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Stuever on Oscars

From Hank Stuever:

High Holy Days in Hollywood! Everyone thinks the actual Oscar ceremony itself goes on way too long, and I suppose I used to agree. UNTIL I actually covered one. Last year, instead of serving Whole Foods hummus and shiraz to my buddies in my living room, I was there, begging stars for quotes for a few hours at the red carpet press mob in front of the Kodak Theater. Then I had to fight my way back through the security checkpoints, into the press room, and file a story, and file it again with updates, all under the wise tutelage of our house Oscar pro -- and everything pro -- Bill Booth, who is Style's man in L.A. By the time we both filed our stories for Monday -- East Coast deadlines are murder when you're on the West Coast -- I looked up and THE OSCARS WERE OVER. "Already?" I gasped. "That's it? Already? So fast?!" Then we were off to separate after-parties. I was sweaty, exhausted, tuxedoed, and ultimately a little drunk. I said to myself that I would never, ever do it again. Which means I'm going back this year.

As for the nominations, I guess it was just further confirmation that everything I experience as joy and satisfaction in movie theaters has little or nothing to do with the Academy Awards. The only Best Picture nominee I've seen is the completely great "Sideways." (And I'm not like latecomer/very parttime movie critic Charles Krauthammer.) But I see lots and lots of movies, the kinds of movies we in the elite blue-state media tend to prefer: I loved "Motorcycle Diaries" (communist) and "Bad Education" (church pedophilia, drag queens); I loved "Before Sunset" (dreamy heterosexuals flirting with intellectuals in Paris, France France France!). I'm happy that "Fahrenheit 911" got snubbed, as did Mel Christ Superstar.

Here's what I love most about Oscars: How iiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrritated people who don't pay attention to showbiz get about those of us who go bonkers for this stuff, and wave around our Entertainment Weeklies the minute they show up in the mail. It's such payback for all the sports talk that buzzes around the American conversation day after day after day. Bleh.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 28, 2005; 11:50 AM ET
 
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