In my annual attempt to see as many Academy Award nominated movies as possible, later tonight I'm going to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I'm as equally enthusiastic to see "Slumdog Millionare" but my friend Libby (who will be joining me) said that feelgood movies make her feel like crap. Libby has a way of putting things that bewilder me and win my sympathies at the same time. So "The Button" it is. I plan to see the "Slumdog" later in the week by myself.
Before you go feeling sorry for me, you must know that I love seeing movies alone. It's something I started doing when I was 13 because The Outsiders was my favorite book, and that's what Ponyboy Curtis did. The first movie I saw by myself was "Scrooged" and I remember feeling weird about it at first. During a funny part there was no one to look over at to see if they were laughing too. Laughing at a scene just because I alone thought it was funny felt kind of like talking to myself. I think it's because when I'm with another person or a group, seeing a movie is a true social experience. I'm more likely to laugh if the person next to me is laughing too and not because I don't have my own sense of humor. It's like I'm saying, "I think this is funny. Do you too think this is funny? Excellent. We are having a marvelous time."
But there are some movies that for me to fully experience them, I need quiet. "Schindler's List" comes to mind. God, after I saw that alone I don't think I spoke for the rest of the day. I don't think it would have been the same experience if I'd gone with a friend or one of my sisters. I would have felt pressured to talk when we stepped out into the daylight, and I probably wouldn't have felt like talking at all. A movie that is done well, or hell any art form that is done well, leaves me with too much to think about. Only, unlike most of the things I overthink, the thoughts and emotions I have after a good movie are not a burden. It's a storm that I leaves me happily soaked.
And yet for all this love of movies, I don't think I've seen a single one this year that I really wanted to see. Like "Rachael Getting Married," "Changling," "In Bruges," "Slumdog Millionare," "Schenectady, NY" and "Tropic Thunder." Yes. That last one was a joke. See how funny I am on my own? Ha. I need to get crackin' on the ones I can rent. Only 19 days until the awards (bites nails with anticipation)! I hate watching it without knowing a single thing about the movies that are nominated. Sure I could watch it for the fashion, the the social commentary, the tense moments when someone legendary like Peter O'Toole is run offstage by the symphany for talking too long. Because, damnit, there are commercials to think about.
And at the moment there is breakfast to think about. What does a sophisticated moviegoer like myself have for breakfast, you ask? Fancy bagels? Homemade grits with bacon puree and a slice of papaya on the side? No, no, nothing that Hollywood. Oatmeal and coffee. Not sheek enough, you say? I'll bet you a hundred dollars that Anne Hathaway wishes she could have a Pop Tart while she walks down the red carpet. Now, whether I see any of the nominated movies or not, THAT would be worth watching.