By: Mary Fran Bontempo

And the Oscar goes to…

Something about those five words just gets me. I suppose the Academy Awards, or “Oscars,” as they are affectionately called, are my annual opportunity to sit on my couch in my sweats and pass judgement on those larger-than-life members of the Hollywood glitterati who are otherwise untouchable.

It’s not that my opinions matter at all, but there’s something about seeing the mighty ones sitting their handsomely attired derrieres in auditorium-style seats, secretly thinking, “Pick me! Pick me!” that levels the playing field a bit.

Of course, the seats are plush, hardly the kind I sat on in my “cafa-gyma-torium” days. (The cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium combo of my youth, and thanks to Ray Romano for that term.) And the eager wanna-be’s are clearly better dressed than I ever was in my ill-fitting gym uniform.

But just knowing that Hollywood’s elite are experiencing a little of the ansgt I always felt as the perennial wanna-be makes me feel a bit closer to the glamour. And the handsome leading men. Are you listening, Bradley Cooper?

This year’s show promises to be interesting, with sharp-tongued funnyman Seth McFarlane at the helm. McFarlane is the guy behind the crude television series, Family Guy, as well as the equally crude film, Ted, which starred Mark Wahlberg and did boffo box office, but is nominated for nothing, a fact I don’t expect McFarlane to gloss over. I don’t mind seeing the full of themselves take a few punches, but hopefully, McFarlane won’t slither into Ricky Gervais territory. We’ll see.

Regardless, the roster of nominees is rich this year, especially in the Best Picture category. Argo and Zero Dark Thiry are both tense, outstanding takes on true-life events, while Silver Linings Playbook is a funny, touching, equally intense depiction of the dramedy life is with a person struggling with mental illness.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of those films that haunts you long after it’s over, especially given the performance of its also nominated young star, Quvenzhane Wallis, who is simply a revelation. And Les Miserables, though it’s disappointed some lovers of the play (me included) given the weakness of the voices, does soar in its dramatic performances (except for Russell Crowe–What were they thinking?).

Although I haven’t seen it, I’m betting Lincoln will come out the big winner. Word is that Daniel Day Lewis is astonishing as the president, and the film is amazing. I’m waiting for it On Demand, when I can be near my fridge–2 plus hours of Civil War drama will call for lots of snacks.

The Oscars air with festivities beginning at 7 PM, Sunday, February 24th on ABC. Be sure to tune in and before then, have some fun and choose your winners on the Oscar site. And if you think of it, send up a few prayers for Bradley Cooper.

He’s not likely to win Best Actor, but I sure wouldn’t mind a close up or two of those baby blues. Enjoy!