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Apathy for Oscars in and around Scarsdale

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The 84th annual Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday night, but a random survey Friday afternoon turned up very little interest or excitement from Yonkers to Scarsdale.

Most people approached were unaware Sunday is Oscar's big night. In fact, most were indifferent to movies in general, with responses ranging from "I don't go to movies" to "I go once in a while, but I prefer light comedies. I don't do serious movies."

Scarsdale's Olivia Gold wasn't sure which movies were nominated this year and said "I rarely watch movies. I think they're overpriced."

The nominees for Best Movie this year are "The Artist," "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "The Help," "Hugo," "Midnight in Paris," "Moneyball" (written by Scarsdale native Aaron Sorkin) , "The Tree of Life," and "War Horse."

Mark A. Jessamy of Yonkers, was an exception Friday. His pick for the big prize? "The Artist."

"It reaches back to the old goodie bag," he said. "It's genuine. You get material like that, it's like grandma's recipe – you can't mess it up. Look at music, anything in the arts. People are going back to the old school. Even rappers are going back to traditional R&B."

Jessamy, a professional photographer, was taken with the concept and the visuals of the film. "To produce a movie without sound, it's like making a movie for a blind person. It heightens the awareness of all the other senses."

And while not a lot of locals professed film fandom, there are several Westchester County connections among those nominated for awards. Two of the Best Actress candidates – Glenn Close ("Albert Nobbs") and Rooney Mara ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") – are claimed by Bedford, with Close a current resident and Mara a native. Best Adapted Screenplay nominee Aaron Sorkin ("Moneyball") is a Scarsdale High School alum. Scarsdale's Julie Anderson produced "God is the Bigger Elvis," a nominated documentary short, and Tarrytown's Rebecca Cammisa directed. Another nominated documentary short, "Incident in New Baghdad," was written by Katonah's James Spione. Also Northern Westchester's Joe Berlinger co-wrote the nominated documentary feature "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory."

The Oscar telecast, hosted by Billy Crystal, begins at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

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