a, Opinion

The most wonderful time of the cinematic year

There is a buzzing excitement that accompanies otherwise regular movie outings during this time of year. The experience becomes fraught with glowing expectations, brought on by compulsive IMDb-monitoring, the constant bombardment of film posters, and the onset of awards season.

Just last week saw the announcement of the 2014 Oscar nominees, the same week during which the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice awards took place.

The excitement is accompanied by an uneasy trepidation for all of us who grow too easily attached to certain films or actors and take a certain loss or lack of nomination as a sign of great injustice. Such is the inevitable disappointment of the awards season.

Between the saddening absence of Woody Allen and the frustrating grand total of one non-white Best Actress winner, I try very hard throughout the year to pass the award shows off as trivial; subjective; wastes of time. As Allen is quoted as saying in the film “Woody Allen: A Documentary,” “I think what you get in awards is favoritism. I mean, people can say ‘my favourite movie was Annie Hall,’ but the implication is that it’s the best movie. And I don’t think that’s possible—I don’t think you can make that judgment.”

Allen’s movies, including Annie Hall, have won wide acclaim from viewers and shows, yet he appears adamant about refusing acceptance of any kind of award.

Despite the shortcomings of the various awards, with each new year, I find myself excited to watch the shows all over again, eager to try and predict the recipients of various accolades.

My excitement begins in the early months of fall, when the first batches of good movies begin to roll into  theaters. This excitement builds until the holiday season, which commonly sees the greatest number of “the good movies,”—films made with critical acclaim and awards in mind—in comparison to the largely critically underwhelming releases of the spring and summer.

I find the awards to serve many purposes: a second vacation from the burden of already knee-high readings assigned, a distraction from the bitter weather; an antidote to my homesickness for the West Coast.

But to be more honest, I love following the awards shows because they are the perfect entertaining conclusion to an entertaining year—a grand finale to months and sometimes years of dedication that go into making two hours of whatever heartbreaking, surreal, exciting, or sobering narrative ends up on our screens. The shows are potent in their glamour and exclusivity, both of which draw so many of us to observe and admire, as if we can imagine ourselves seated across from teasing hosts, handsome announcers, and celebrated entertainers. It’s a bright, grand end to the year. And although the Best Picture award may not accurately describe its recipient, its announcement is a satisfying conclusion to a long year of movie-going—and a fitting prelude of things to come.

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