Kristen Meinzer, Associate Producer
Kristen Meinzer is an associate producer for The Takeaway and co-host of The Takeaway's Movie Date podcast.
It’s February 4, less than three and a half weeks before the Academy Awards telecast. For some people, three and a half weeks might seem like the perfect time to start discussing the big awards show. But if I had my way, everybody in America would be talking about the Oscars every day of the year. I already do. And now I'm blogging about the big show as much as I possibly can.
In fact, I refer to Oscars day as “The Most Magical Day of the Year.” And when I say TMMDOTY, my closest friends know I’m not talking about my birthday.
Just to give you an idea of how important the Oscars are to me, let’s look through my datebook from the past year.
March 8, 2010 – It’s the day after the Oscars, and I’m looking at every website that covers movies and fashion to deconstruct the highs and lows of the big night. I’m excited, but the post-Oscars depression has already started to set in. I can’t help but feel a little cheap and used. My expectations were so high, and as usual the Academy let me down in more than a few ways. Seriously, why did Sandra Bullock win?
March 14, 2010 – Full on post-Oscars depression hits.
March 26, 2010 – Watch "Hot Tub Time Machine" and other non-Oscar worthy movies for the next month, awaiting release of potential nominees for next year.
April 16, 2010 – See my first Oscar nominee for best documentary: "Exit through the Gift Shop." Very clever!
May 30, 2010 – Word is out about certain movies that will be released on Christmas. Among them, a new Coen brothers movie called "True Grit." I decide that this will be this year’s Christmas movie.
June 18, 2010 – See my first Oscar nominee for best animated feature: "Toy Story 3." Cry like a baby. There’s buzz from the get-go that it will get nods for both Best Picture and Best Animated Feature. The buzz ends up being correct.
July 9, 2010 – See my first non-animated best picture contender: "The Kids Are All Right." Convinced from the get go that both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore will get nods, and that it will be nominated for Best Picture as well. In the end, Annette and Mark Ruffalo get nods, Julianne doesn’t, and there are additional nods, including best picture.
August 20, 2010 – Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview hits news stands. I begin making decisions about what will be nominated, and what won’t, but still see (and enjoy) Jennifer Aniston in "The Switch."
October 1, 2010 – "The Social Network" hits theatres. Awards buzz heats up. Oscar season is finally upon us.
Week of November 30 – Attend ten press screenings of potential Oscar nominees in one week – including "Black Swan," "The Fighter," and "True Grit." "True Grit" blows me away.
December 14, 2011 – The Academy’s slutty cousin, the Hollywood Foreign Press, announces their nominations for the Golden Globes. "True Grit" is shut out. I am livid.
December 25, 2010 – It’s the day when most of the final potential Oscar nods are released. Watch "True Grit" again.
December 31, 2010 – It’s the last official day that films can be released to be eligible for Oscar nominations.
January 16, 2011 – The Golden Globes telecast airs, and even though we all know that only about half the awards they give out legitimately predict the Oscars, we all watch anyway, and love it. "The Social Network" wins best picture, but everyone’s more interested in the fact that host Ricky Gervais is totally crass, a little mean, and incredibly hilarious.
January 25, 2011 – The Oscar nominations are announced. "The King’s Speech" leads with twelve nominations, "True Grit" is close behind with ten. Take that, Globes!
Please note: These aren’t the only moments that I thought about the Oscars over the past year. I really think about them almost everyday. I'm thinking about them right now, as you read this. I strategize about how to see all of the nominees, even the documentary shorts and best sound editing. I make my Oscar viewing plansmonths in advance. And I cherish my favorite Oscar viewing memories, which I will share with you when the time is right. Stay tuned.