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Feb. 28 2012

Does popularity breed contempt?

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 2 Comments

Jim & I actually watched the Oscars this past Sunday – a first for us, & we’ve been together since 2001. We don’t usually tune in to awards shows because they are so long & commercial-packed; if I want to see fashion pics from such events, there are plenty of websites that will help me do so, some in real time. (Jim loves this because it ensures that he has the TV all to himself if there’s an interesting basketball game on. Yes, we only own one TV.) This year, however, our friends J & Page invited us to an Oscar-viewing party, and as we have a very hard time turning down an evening filled with great food, wine, & company, off we went. A good time was had by all & I even won the “Oscars picks” game, in which the guest who correctly guessed the most award-winners was rewarded with a bottle of wine – pretty funny given that “The Artist” was the only nominee I’d actually seen.

An oft-heard complaint re: the Academy  is that “movies people have actually seen” – in other words, mainstream, multiplex films – don’t get nominated. I mentioned this to Mark Malinowski on Monday morning & his reply was perfectly logical: the Oscars are supposed to be about rewarding the best films, which are not necessarily those that sell the most tickets. Giving out gold statues to honor the slew of generic rom-coms & special-effects-driven action films that come out of Hollywood every year would be like awarding a Michelin star to a “casual dining” restaurant. Of course, most of us eat such fare far more often than we do haute cuisine, but isn’t that why we appreciate the “good stuff” when we have it? A really fine meal doesn’t just fill us up; it delights our senses, opens us to new experiences, & perhaps even makes us think by presenting familiar elements in a new way. So does a great film.


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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

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