Today is one of my favorite days of the year. From the time I was a preteen, I’ve been glued to the television for the preshow and the awards broadcast. When I first started watching, the awards were on a weeknight and often coincided with the end of March Madness. My father would kindly surrender the television to me when the awards started, but not too long after he gave me my own tv for my birthday.

Now that the awards on a Sunday, there’s practically a whole day of fashion details and movie clips to revel in. How could I not love an event that combines movies and fashion, two of my favorite things? I love looking at the gowns on the red carpet and choosing favorites (ideally talking them over with good friends while sipping champagne and munching popcorn). I love the drama of the awards themselves, the movie clips, the montages of scenes from old movies.

I used to try to see at least all the best picture nominees before the awards and most of the movies with the acting and writing nominations as well. As I’ve got older and my life’s got more complicated, I don’t get to the movies as much. But this year I did manage to see An Education, A Single Man, and Up in the Air, all three of which I thought were fabulous, with superb acting and directing and, perhaps most important to me, superb, beautifully structured scripts with intriguing twists and sharp act structure. Interesting, layered characters, unexpected plot developments, sharp dialog, rich emotions. None have what one would think of as a traditional happy ending, but all left me with the exhilarating feeling that comes from really good creative work. All three lingered with me after I saw them. A great year for movies, and I haven’t even seen The Hurt Locker or Avatar or Precious or Invictus

Do you enjoy the Academy Awards? Which of the movies did you see this year? What are your favorites? And, if you’re commenting after the awards, what were your favorite outfits?