Tonight, every seat in my living room was full of movie fans.

We had good food, good drinks, and an amazing chocolate-raspberry pie.

But you know what we didn’t do?

We did not watch the Oscars.

Nope.

Hey, I hear that the show was better than usual. Glad to hear it.

But while the Academy focused on their idea of ‘Best Picture’ nominees… movies that I found forgettable, disposable, predictable, and in one case downright boring… we watched stuff that I find to be much more interesting, memorable, and worth revisitng:

  • Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E (which deserved far more than just Best Animated Feature),
  • Jeff Nichols’ incredible debut Shotgun Stories (my favorite movie of 2008),
  • a series of Heath Ledger’s best moments from The Dark Knight (which was also better, in my opinion, than any of the Best Picture nominees) (and thank you, Academy, for at least recognizing the brilliance of Ledger’s performance),
  • the first ten minutes of Flight of the Red Balloon (which many critics across the country chose as the best film of 2008, and it was #3 on my list),
  • and the first ten minutes of Silent Light (a film that didn’t even register on the Academy’s radar, but which will still be revered decades from now).

And it was interesting…

  • We got through the evening without seeing a single commercial.
  • We didn’t hear a single political diatribe.
  • We didn’t have to listen to Bill Maher.
  • We didn’t suffer through any Oscar montages of past films that shouldn’t have won either.
  • We didn’t have a boring or disappointing minute.

If the Academy learns to tell the difference between gourmet cuisine and typical meat-and-potatoes between now and next year, maybe I’ll find some interest in watching it. But I suspect I’ll have another Non-Oscar Party next year. In fact, I may just make it a tradition. Mark your calendars. You’re invited.

So I’d like to thank the Academy for inspiring me to find something better to do last night. I had a fantastic time.

(Oh, and if I missed anything that was really, really meaningful… there’s always YouTube.)

UPDATE: Yikes! I should have placed bets. I guessed Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Animated Feater, Director… Of course, I don’t *agree* with any of those choices (save Animated Feature), but what else is new?

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