The Academy Awards are one of my favourite annual events. I know, I know, they are racist and sexist and a little bit (okay, make that a lot) bullshit, but I just can't help loving them. I get sucked in by the glitz and the glamour, the tension and the emotion, the nerves, the gowns, the song and dance numbers...I love all of it! I just can't quit you, Oscar.
Here are my tried and true tips for getting the most enjoyment out of the Academy Awards as a far flung audience member.
1 ~ See as many of the nominated movies as possible. I've failed pretty badly at this this year. I have very little expendable income, and when you combine that with parenting a toddler 24/7, getting to the movies is almost an impossibility. I have seen 12 Years a Slave, but only because I won free tickets. Other than that I'm going into the ceremony pretty blind this year. No matter, I'll still love it. There have been Oscars of years past, however, when I have made it to a majority of the nominated films. One year in particular saw me making charts and schedules and ticking of a movie a day in the lead up to the event. What did I tell you? I LOVE the Academy Awards. I know it's a bit late for this year's ceremony, but in future years why not make the effort to see at least one of the hopefuls. It really does make any viewing of the awards seem a little more relevant.
2 ~ Take the day off work. Seriously. There's nothing quite like watching the ceremony live to get caught up in the excitement. It's just not the same to watch it after you already know who the big winners are. And in today's super speedy news atmosphere, watching live is pretty much your only spoiler-free guarantee.
3 ~ Location! Location! Location! Watch at a venue with Sky, obviously, or more preferably, MySky. That way you can a) book in the ceremony so you don't miss the start while watching red carpet bullshit, and b) pause the viewing if you need to run to the toilet/answer the door/take a phone call/attend to a toddler. Some cinemas have special Oscars events where you get all dolled up and watch on the big screen. I prefer to be comfy on my own couch in my track pants, talking back to the pithy E! channel presenters, laughing uproariously and getting teary during the speeches.
4 ~ Snacks. It can be a long haul if you're going to sit through hours of red carpet interviews, followed by an extraordinarily lengthy ceremony. You need sustenance to make it through. I take mine in the form of chocolate, popcorn, chips and dip, fizzy drink - basically, anything packed with Things That Are Not Good For You. I like to think I'm eating on behalf of all those actresses who have been starving themselves for weeks in red carpet anticipation.
5 ~ You need company to dish with. Often my sister will join me for at least some of the event, and we compare our favourite gowns like we're noted stylists. However if everyone I know is working on the day - it is a Monday after all - then I get my gossip fix online via twitter. There'll be an Oscars hashtag that you can follow along on the day, and this will often include tweets from people who are actually at the ceremony. Here's the thing though - in person you can be as scathing as you wish, but the moment you write something nasty online you become an asshole. So just don't, okay? That actresses dress mighty be fugly as all get out, but don't you dare put that in writing.
6 ~ Run a sweepstake. Why can't there be something in it for you? My family has held a sweepstake for a number of years now. The buy in is usually $2, but quite often everyone conveniently forgets to pay up, and the winner has to make do with the simple glory of success. Our sweepstake always covers six categories: Best Film, Best Director, & the four acting categories. You can make your sweepstake as detailed or as simple as possible. All nominees can be found at www.oscar.org.
7 ~ I've never done the Oscars drinking game thing, but if you are in a position where you can get tipsy on a Monday, then by all means, knock yourself out. Here's a selection of games you could choose from, or pick and choose your favourite drinking cues and make up your own game. Ideas: Drink every time a red carpet commentator refers to Lupita Nyong'o as "flawless". Drink every time an actress poses with her hand/s on her hip/s.
Enjoy, and I'll be back soon with my red carpet faves.