Watching all the movies nominated for the big eight Oscar categories was…well…fun.  That’s why we did it, right?  Either that, or I’ve just said that so many times I’ve managed to convince myself.  While the highlight of the experience may have been watching There Will Be Blood with Dick Cheney (yes, really), lots of fun stuff happening along the way.  Here’s a few (and apologies to anything I missed):

  •  Finally getting this thing off the ground.  The early movies (e.g. American Gangster, Eastern Promises) didn’t quite live up to all their Oscar buzz.  They were also the only movies we saw with Adam…heck, they were the last time we saw Adam until the Oscars.
  • Showing up like two hours early for the free Juno screening.  Where we got a free bright orange shirt reading “Paulie Bleeker is Totally Boss”.  And I still don’t understand why that was on the shirt.  We saw a high school math teacher there.  I had a conversation with another theater patron about Fracture (I didn’t like it, she loved it), which was a movie I never expected to discuss with anyone.  Brian, John, Gavin, and I all saw a poster for, and discussed how little we wanted to see…
  • The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.  It could be argued that, for me, this movie validated the whole enterprise.  Because I otherwise never would have seen a movie I so thoroughly enjoyed (to a lesser extent the same goes for A Mighty Heart).  While sitting in the front row because the movie sold out (forcing John and Dorothy to go see The Bucket List).
  • Bearing witness to perhaps the most perfect group of karaokers ever in some dive bar near the Arlington Drafthouse.  Only to find that they weren’t going to show the movie due to…the manager wanting to go home.
  • Finally seeing that movie, Lars and the Real Girl, and realizing (through the billowing smoke of the person in front of me who was apparently so happy to smoke in a theater he was going through an entire pack at a time) that it would be My Movie for the year.
  • Seeing I’m Not There at the Avalon, which I had passed by over 300 times without ever seeing a movie.  Granted, it wasn’t always open for business the whole time.
  • Seeing The Counterfeiters at the National Geographic Society with free beer, fruit, cheese and crackers, brownies, and cookies.
  • That moment after The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford when I realized, “Wow.  It is over.”
  • Watching the Oscars and being able to talk intelligently (well, ok, I won’t make the joke) about the movies nominated.
  • Doing this all with my fellow Grouches.  Believe me, a huge reason this all was so much fun was being able to see and talk about these movies with you guys.  And the all-too-rare occasions where I could make fun of you for liking stupid movies.  Many thanks, and here’s to another great year.  We’re hoping we can keep things going until next Oscar season starts heating up.