I'm a "forever" viewer (on Monday's show Oprah shared that she has watched every Oscar ceremony since 1964; she is presenting at this year's Oscars). I will always watch and care about just about every category. The efforts to invigorate the show mostly improve the overall viewing experience, and that I'm all for.
Here's an interesting article about the ad campaign and production of this year's show.
I've played with the iPhone app (thank you Cup for downloading it for me, as I do not have an iPhone). The platform goes well with the website, which I am loving this year. It's very interactive, you can log in and save your picks for each of the 24 categories. I mentioned it in my nominations blog, but the View Nominee Info feature is fantastic.
Now I'm probably the only one that cares, but last night I reviewed the previous years ballots. I'm not a pack-rat but I do have a small stack of magazines and papers that I have been saving. As the artifacts prove, I have been doing this since 2004. The last two years I have successfully predicted 19 of 24 awards. I really hope this year I can get 20 or more. I've probably just jinxed myself into doing worse, but it won't be for lack of research. Last night I watch Best Documentary Feature nominee Gasland. It's about the water contamination that results in acquiring natural gas, in 34 states. Check out the website and their facebook page. Here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8
Foreign Language and Documentary Feature are the most difficult categories to complete -- two of the foreign films are not released in theaters until April! Many are in the void between theaters and DVD. I'd also like to give a shout out to Laura who two years ago shared the way to see many of the shorts (there are three categories: documentary, live action and animated short). YouTube! Some can be seen on iTunes and previews when no other media are available helps for the trickier categories.