Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The 80th Academy Awards

When are they going to let me produce the Oscars? I try to give the world so much and in return, I have frustrated ambition.

It’s a sad, sad world.

I would never have let the Oscars be so boring. It’s criminal. Hollywood can put on huge blockbusters with dazzling special effects and yet the night they celebrate ART, they fall to pieces. Maybe that’s the point. Art and Hollywood don’t mix. In the end though, they are congratulating themselves and you think they would do a better job at THAT.

Of course, there were some parts that I enjoyed. Amy Adams bubbling over (as usual) while singing “Happy Working Song”. The incredibly beautiful Marion Cotillard from La Vie en Rose (and the obviously well deserved movie’s award for makeup). The speech about hope for all the struggling artists made by Marketa Irglova from Once. The gospel choir singing Raise It Up from August Rush. Javier Bardem’s passionate thank you to his mother in Spanish. Thankfully, there were enough of these moments throughout the evening to make it bearable.

But this is how it could have been better …

*More nudity. Robert Opel had the right idea when he streaked past David Niven during the 1974 Academy Awards. People are STILL talking about this quick flash and it’s probably the only reason why we remember the 1974 Oscars. Most people want to see Jennifer Garner or Will Smith run bare-ass across the stage but I think seeing a naked Jonah Hill from Superbad would be more of a jolt to those sleepy tv audiences. It would also make people feel better about their own bodies (and who doesn't need that?) so it could double as a public service.

*More eccentric characters. Is this the night when the public actually finds out how BORING the actors and actresses are in real life? They have one chance to really make an impression on millions of people and all these winners can do is a list of thankyous? The public wants outrageousness, something indelible, something theatrical. Well timed tears just aren’t enough. Roberto Benigni didn’t really deserve an oscar for Life is Beautiful but you had to love his breathless speech about making love to everyone in the firmament (or some such thing). Cuba Gooding Jr. should have had his oscar taken away after Boatrip but his excitement after his win for Jerry Maguire made us want to stand up and cheer. Even Jack Palance knew a thing or two about thinking outside the box when he got down and did his one-handed pushups after his win for City Slickers. I suggest that the next best actress should do cartwheels across the stage. In high heels. Wearing a wig. In a low-cut gown. This might require a lot of double-sided tape to keep everything in place but the spectacle would be worth it.

*Use different methods to cut off the long-winded speeches. Why use the nice polite orchestra? People can talk over that anyway. (We’re talking about you, Miss Julia Roberts.) I think feral dogs would be a good substitute. Yes, I know they might make a little mess with the blood and all, but it would certainly bring those laundry list of thankyous to nobody-we-should-care-about to an abrupt end. Best Actors and Actresses should get the most time, probably ten seconds before the dogs come out. Sound Editing people, well, we all know that they have absolutely nothing to say and they aren’t even good looking so the dogs should be let out as soon as they approach the stage.

*More humor. I loved it when Matt Stone and Trey Parker walked down the red carpet in 1999 wearing famous dresses. Bjork obviously had a sense of humor when she sang her nominated song dressed up like a dead muppet swan. Gwenneth Paltrow was damn hysterical in her see-through saggy boob goth dress the year after she looked so serious in her Ralph Lauren number. Yes, we all like the crazy wardrobe choices but I say we should bring back the disastrously funny musical extravaganzas; Rob Lowe and Snow White singing Proud Mary during the 61st Academy Awards was freakin’ hilarious and should be imitated if not recreated entirely. With midgets. Short of that, falling sets and tripping dancers could elevate any musical number, even a ho-hum song from Enchanted NOT sung by Amy Adams. And while we’re on the subject of injecting humor, we need to get rid of Jon Stewart as a host. Yes, he had a lot of good lines (I especially liked the line about Hollywood needing a hug after all the nominated movies being about psychopathic killers) but he seemed way too smug. The best host is funny without “realizing” it. Paging Billy Crystal. Billy, we need you back. Or Whoopi. She did seem aware of how funny she was but I liked the sex jokes. Hmmmm, Billy AND sex jokes. Now there’s a combination.

You see, there ARE ways to improve the show. Make it more entertaining without it being just a way to make a fast buck at the office party oscar pool. (I made a whopping $25 this year). Hollywood just needs to call me. I could make the Oscars bigger than the Superbowl with better commercials.

Get me while I’m cheap. As you can tell, I won’t be for long.

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