C'mon Hollywood #197
... Oscar Schmoscar ‘09
Usually, I use this yearly column to point out the reoccurring problems I have with the Academy Awards ceremony. I joked earlier that I could just cut and paste the same column because the Oscars have the same, annoying problems from year to year; long montages, boring president speeches, unnecessary song performances, etc. But this year, a few things seemed to have clicked with the Academy director and aside from one glaring failure, it was a pretty decent show.
Amy Adams is adorable, but in that “kid-sister” kind of way.
There were many positives to talk about, but let me get the big negative out of the way first. But before I do, I want to point out that even though there are many things we assume about the Oscars, there is only one thing we know for certain; who was nominated for what. So any grand acknowledgement of the nominees is a delay in getting to the point. Of course, it was completely unnecessary to bring out five former winners for the acting awards and have them give individual soliloquies to the current nominees. Didn’t it feel a little awkward to you? It was a near-impossible thing to pull off. Even if they had managed to get the best/most famous actors, the task of writing five interesting speeches for each award is futile. They have no chance of saying anything about that actor we don’t know and the whole world is waiting for them to shut up and get to the winner. For me, it was a drag and a glaring negative on an otherwise enjoyable show.
Hugh is great, and he went the whole night without plugging Wolverine.
Okay, now for the positives. Kudos to Hugh Jackman for giving us something to watch during the Oscars. I always enjoyed Billy Crystal’s musical montages to open up the show and I thought Jackman’s number was on par with some of Crystal’s best. I also liked the musical number in the middle of the show. That was much better than sitting through a long montage. It was nice to see the montages focus on the movies that came out last year, rather than celebrating all the films that have ever been released. It gave the show a feeling of being more relevant. I also really liked how they did the Best Song award. Rather than three long, boring songs, we get one performance that covers all three songs. It worked for the songs nominated, but I wonder how they would’ve covered Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” had it been nominated.
I bet they were devastated they didn’t win; it’s not like they have anything else positive in their lives.
Every year I watch the Oscars, I always think to myself that there is something wrong with the Oscars that extends beyond the broadcast or the snubs. I think I finally figured it out this year when I realized there are no “oh shit” moments with the Oscars. It’s not something that’s necessarily fixable, but there wasn’t one single surprise on Sunday night. In fact, I can’t think of a genuine surprise at the Academy Awards since SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE beat out SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. That was the last time the Oscars sparked emotion out of me. I think the only way they can generate an element of surprise is if they become the first awards show instead of the last. By the time the Oscars run around, we knew all the major winners because there’s no reason to believe SLUMDOG will win every single award but the Oscar. Moving the Oscars up to the end of December would do wonders for the show. I know people would be concerned that wouldn’t give the voters enough time to see the movies, but studios will have to adjust by sending out their bribes…err…reviewer discs early.