I remember the first time I sat down and watched the Oscars all by myself, all the way through. It was the year that Reese Witherspoon won for best actress, and I was so happy because I must have watched Walk the Line about a hundred times in a row. Then I was very sad because Joaquin Phoenix didn't win for best actor. Ok, so I'll admit that Capote was a great film and the award didn't go to waste, but those two country star players were just amazing together, and I thought how appropriate it would have been for them to both take home the award. Oh well, I'm sure that when Joaquin gets back on the radar and off of his hermit kick he'll get another chance to prove himself.
That was in 2005. Now, 7 years later, I still watch the Oscars every year all the way through to the grueling end, all 24 awards that are presented and sorted, and suffer through some of the musical numbers that have been less than Grammy-worthy. But I really love everything about the show.
This is something I look forward to every year, along with the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the SAG awards... I could go on about why I really award season, but the Oscars are the all-American apple pie of award shows. It's what film actors strive for, the movie role they get that year could be the role that scores them lifetime recognition, and people won't argue about your abilities as an actor onscreen when you've won such a prestigious award. Actors become who they are because of that life-changing award. Even actors that might get made fun of. (Everyone has a Christopher Walken impression, but that doesn't negate the fact that even he won an Oscar and has massive amounts of respect from Hollywood at the end of the day).
Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep because she has worked her entire life to be a better actress day in and day out. Her 17th nomination this year gave her the third Oscar of her career, and she really truly did deserve it. After so many times of being nominated, she's got to win, right? And you should have seen the shock on her face, and her excitement because of how used she had gotten to losing! She's so great that one of her last nominations was for an only ok movie (The Devil Wears Prada) and only Meryl could shine through something like THAT. (Not that it was a bad movie, just saying we didn't foresee Oscar nods from it).
I heard her speech and I cried. And I heard Octavia Spencer's speech, and I cried. When I watched the SAG awards I saw Viola Davis' speech and I bawled my eyes out. Seeing someone feel as though their life's work has truly made it all worth it in the end, makes my soul tingle. I knew I wanted to be an actress when I was five, but when you see actor after actor shake and cry and laugh and yell and whoop and holler, it's no question as to why I want to do what they do. You live the black sheep lifestyle of an artist, you become successful, and you are recognized as being successful. It's an amazing outcome.
Now I'm not saying I want to become an actress just so I can win an Oscar, although of course that would be nice. I am saying that I see their passion and their love for what they do pour out of them in that moment of winning. That's what I want. I want their happiness and love for what they do. 3 out of 4 Americans hate their jobs, and I never want to be one of those people. Award season continues to inspire me, for the love of acting and being an artist. There's nothing like it. Follow your dreams people, you never know what could happen in the end. Maybe you'll simply be inexplicably happy for the rest of your life, who knows.