There was a time in my life when I eagerly awaited Oscar night, not only for the glamor and the gowns, the stars and the red carpet; but also because there was a time when I actually watched most, if not all, of the movies with award nominations in the major categories. Okay, maybe I didn’t see everything nominated for best sound mixing or best documentary short subject, but oh, I loved all the movies, and I loved watching the awards shows almost as much.
I recall several years in a row watching host Johnny Carson with a twinkle in his eye and his sly and gentle humor, and several years when the Oscar show had multiple hosts. Some of the presentations were good and some were bad. I agreed with some of the picks, and disagreed passionately with some. My friends and I would argue about the merits of this movie or that, and which were deserving of the statues they received.
It occurred to me recently, however, that I haven’t actually gone out to see a movie in at least a decade. With the advances of VCR and later DVD technology, I gradually stopped going to see movies at movie theaters. With the ongoing liberalization of Hollywood, I eventually quit seeing most new movie releases all together. The majority of the films I now watch are either delivered from Netflix, or simply viewed on my computer on the honking BIG monitor. And for the most part, they’re not new releases. They’re either classics from the 40s and 50s, schlocky sci-fi, or, surprisingly enough, children’s films.
“What’s the matter with movies today?” I hear you ask. Well, my answer is simple. I don’t like them. They’re too violent; they celebrate crudeness, stupidity, carnage, mayhem, and blood; what humor there is all too often is rooted in misogyny or misanthropy; and there’s always way too much sex. Not that I’m against sex, mind you, but understand that in my world, one of the most romantic scenes in any movie ever is the lovely Lendler dance scene between Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music. I haven’t seen anything like that in a movies since, well, since The Sound of Music.
So I will continue to watch movies online — movies made in a more civilized era, and movies that Hollywood actually does rather well: the solidly G-rated ones. (Note to Hollywood: the Narnia books aren’t the only great kids’ books that could be turned into real actual honest-to-goodness blockbusters. Heather V. Frederick‘s “Patience Goodspeed” series leaps to mind.)
And, somewhat sadly, I will not be watching the Oscars tomorrow night. I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated, and I just don’t care.
However, if Hollywood makes things like this again, maybe I’ll start watching movies again.