Armed with Oscar ballots, on the couch | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Feb 23, 2019

The 91st Academy Awards extravaganza – also known as the Oscars – takes place this Sunday, offering hours of entertainment in a Hollywood theater filled with glitz and glamour. Oscar awards will be presented to honor best films, finest acting and numerous other aspects of the industry.

Academy press releases say hundreds of millions of movie fans will tune in to watch Sunday on TV as movie stars arrive, showing off how they’ve dressed for the elegant Academy Awards, providing a glimpse of a world unfamiliar to most who watch.

Much of the early attention will be on the gowns worn by movie stars as they exit their limos and step carefully onto the red carpet, wearing designer evening gowns created especially for them – the most daring ones held in place by double-faced tape!

Glittering with sequins, brilliant with color, ladylike in pastels, dramatic in black, sleek or fluffy, stars wear borrowed jewelry worth tens of thousands of dollars. Oh, it’s all very elegant, yes.

I know that many women get together annually for the Academy Awards. I’m in a group we call the Chick Flicks.

We’ve met twice monthly for a long time to view films, ranging from black-and-white classics to recent hits – or near-hits, sometimes documentaries, sometimes foreign films. We create a list of films individuals suggest, vote on them in the spring and watch the winners beginning in the fall.

On Oscar day, midafternoon on Sunday, we’ll begin showing up to watch the arrival of the stars. We’ll bring Oscar-worthy snacks, and – armed with ballots that some already will have filled out before they arrive, while others take blanks – we claim places on a couch in front of the TV.

Several of us begin arbitrarily picking out favorites in every category, quickly, whether or not we’ve ever seen the films or even heard of the stars. Of course, we know even less about the behind-the-films pros who direct or design costumes or makeup, create animation or foreign films.

We vote, whether we have a clue or not. It’s simply good fun to relax together, in sweaters, jeans and socks, watching the glamour of the evening unfold.

In the meantime, of course, there are households tuned in to hockey games or basketball, the Discovery channel, “Living off the Grid,” “Doc Martin” or a shopping channel, not once checking on the progress of the Academy Awards.

They relax on the couch with a book, a bowl of popcorn and a cat, and keep one eye on the TV screen or one ear on music. Maybe they doze off, which doesn’t often happen to those watching the Oscars with friends.

I always like thinking there’s something for everybody.

By Sunday late evening, the Chick Flicks and the rest of the world will know whether “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “A Star Is Born” or “Green Book” won best picture – or one of four other nominees.

Will the best actor award have gone to Bradley Cooper, Rami Malek or someone else? Will the best actress award have gone to Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Glenn Close or another talented woman?

We’ll end the evening by tallying our ballots – the majority probably the result of wild guesses – and everyone will go home with prizes and visions of beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes.

I’d vote for sweaters, jeans, socks and a cat, most any day of the week, but Oscar night with the Chicks is great fun.


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