I’d Like to Thank the Academy … But I Can’t

Lately, the Academy Awards have been a lot like a really hot woman who turns out to be really bad in bed:  no matter how good she looks, after a while, you’re just ready for it to be over.

Eighty-two years now and they can’t get this thing done in three hours?  And the worst part was that it seemed like they were on pace to be done by 11:30pm.  Then all of a sudden This Is Your Life started up for the Best Actor nominees, and knowing they had to be doing the same for Best Actress, we all settled in for a good half hour of finding out that these actors nominated for the top prize in their profession are actually good at what they do!  They were in such a rush by the end, Tom Hanks didn’t even bother to recap the nominees for  Best Picture; he just tore open the envelope and read the name as quickly as possible, while ABC probably wondered if they could just cut to the credits right then and there.  With all the fuss made about ten films being nominated for the first time since 1943, never once were all ten films mentioned at the same time.  Which would seem to undermine the point of having that many nominees.

I also don’t get John Hughes getting a lengthy tribute.  Sure his movies are pretty well remembered, but worth taking time out of the Academy Awards for?  And you can’t really argue it was an attempt to skew young, because his last arguably relevant film (Home Alone) came out twenty years ago; not exactly recent on the pop culture radar.  Besides, anything would have been better than that horrible glimpse into what’s become of Judd Nelson.

Speaking of horror, there was another random tribute.  Which seemed to be laboring under the misapprehension that Edward Scissorhands is a horror movie.  I guess anyone wielding sharp objects makes it a horror movie.  I’m surprised they left out Julie and Julia in that case.

Also speaking of horror, we were treated to an interpretive dance number, with dancers who seemed to be hearing completely different music from what I was hearing.  It’s especially baffling since they were helping showcase the nominees for Best Original Score, where you’d think the music should be the star, not a bunch of extras from a Gap ad.

I didn’t have a problem with the hosts, except the problem that always seems to pop up with the hosts:  they dominate the first thirty to forty-five minutes, then pretty much disappear.  Maybe it’s because we simply don’t have stars like a Bob Hope or a Johnny Carson, who could hold sway over a three-hour program in their sleep.  But it would be nice to have a host who was a consistent unifying presence instead of a guy who shows up with a one-liner every twenty minutes or so.

As for the awards themselves, I think The Hurt Locker deserved its statues.  I do think there are a few too many people more happy about James Cameron and Avatar losing than about Kathryn Bigelow winning though.  I wouldn’t have had a problem with Cameron or Avatar winning in their categories, but I think it’s a little selfish and petty to take delight in someone losing.  Especially when the winner is truly deserving.

And to top it all off, I lost out on winning our Oscar pool by two lousy picks, thanks to The Hurt Locker beating out Avatar in two technical categories I thought Avatar would dominate.

It wasn’t a terrible evening, but the Oscars have pretty much turned into the Super Bowl, in that you know you’re going to watch it regardless, so you just hope it’s halfway decent.

And there’s wine instead of beer.


One Response to I’d Like to Thank the Academy … But I Can’t

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Rich.It is good to see your terrific writing again… I know this is an old past, but I thoroughly enjoyed your take on the Oscars…. especially your Edward Scissorshands/horror movie riff.Ken

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