Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (27/02/11)

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The Independent Online


Perhaps it's a sign of getting old, but certain events (my parents' wedding anniversary; the Last Night of the Proms...) come around more frequently as time goes by. The Oscars, however, just become longer every year. You can feel the tension in the auditorium as third assistant grips set their jaws and vow that they will not rush their speeches to make more time for this year's Gwynnie moment. By the time the Best Anyone You've Heard Ofs come along, most of the A-listers in the room must be crippled with indigestion in their prize-winning corsets. Most folk at home have lost the will to live.

Maybe next year, the Oscars could be produced by the Reduced Shakespeare Company. The Academy Awards in Three Minutes would be, for most people, just about right.


The one brilliant thing about the Oscars, as every British person knows, is how proud and patriotic we are all going to feel when the wonderful The King's Speech sweeps the board. We are convinced of this, and have bet on the results. We've never been so sure of anything since England drew the US in the first round of last year's World Cup and we all knew for certain that we would win the tournament. Unless, of course, we were Scottish. In which case we remember how thrilled we were the last time Andy Murray was guaranteed to win Wimbledon.

If there's one thing that the Brits are good at (and it's touch and go whether we're even good at one thing), it is indefatigable faith against all the odds. We are convinced that we are destined for all sorts of sporting glory, even though most of us don't remember it ever happening. And we're always pretty sure that those Americans are going to recognise our talent this time and give us all the gongs.

If there were an award for indomitable belief in our own ability, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the British would win it every year. Perhaps a new Oscar category could be added with this in mind. Unfortunately, everybody would be asleep by the time it's awarded.