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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Oscar parties, now and then

This week, I put together a list of local Oscar parties, many of which support worthy causes and all of which sound like a blast. Back when I wasn’t writing about movies for a living, and thus was free on Oscar night, I would regularly get invited to a fancy Oscar party at a friend’s house. The living room would be lavishly decorated with streamers and balloons, and when you entered you’d pick a name from a hat that contained nominee’s names. If the person whose name you picked won an Oscar, you’d win a statuette too, and could get up and make an acceptance speech during the commercial break. I remember winning once but not for whom; somebody bizarre, I think. And there was lots of food and champagne and sarcastic yet witty remarks shouted at the screen, and a fine time was had by all.
I’ve always, always watched the Oscars; even as a kid, my parents enjoyed it and we’d have dinner in front of the TV set (a rare occurrence) and watch the whole thing. (Back then I was mostly watching to see the dresses — and, to a certain extent, I still am). But these days, Oscar night means heading down to the office on a Sunday afternoon, all dressed up (I’ve successfully managed to implement Oscar night at the office as a formal affair) and carrying homemade cookies. There’ll be a few of us here — me, a couple of editors, a graphics person, a Web person, some random people who wander down from the main newsroom’s evening shift wondering why we’re all wearing rhinestones — and we’ll order in Chinese food and watch the show. I’ll be blogging with one hand and writing a story for the print edition of the paper with the other, or at least that’s what it feels like. As the show progresses and the deadline looms, it gets a little stressful, and by the end I’m frantically writing the opening paragraph to my story (Oscar stories get written, by necessity, from the bottom up) while somebody stands behind me and hisses something about press deadlines. And then I get to stop and let the editors do the rest of the work, while I finally get some Chinese food and drink the evening’s fifth Diet Coke. And then I go home and collapse with a glass of wine. It’s fun, in a blurry sort of way, though I have to say, not quite as much fun as an Oscar party.
So, what are your Oscar-night traditions? (And don’t forget to drop by at noon tomorrow and join my Oscars live chat.)

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