All but one of the films are set at a different time period than present day (“The Descendants”).

It was a freakin’ sauna in the theater, almost from the get-go.  Imagine sitting in an auditorium theater for 22 hours with the same people eating hot dogs with relish and nachos with peppers.  A total “Stand by Me” moment waiting to happen.  Ugh.  The ventilation system sucked, hence the wonderful cold I now have to go along with my commemorative poster and lanyard.  And don’t get me started on the bathrooms.  Imagine the gastrointestinal distress wreaked by a diet of said hot dogs and nachos.  The women’s room was reminiscent of the water scene in the “The Hours” or the husband/wife in their bed on “Titanic” (both Oscar-nominated films, by the way.)

I left the theater, emerging into the sunlight this morning feeling as though I’d been in a hole for 24 hours (which, I pretty much had been).  I went home and took a shower and a LONG nap.  I think it’s safe to say that it’ll be awhile before I go to another movie in the theater or stage a marathon viewing of anything.  Until next year, when my memories of the event are clouded by my love of movies and I purchase another ticket.

6 comments

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  1. Amanda

    You forgot to mention: which movie was your “best picture”? Did any clearly not belong?

  2. Lindsay

    Oops, I’m still a little bleary-eyed. No clear “Best Picture” for me, though I had a few that I really liked: “The Artist”, “The Help” and “Midnight in Paris” were my top 3, with :The Descendants” and “Moneyball” enjoyable as well. I didn’t care for “Tree of Life” and thought “War Horse” was not a best picture, and “Hugo”, while good, wasn’t necessarily “Best Picture.” I would’ve liked to have seen “Bridesmaids” nominated, even though it wouldn’t win. I think “The Artist” will sweep tonight. What did you think?

  3. Chad Gibbs

    Looking forward to watching The Artist if it ever makes it to our Wynnsong. Right now they are devoting two screens to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but don’t have room for The Artist. May have to wait for the DVD.

    1. Lindsay

      TWO screens for Ghost Rider? Yikes. Hope you get to see it soon – I heard it will be on DVD in May. Thanks for reading, Chad!

      1. Chad Gibbs

        Well, one screen is for 3D 🙂

        1. Lindsay

          3D, huh? Well that changes EVERYTHING! 🙂

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