Considering My Relationship with the Oscars

In case you missed my Red Carpet interview, I wore an emerald-colored gown to the Oscars.

When I was 17, this is what I planned to wear to the Oscars....
When I was 17, this is what I planned to wear to the Oscars….

It was a strapless number, structured through the bodice but draping effortlessly from the hips. There are understated gold embellishments that are really only visible when I move — an effect for the Red Carpet paparazzi. It’s vaguely inspired by Whoppie Goldberg’s spoof of Scarlet O’Hara’s curtain gown….. It’s a knock-out, sure to land me on every best dressed list.

And with an imaginary flash of the photographer’s camera, and an adieu to Ryan Seacrest, the daydream ends and I remember: I was not at the Oscars.

When my friend Annie and I were writing our respective masters’ theses, we’d often procrastinate by conjuring up our Oscar nights. I’d always more or less return to the same scenario — attending on the arm of Gerard Butler in my jewel-toned gown with baubles by Harry Winston.

This year, I went with Bradley Cooper….

Anyway, all of this bring me to the point that, when it comes to the Oscars, all I really care about is the clothes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched the Oscars having seen enough of the nominated movies to give any intelligent input about which deserves what. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions.

I took it very personally the year Russell Crow lost to Denzel Washington for Best Actor. In fact, I was so miffed that I refused to see any Denzel Washington movie since Training Day, for which he won the award. That’s right, I won’t be seeing Flight anytime soon. (Though, I’ve watched Remember the Titans more times than I care to admit…we all make concessions….)

Every year, there’s a movie nominated for Best Picture that I absolutely refuse to see, under any circumstance.

In 2009, it was Avatar. (still haven’t seen it)

I won't see Lincoln... and it's not just because Daniel Day Lewis looks like he's wearing a Halloween costume...
I won’t see Lincoln… and it’s not just because Daniel Day Lewis looks like he’s wearing a Halloween costume…

In 2013, it’s Lincoln. Don’t ask why… you’ll be here for hours….

Oh, and Les Mis. I won’t see Les Mis. I didn’t like it on Broadway, and I don’t expect to like it on the big screen. Even if Russell is in it… So I’m just not going to watch it.

Ever.

I saw Argo and I loved it.

It wasn’t an extraordinary movie, on par with some of the great films in history, but there was something about it’s understated quality and veracity that made it incredibly watchable, dare I say riveting. I want it to win something.

I wished I’d seen Zero Dark Thirty. I’ll probably catch it when it hits Netflix.

When Katherine Bigelow beat out ex hubby and mega egoist James Cameron in all the important categories with her Hurt Locker (hands down one of the most memorable and powerful movies ever made) I was positively giddy. So, I’m secretly (and with blind prejudice) pulling for her latest film to take home some big awards.

If Ann Hathaway walks home with that Oscar this year, there’s a good chance I’ll throw something at the television.

Unless she’s wearing something fantastic…

For the actors, the Oscars mean a lifetime achievement. For me? It's all about the clothes...
For the actors, the Oscars mean a lifetime achievement. For me? It’s all about the clothes…

 

“The Social Network” is a Terrible Movie, but We Say we Love it Anyway

All these critics agree -- The Social Network is a landmark film. Maybe I watched the wrong movie.

News Feed: “Facebook is now in a complicated relationship with The Social Network.”

I may be the last person on the planet who, before this weekend, had not seen “The Social Network.” Now that I’ve caught up, I wish I was still the last person on the planet who hadn’t seen “The Social Network.”

My opinion of the movie has little to do with the fact that I was friends with Mark Zuckerberg in public school. We weren’t extremely close, but I knew him well enough that my mother was willing to make him the sole exception to the “No Dating Until You’re 18” rule (oh! Mothers and their power of foresight!). “The Social Network” is not a bad movie because it’s an inaccurate portrayal of one of the most enigmatic (and powerful) characters of our generation. It’s a bad movie because it’s superficial, boring, and disjointed.

Our obsession with Facebook and its creator is a complicated one that dictates the way we respond to “The Social Network.” Until recently, Zuckerberg stayed out of the spotlight. When we did see him interviewed, he was reticent, brilliant but hard to relate to. The lawsuits attacking possible underhanded dealings threatened to take Facebook from us. We knew there were a few of them, but what were they about? And yet, while there were those who tried to halt its forward march, “to Facebook” became an action we can’t live without.

We’re inclined to like “The Social Network” because as Facebook rapidly penetrated every click and every interaction, we craved a  neat summary of how this idea born in a Harvard dorm room transformed into a global phenomenon — a phenomenon that has irrevocably changed the way people connect.

In a world where getting their first determines "coolness," The Social Network is only cool because it told the facebook story first.

We live in a world where getting there first is the principal criteria for “coolness,” the leading criteria for critical acclaim. The iPod will always trump other mp3 players because it got there first. “The Social Network” will always trump future Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg movies because it was the first to tell us the Facebook story. Stephen Holden of the NYTimes calls it “a once-in-a-generation movie,” and it is, simply because the next Facebook movie is another decade in the making.

Facebook is an empowering platform that  allows us to not only communicate, but to curate our lives.  It enables us to pick and choose and update the details that shape the way we’re perceived by our peers. We have become objects in an online museum where our solo-exhibits change as frequently as we choose. Even if Facebook one day implodes, an unlikely event now that it’s so ingrained in our social and digital fabric, we will never revert to the old ways of locating, messaging, and digitally relating to people.

That’s the true Oscar-caliber performance of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. Sorkin’s and Fincher’s snooze fest pales in comparison.