This year? The winners were my wife and I. We took our responsibilities as non-voting non-members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences very seriously. We managed to see almost all of the nominated best picture nominees. This has become much more of a badge of honor since they started nominating dozens of films to make the competition ever more fierce. It also had the effect of pushing our ticket-buying budget to the limit, now that we often pay for three adults to attend a showing, even though one of us has only burgeoning adult skills.
Eight of the nine films at approximately ten dollars a pop, with most of the family attending, we have spent more than two hundred dollars becoming informed on the state of cinema today. I'm not counting the Junior Mints, either. Still, even with this moderate investment, I feel as though we have seen a pretty fine crop of movies over the past year. Some surprised me, like "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Others, such as "Silver Linings Playbook," proved to be more than their outward wrapper. Then there were the ones that came on strong from the very beginning, and maintained their "big movie" status from start to finish, like "Lincoln." At no time this year did I have the feeling that I had been duped, as I did last year with "The Artist." Even when I set to arguing with friends about "Zero Dark Thirty," it was a substantive discussion. I wasn't left with only an empty popcorn bag when it was over.
Still, it's kind of a shame that somebody's going to take home a trophy tonight. It doesn't seem fair. Maybe history will look back at 2012 as another 1939, when seemingly all the classics of that time were released. Or maybe it's just that heady aroma of awards season that has me feeling all sentimental. If only I would have taken the time to see "Amour." If only I would have had the tenacity of my friend who used her pre-Oscar weeks to take in all those animated shorts and documentaries. Maybe next year.