Watching the Academy Awards is a little like having a beautiful girlfriend who steals your money; you keep seeing her because she's nice eye candy but you keep hoping that she will change her less than endearing ways.
The 82nd annual award show was business as usual. There were lots of gorgeous women and stylish men but at the end of the evening, I felt robbed, just like I do every year. The show was too long, too predictable and certainly not entertaining enough to keep me wide eyed for nearly four hours. Yes, I understand that the producers have a tough job but it’s time that someone thinks outside the box.
Here are my suggestions. Thanks for asking.
• Get rid of any cheesy opening number which features a guy in a glittery jacket belting out a lame Broadway-style song. Instead make this guy the host of next year’s Oscars and if he knocks it out of the park (which I suspect he will), then give him a contract for 10 years.
• Enough gushing over the actors and the actresses! Yes, we know they are all perfect people and were amazing to work with so the saccharine tributes by their friends were redundant and should be cut.
• Reduce the number of categories. Do we really need separate categories for sound mixing and sound editing? (What the hell is the difference? Actually, I don’t care and certainly don’t want it to be explained during the telecast!) Does anyone care about the Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short or the Foreign Language Film? It’s better to reduce the number of categories than treat the winners of these categories like buzz kills by shutting them up with swelling music and kicking them off the stage.
• Don’t ever allow Miley “Cabbage Patch Doll” Cyrus to give out an award again. It’s just insulting to everyone else who has deserved to be there.
• Get rid of the In Memoriam. This is just a depressing dose of reality that nobody wants during a generally upbeat awards show. Save it for another show and see how many people show up.
• Let Cirque de Soleil take over the dance numbers. They will be weird, exciting, bold and above all, acrobatic. Don’t allow anyone to do the robot dance again.
• Bring back the original song performances. Reduce the number of nominations for Randy Newman to one per year. Preferably have the original artists perform the song.
• Coach the winners. Act happy! Act like it was unexpected! Burst into tears or jump up and down! Don’t be boooooooring. I think that Mo’Nique knew she was going to win so that speech was pretty lame coming from a stand-up comedienne. Some of the most memorable Oscar moments have come from actors who have exhibited pure uninhibited JOY. Cuba Gooding Jr., Adrien Brody and that Italian guy who wanted to make love to everyone in the firmament come to mind.
• Reduce the number of Best Picture nominees to five. Make it an exclusive group. Show clips from these movies that make us realize again why we fell in love with them.
And I know you are dying to know who I thought SHOULD win so here are my votes:
LEADING ACTOR: Colin Firth for A Single Man. I did not see Crazy Heart but Colin Firth’s portrayal was so honest, it was painful.
LEADING ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock. Okay, she deserved it most among the nominees. Meryl Streep, you’ve had your well deserved turns at the podium and I’m not sure why it was so difficult to portray an expressionless fat black chick.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Walz. Perhaps the best thing about this strange movie.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Vera Farmiga. When I first saw her, I wondered where this talented beauty had come from. Completely believable in her role and perfect age-appropriate chemistry with George.
ANIMATED FEATURE: Up. No doubt about it, this movie is another charmer from Pixar.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Up. A completely original concept with beautiful arcs for indelible characters. The Hurt Locker was a great movie but the screenplay was not what made it that way.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: There is no doubt that Precious was a fine screenplay but my vote was for District 9 which gave us a very sympathetic view of alien life forms.
DIRECTING: James Cameron. Yes, I know he doesn't seem like a very likeable person but the guy is truly a visionary and he knows how to keep an audience captivated.
BEST PICTURE: Avatar. Can anyone ignore the fact that this film has made gazillions of dollars? The Best Picture category should never be a popularity contest but this film took a decade to make and will revolutionize the industry. I’m not sure that The Hurt Locker will stand the test of time and it may have won simply to give an extended middle finger to the director’s ex-husband.
That’s it. See you at the movies!