C'mon Hollywood #152

... Oscar Schmoscar ‘08
by Sturdy

I’ve been watching the Oscars for about 15 years now and I can easily say that this year, more than any other year, I just couldn’t get into the nominated movies. The main reason is probably the fact I hadn’t seen the big winner of the year (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), so I didn’t know whether to root for it or against it. For most categories, I didn’t really care who won or lost, just as long as I placed in the office pool (tied for second baby!). Someone needs to create a Hollywood version of fantasy sports!

Hottest hottie of the night?

So with that in mind, I’ll use this year’s column to rant about the telecast. First and foremost, the Academy Award producers have got to shorten the broadcast even further. Yes, this is the third year in a row I’ve complained about this, but it’s still too long. Every host I’ve seen has always joked about it, but it’s a serious problem. Us poor saps on the East Coast have to stay up until midnight on a work/school day just to watch the big awards. This wasn’t so bad when I was 16, but it’s getting a little rough in my old age. Like I’ve said before, axe the musical numbers and the time slot for the Academy chairman and you got almost 30 minutes right there. This is a common and old complaint, but a three and a half hour award show is ridiculous and it leads to several other problems throughout the night.

Bad. Ass.

For time related problems, I cringe every time a winner gets cut off with the music. If more than one person wins the award, then the first guy can babble on, and the second/third guy gets cut off. I absolutely loved it when Marketa Irglova was brought back onstage to give her acceptance speech. It was classless of them to cut her off in the first place, but it was cool of them to bring her back. For most winners, this is the single biggest achievement of their life, so cut them some slack. To completely contradict myself, winners need to stop babbling. Say your thanks, give your jokes (Tilda) and then move on. When you start to ramble on, it makes you look stupid. Oh, and if you try to name people in your office, or family members, you will inevitably fail to name everyone and someone will be pissed at you.

I don’t care, I thought the bat joke was funny.

The ending of the broadcast also needs some work. We suffer through long montages, musical performances and a worthless producer segment only to have the two biggest awards crammed into a 30 second period. A word of advice to the Academy; if you crammed in the lesser awards, you’d keep your audience at the end. It’s not that we don’t care about the lesser awards, it’s just that we don’t care as much. Most audience members are watching to see a) what everyone is wearing (accomplished before the broadcast even starts) and b) who wins the big 5 awards (accomplished at the very end). Boring us to tears in the middle is not a good way to keep your audience.

What do you think? The next Jack at the Oscars?

Despite the usual complaints, I thought the 2008 Academy Awards were pretty decent. I really like Jon Stewart and it was nice to see him relaxed this time as opposed to the nervous wreck he was his first year. I still like Jack Nicholson and it’s cool that he shows up every year just to sit in the front row and interact with the host. I think some day we’re going to be saying the same thing about George Clooney.

Tags: Hollywood



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