Today the world is abuzz about the Oscar Nominations. But the only Oscar I’m familiar with is that grouch who lives in the trashcan. Because when it comes to dramatic portrayals, his genre seems to be the only one with which I’m all that familiar.
That’s not to say that I dislike movies. In fact, I used to be a movie junkie. But that was some time ago. And though it’s hard to pick a point in time when I stopped going to the movies, I can tell you this much for certain. Since 2004, I’ve seen exactly three movies in the theater — Up, Curious George, and Wall-E. And given those titles, I’m pretty sure I know why I’ve virtually stopped going to the movies altogether.
Life got in the way. To be more specific, kids got in the way. I went from being a carefree bachelor to becoming the father of four in the blink of an eye. During that transition, much changed. Attending movies was one of them. And as a result, I know alarmingly little about the Hollywood scene.
Quite literally, of the 10 movies nominated for best picture, I was familiar with exactly 1 — Toy Story 3. Of the men nominated for best actor? I was familiar with only 2 out of the 5 — Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges, who, incidentally was epic in The Big Lebowski — a movie made toward the end of my movie-going career.
I did better with the leading ladies, knowing 3 of the 5. I thought I knew 4 of them until I Googled Michelle Williams and realized that I had her confused with Wendy Williams. (Thank goodness Wendy’s not made it to the big screen!)
So how does a guy who’s pretty well up to speed with all things pop culture become so glaringly ignorant in the category of movies? Two words. Time constraints. My motive for abandoning movies is the same as my motive for abandoning golf — both take too long. My weekends no longer have the three to four hour windows these activities require.
That’s not to say that I feel movies are a waste. Quite the contrary. I think going to movies is a fine way to spend time. But that is to say that virtually every person who becomes a parent must pick and choose a few things which they can live without in order to make room for all the time-consuming responsibilities which accompanied their bundle of joy.
And though it wasn’t a conscious choice, it’s now become evident that one of the things I gave up in order to make time for parenting was movies. Which means that I won’t be watching the Academy Awards this year. So, please, by all means, feel free to tell me who won all the big awards.
Just make sure you have a picture of those winners handy in the event I don’t have the foggiest idea who they are!