The envelopes have been opened and the trophies have been handed out. The standard criticisms have been made toward the Oscars - its bloated length, mixed reaction to the the host, the self-congratulatory aura of the evening - and even though many of these criticisms contain aspects of truth, I remain a devoted fan of the Oscars. The ceremony may drag at times and the Academy is often guilty of rewarding safe films with mass appeal over unique and more daring efforts; yet the Academy Awards are the second most watched television show for a reason: they celebrate the world's most popular art form, rewarding and drawing attention to some of the best films of each year. Yes, the Academy trends populist, but while the Academy gave Oscars to Brave and Searching for Sugarman, two films that were easy to like but paled in comparison to their fellow nominees, the Academy also rewarded more daring and controversial films like Amour and Django Unchained. I will always be interested in participating in this worldwide celebration of film, even if I have to watch Snow White sing with Rob Lowe or James Franco publicly reconsider his recent life choices.
The downside of the Academy Awards is that after each year's nominations and winners, I get further away from completing my Oscar goal. This year, there are four films that won Oscars that I have not yet seen: Django Unchained (two wins), Inocente, Paperman, and Curfew. Django Unchained will be easy to watch, as will Paperman, which Disney has made available online. The last two, the winners in the Documentary and Live Action shorts categories, will be a bit more difficult to track down.
Though I've seen many of the nominated films, I still have to watch 28 of them just to get back to the point I was at last year. The majority of these are in either the shorts, documentary, or foreign films categories, and since I don't live in New York or Los Angeles where these films are most often screened, it's a lot of work to track them down. But I find that almost without fail, the reward is well worth the effort, and I will spend a great deal of time between now and the 86th Academy Awards watching the nominees from this year and previous years, as I seek someday to complete the Every Oscar Ever Project.
Remaining: 3164 films, 876 Oscars, 5434 nominations