During my thirty years as a movie watcher, my relationship with the Oscars has been through three distinct phases. The first, love and respect, involved passionate interest and rooting - in those days, when my picks didn't win I was befuddled, and would spend days talking to friends, sincerely trying to sort out the reasoning behind each disputed decision. When Dances with Wolves wiped the floor with Goodfellas, for example, I figured I must have missed something. What angle was I not getting that those wise members of the Academy had seen?

Eventually, though, I wised up and entered phased two: desperate hatred. The passion remained, but the respect was completely gone. During this period, I was actually thrilled when Forrest Gump won best picture, because it confirmed how stupid all of the voters were, and allowed me to triumphantly unload whatever projectiles were nearby at the television (eventually I armed myself with a hamper full of balled up socks - too many things were getting broken).