Let it Begin: Pre-Gaming for the Oscars

There’s a spot on the couch with my name on it right now, y’all. The Olympics are here, AND the Oscars are coming!

It’s funny, I’m not exactly a film nerd, and never have been. I know this, in part, because I dated a film nerd in college, and there’s no one who can help you define who you aren’t better than your college boyfriend. But I do love movies, and over the last decade-plus, Oscar Night has become one of my most treasured evenings of the year.

Maybe it’s because writers don’t really have a Super Bowl, so the highest profile night in the entertainment industry is the closest thing we can get. [Don’t get me wrong, I hear that the afterparty following the Pulitzer luncheon can get CRAZY! Remember 2006? When Dele Olojede and John Patrick Shanley wore the same tie, and John was all, Dude that’s a dramatist’s tie, I thought we were clear on that and Dele was all like, sorry I guess I was too busy reporting on the haunting aftereffects of genocide and mass rape to take fashion directives from a playwright. BURN! It didn’t make the “Who Wore It Better?” page in People, but it should have…]

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching the Oscars for the past decade-plus with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We’ve now included our spouses and a few other friends in on the tradition. And this year, there’s a chance my friend will be too busy welcoming his own little star into the world to give the Oscars a second thought. I’ll be just as excited to be on baby watch as I will be playing Oscar bingo!

Maybe it’s because at our house, we have evolved the tradition of making Oscar-pun-inspired foods and drinks every year, which means I watch each film with that in the back of my mind. Ooh, Dunkirk is compelling and realistic and cinematically interesting. I wonder if this means I have to serve seafood? 

Whatever the reason, I do love the Oscars. And while I don’t get to as many movies as I’d like, we try to cross at least a few of the Best Picture Noms off our list every January/February so that we can have strong feelings about what happens on that night. Bingo helps, too. And booze. And critiquing the outfits of world’s most glamorous people while sitting at home in my jeans, fuzzy socks and that shirt with the red wine stain on it.

So far this year we’ve managed to see “Dunkirk,” “Darkest Hour,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and “The Post.” We also saw — and loved — “I, Tonya,” “The Big Sick,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Coco,” and… you know it, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which are nominated in other categories. We’re hoping to get in a couple more — “Get Out” and maybe “Lady Bird,” — before Oscar night.

What have you seen and loved this year? Do you watch the Oscars like I do, with a glass of wine and way too much emotional investment? Or do you just flip through the highlights and the best dressed the next day?

 

MJ Pullen

M.J. Pullen is a Distracted Writer and the mom of two boys in Roswell, Georgia, where she is absolutely late for something important right now. Her books include quirky romantic comedies and playful women's fiction. Join her Distracted Readers newsletter list for updates, free content, giveaways and more.

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