I love awards shows. Well, movie awards shows. And really only the Golden Globes and the Oscars. But how I love those two. I print ballots for everyone in the family. I sip champagne and voice my opinions freely on what people are wearing and what they are saying in their speeches and so on. That said, I’m not too cray-cray with things. I don’t watch the pre-show coverage for hours. I don’t care what the Fashion Police think about the outifts. I have been known to google Oscar fashions though and pour over those pictures for a while. Alright, enough. I have a point here. After watching the Academy Awards last night I’m starting to feel like the old gal is getting long in the tooth. Stale. Predictable. It’s as if the mother of all awards shows is being cannibalized by all her offspring. The Globes are boozy and loose. The Indepenent Spirit Awards let the hippies congratulate one another for their artsy films. The SAG awards are your peers patting you on the back. By the time Uncle Oscar rolls around, we’ve been there, done that. The whole race has been handicapped out of any personality. You know who’s going to win. You know the show’s going to run long. (more on that in a minute) Hell, you even know what most people are going to wear and who they’re going to bring as a date. With Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc. the spontaneity has been sucked from the show. Why do the producers of the Oscars spend so much time on montages filled with movie scenes we’ve committed to memory by now and allow so little time for performers to accept their awards? That’s the one spot where a sliver of silliness might emerge. A one handed pushup a la Jack Palance, maybe. Remember that? Or Adrien Brody dipping Halle Berry and planting a wet kiss on her. Unexpected. Memorable. Why did the Academy expand the Best Picture category to include ten films? Too much riff-raff in there now plus all those five minute trailers for each pic eat too much time. Much has been said today about uber-host Billy Crystal, of whom I am a fan. My husband and I have basically memorized “City Slickers.” He, too was I hate to say, stale. Jokes seemed dated. The opening song seemed long and frankly difficult to hear. I’m sure someone in audio got fired today. That brings me to whether we need a host or not. Don’t we really just want to see the stars? Hear from them? Watch as they do something funny or weird or inappropriate? (Thank you Robert Downey, Jr. for bringing the cray last night and to the cast of Bridesmaids. I didn’t think your film was that funny but you gals brought it last night.) This brings me to my humble opinions on how to make the Oscars the cool kid of the awards season again.
Nix the host. Have an announcer tell us which star or stars are coming out next. My only caveat to this would be to have Ricky Gervais host because 1) he drinks the entire time, 2) is English and doesn’t suffer fools, especially the Hollywood elite, lightly, and 3) he makes the Academy nervous.
Cut the categories no one cares about. Sorry, sound editing. Get it down to a nice 10 – 12 categories and keep it moving. In this day and age, no one wants to watch a variety show for four hours on a Sunday night!
Stop hyping it so much in the days and even hours before. I know the network has to justify the cost of putting it on but it all gets so diluted by showtime that you don’t need to watch to see anything. If I watch all my fave stars walk the red carpet then I’m not dying to see what they have on any more!
Lose the Price-Waterhouse guys with the briefcase. Lose the Academy President explaning the rules. Lose the technical and special Oscar ceremonies recaps. Lose the giant production number. While Cirque du Soleil is pretty cool it has nothing to do with the making or watching of movies.
Let these entertainers do what they do best. Entertain. Give them room to breathe, and joke, and interact.
Keep it to two hours. Period. People have to work Monday morning.
Oh, who am I kidding? I watched the whole damn thing last night. And loved it. (Emma Stone, you rocked that red dress and were adorable as a presenter trying to do exactly what I suggested earlier. You were taking time to enjoy yourself. And that made me enjoy you.)
Until next February, Oscar.