and I can't help myself - I'm excited about it. Okay, okay, I know it's just a big publicity and money grab - I do get that. But I don't care.
I love every minute of those four hours (or five in the bad years!). I love the red carpet interviews - although I can't bear to watch Joan Rivers do them. I love the clothes, the preening on the runway, the short glimpses into the family lives of actors when they show up with their kids or their mothers or their best friend from high school.
I love the montages - of movies from the past with whatever kind of connection the writers have come up with for this particular year, of the actors and others in the industry who died in the past year, of movies made by a particular actor or director or producer or screenwriter who is being honored with a special award.
I love guessing who will win. I know I should vote with who I know will win but I always vote for the movie or actor or screenplay I love. I - in all cases (politics, movies, dog shows) - vote with my heart instead of my head. Sometimes it works, but usually not. My friend Heather almost always wins the prize for most Oscars right because she's normally better at voting with her head.
I love the speeches - most especially, in the past few years, of the winners of the best foreign film. I'm not sure why that is - but perhaps it's because they're less restrained, more excited, less prepared.
The only thing I really don't like? I really don't like the musical numbers - they're usually bad songs (with a few exceptions such as the year two songs - one by Neil Young, one by Bruce Springsteen - were nominated from the movie Philadelphia).
So here are a few of my guesses for Sunday night -
Best picture: No Country for Old Men (head and heart)
Best actor: this is hard because I thought everyone was great - so I'll stick a pin in the names and come up with - Tommy Lee Jones
Best actress: Marion Cotillard
Best supporting actor: Javier Barden (loved him for years)
Best supporting actress: Tilda Swinton (great great performance)
Best original screenplay: flip a coin between Lars and the Real Girl and Ratatouille both of which I loved
Best adapted screenplay: Away from Her
I could do the entire list but I won't. What are your picks?