I used to love the Academy Awards, even when the choices stank. The nominations came out, we'd be surprised, we'd rush to the theaters. The suspense!
There weren't any other major award shows (except the Golden Globes, and that was like bad community theater).
We could hardly wait for that night of nights ...
Now we get award shows every other night: the Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, the Indie Spirits, the Critics Choice, the People's Choice, the Pregnant Vegans Choice . . .
I made the last one up, though maybe it exists.
Critics in every city give awards. There are websites, read by millions that prattle all year, 365 days, about awards.
For "The King's Speech," Colin Firth has accepted awards from critics in New York and L.A. and from BAFTA in London and the Globes and Screen Actors Guild.
He'll win an Oscar tonight: He's not a lock - he's a lock locked in a lock!
What does he have left to say? "Oooh, this is a surprise!" ?
I wish it were. I also wish people spent less time thinking about competition as if each movie were a contestant on "American Idol" - and more about, well, the movie.
Given that, it would be the height of hypocrisy to give my own predictions.
Not this year.
OK, one last time.
"The King's Speech," that'll win, because older voters suspicious of those dang Internet punks won't vote for the other favorite, "The Social Network." My pick, "Winter's Bone," was lucky to be nominated - I was thrilled - but that's it.
Best Actor, we know. I will say if there's anything people in show business relate to, it's the existential terror of standing before a crowd and not being able to talk. Firth nails it.
Best Actress? Natalie Portman lost all that weight and suffered mightily. And because you see the acting, which is the key to winning acting awards (even though some of the greatest acting looks effortless), she'll win.
I like Annette Bening.
Supporting Actor will be Christian Bale for "The Fighter" because, again, you see the acting - and weight loss.
And Melissa Leo in the same film: the hair, the accent, the acting!
Don't misunderstand: I love Bale and Leo. But I have a suspicion - it saddens me - that they and others act with an ever-present vision of that golden statuette.
We all have it these days.
Go away. Get.