I love the Oscars. The glamour, the beautiful beautiful dresses, Ryan Seacrest interviewing from the red carpet, George Clooney in a tux, sunshine in the dead of night as I try to keep my eyes open sat on my sofa.
My devotion began in 1995 when the ceremony kept me company during a sleep deprived night with the twins at 6 weeks old and me still adjusting to life with two tiny babies in my sole care. The glitz couldn’t have been further away from real life and made a welcome change to the usual Open University programming that would keep me company in the early hours. I was hooked.
Even when I’ve known that a good night’s sleep would be more beneficial than struggling to stay awake, I’ve still be drawn to the ceremony and surrounding hoo-ha like a moth to a flame. My particularly awful passport photo can be blamed on my Oscars all-nighter the night before. I needed to get my passport sorted for a 30th birthday trip with friends. I woke from my minuscule sleep with the deepest of darkest circles beneath my eyes. I also had the first tremors of a heavy cold. I had a decision to make: to have my photo taken looking like the walking dead or to go with the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer look, with luminous nose. As I tend to look scarily pale as I pass through airport security thanks to the strip lighting, greasy food and inevitable delays I decided the former was more representative. I still shudder when I look at the picture, upset that passport control could find any similarity in it to me at all, my eyes dark from Oscar-watching, my face puffy from on-coming cold.
I’ve been there for the good, the bad and the downright weird. For Jennifer Lawrence’s amazing gown last (even if it did trip her up on the stairs), Gwyneth Paltrow’s ill-fitting pink dress, Bjork wearing a swan. For Colin Firth’s acceptance speech, James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts and Sasha Baron-Cohen’s behaviour on the red carpet.
But I shan’t be watching this year. Not because I’ve got anything better to do. Not because of any perceived snubs. Not as a protest against the excesses of Hollywood. But because Husband cancelled our Sky subscription at Christmas after they wanted us to pay £60 for a new box after ours stopped working. I’ve just about coped without my Dancing Moms habit, Boo has made no fuss about the loss of Disney Jr, Netflix has made up for a lot. But tonight I’m bereft.
It’s meant to be a fantastic year. Some amazing films and performances have been nominated, Ellen DeGeneres is back as host, there will be George Clooney in a tux. All I’ll be able to enjoy is a tidal wave of opinion on who wore what on the web and BBC Breakfast presenters desperately trying to get hold of stars to interview on their way to a post-ceremony party, talking excitedly about any British victory, no matter how tenuous.
I’m having withdrawal symptoms already.
The only consolation is that the only field I have any real idea about is Best Animated Feature as I only get to see kids’ films. My money’s on Frozen. As for the rest, I really don’t know. But I do wish I was there to find out.