Monday, March 3, 2014

shiny gold guy

Last night a bunch of my girlfriends got together for an Oscar party and my friend N's new basement is divine.  We're all wondering why we can't just move in because it's better than any hotel we've ever stayed at together.  It was a swell time, laced with sugar, wine and color commentary.  (Pink's unfortunate boob sag!  Holy Botox, Batman!  Let's Google how old ____ is!  Love Jen's dress!  Hate Cate's earrings!  Jared's mom is beautiful!  Julia's boobs are resting against her belly button--yikes! Get some support, girlfriend!  So that's "Let It Go." Hm.  Never heard it before--should've voted for it.  How many did you get right on your ballot?)

Those Oscars--I faithfully watch every year.  I survived those years with the crazy dance numbers choreographed by Debbie Allen.  I cringed through Letterman, applauded Crystal, winced at Hathaway/Franco and grinned at Martin.  This year was okay.  Ellen is likeable and sincere and not mean in her funny, but I think it's time to rethink this monstrosity of an awards show.  Academy, here's my bullet list of ideas:

* Do ONE big movie montage at the beginning to get everyone excited about movies and what they've seen and what great memories they have.  Make it awesome and a little long.
* Cut the opening monologue by a third and present an award before the first commercial break.  And then?  Keep handing out awards at a rate of three before each commercial break.  If you managed that pace, the show would be under 2 1/2 hours long. 
* I liked how the orchestra didn't cut anybody off this year, good job.
* More back story about the nominees and their categories--this human interest stuff would make watching the Oscars more like watching the Olympics.  Present it like "pop-up video" fun facts or voice over while showing the video clips for the nominees.
* Less presenting of the presenters.  We know who John Travolta is.  *yawn*  Unless they're nominated, I don't really care to hear about them.  One sentence tops.
* More diversity in the presenters.  They don't all have to be movie stars, y'know.  They could be directors or producers or other movie people sometimes.  It feels like the same seventeen people present every year, which is BOR-ing.
* More interaction with the audience is GOOD (nice work, Ellen).
* No singing during or after the memorial portion of the evening.  A tasteful cut to commercial after the final name would have been better than that weirdly joyful rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings."  Just...ugh.  Play some somber and recognizable movie soundtrack.
* Also, those people who were listed as "inventor" should have had a picture of their contribution with their name and face.  Kind of like you do with images of the actors in their most famous roles or directors doing director-y stuff like standing behind a camera on a mountaintop. 
* I like lifetime achievement awards, it's good to honor the history of movies as well as the present.
* Incorporate more appreciation of the viewers--movies wouldn't matter without an audience.  This particular Oscars ceremony had me feeling under-appreciated.  More talk about what made these nominees special, why they are contenders, how they resonated with viewers.  Maybe even post some on the street or in the movie theater accolades given by actual viewers. 
* Cut the majestic swell of Oscar soundtrack/wide shot of stage and audience/zoom to presenter on stage.  This is a professional production, you can be more efficient and creative in and out of commercial breaks while editing about 10 minutes off this show's running time.
* Finally, a few words about Best Picture.  This award should be about more than the performances--the Best Picture should have awesome EVERYTHING--costumes, cinematography, script, effects.  I didn't see all of this year's nominated films, but many of them struck me as nominated strictly based on the acting and not much else.  There are already categories for that--"Best Actor" and "Best Actress" and "Best Supporting Actress."  Capiche?

Spill it, reader.  Your Oscar rants, raves, accolades and suggestions.  My staff will compile the list and mail it to the Academy of Motion Pictures. 


13 comments:

  1. This was a ho-hum year to me. I was a bit bored and I was disappointed with the musical performances (save for U2- they are awesome). I was really looking forward to Idina Menzel (shame on John Travolta for slaughtering her name so ridiculously) but she really flubbed it. I blame it on John Travolta. And Pink and Bette did not sound good either. I wonder if there were major sound problems that had the singers so flat and ahead of the music. Yikes.

    The dresses were okay. Ellen was okay, but sometimes I feel like she is trying too hard. And I thought her Liza comment was so mean. I hate the mean comments. They make me SO uncomfortable.

    A few good speaches (Matthew McConaughy, Lupita Nyong'o, and Jared Leto).
    There are always too many intros, too many attempts at amusing intros that don't work, etc.

    I don't know. I think I could have skipped the entire thing and been fine with it. ;)

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  2. I totally agree on the Intros - too much and too long.

    I would like to see a little explanation on how the choices are made. What makes a movie best screenplay, adaptation, etc. What exactly is the criteria that the Academy uses? Not alot, not long but some info would be nice.

    I would also cut the monologue WAY down. I truly enjoyed Ellen but I would have enjoyed her even more 10 minutes shorter (that's exactly how I felt about HER as well-30 minutes less would have made it a better movie).


    My hubbie and I actually saw all movies nominated for Best Piciture this year. Our local theater broke them up into 2 days - 4 on one Saturday and 5 the next. So this weekend was all Oscars. We saw 5 movies on Saturday (!) and then watched the awards last night. It was the first time in years that I have seen them all and it made a big difference. I didn't agree with all of the choices for winners, but it was fun. We also saw the Live Short and the Animated Shorts. I guess maybe I was more into this year since I had invested to much time. :)

    I love the idea of an Oscar Party and will definitely be hosting one next year. Maybe even with our own red carpet! Well, red carpet-ish.

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  3. there is NO flippin' way I would be able to sit still and watch that mess...but first thing this morning I checked the results :)

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  4. I did not see any of the movies. However, I have to admit that this year I wouldn't have minded watching the show, especially as you did with friends. Mostly just to see the pretty dresses. Or the ugly dresses :-) I might have to think about doing something with friends next year. I did listen to the four nominated songs --I already love Idina Menzel and U2, and really liked both songs. (The other two didn't do anything for me.) I'm glad you had such a good time, and I think your suggestions would make for a better show.

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  5. I never watch award shows until they are dvr'd and I can whiz thru the commercials..that said, I actually watched a few of the commercials! And to that I say HUZZAH! because that my friends, is what t.v. is all about---getting our attention, and then keeping it. Even if it's for all of 2 minutes at a time!
    I liked Ellens commentary. I liked all of it, and laughed at most of it. Too many cut to the famous people in the audience, tho. And the pizza jazz and some of the weird/awkward talky pitter patter with the famous audience folks felt contrived. Which...I guess it was? I could tell after a bit when she was getting no laughs for it, that it was making her feel uncomfortable. Poor Ellen. Yeah, sure.
    And poor John Revolting...he could not get Idina's name right? Get those sparkly readers out, John. Put them on. Then read the prompter. heh.
    I have seen Blue Jasmine and Philomena. That's about it, though. I do want to see Nebraska now. Oh, wait, I saw Osage August County. I didn't think it would win anything, though. Those famous actresses, I tell ya. I think they perform with a smirk on their faces already mentally putting that Oscar on their mantle.
    The famous tweet photo was priceless. You could just tell they were all into it. Which, they should be. Who doesn't love a savvy tech moment in time?

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  6. Seriously, the only one I'd seen was Frozen...

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  7. I found Mathew McConaughey's acceptance speech to be charming, loving to his relatives and grateful to God, whom he dared to mention. He seems to be a genuine gentleman.
    I liked your rant and that party sounds fantabulous, in your friend's basement.
    My dh and I will see a lot of these films eventually. Will the Oscars embrace your ideas? Give it a try.

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  8. What was up with the whole Pink performing thing? Could have totally done without her & the Bette performance, although Bette looked marvelous. Pink ruined the song -just awful.

    Turns out Jared Leto does more than lean well, and he's still just so. pretty. Alright, alright, alright. Lupita's speech made me cry. And Meryl shimmying to Pharrel was awesome.

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  9. It has been years since I've watched the Oscars. I don't even know who won.

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  10. I must be a heathen I don't watch the Oscars, never have. I see so few films these days (apart from the 5 I just caught up with on a long flight!) I would have no clue what they were talking about! However I really do want to come to that party in your friends basement!

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  11. I confess: I neither watched the Oscars nor any of the movies that were up for awards. (I might live under a rock.) On the bright side, I am aware there was a show on Sunday evening!

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  12. I'm a total Oscar junkie and always watch. I thought this year was kinda boring except for the "Selfie" improv. The pizza delivery went on way to long.

    I'd like a strong opening (maybe a more contemporary version of what Billy Crystal used to do) to profile the films. Then forget all the other "movie montages". Oh, and go back to 5 Best Pic Nominations not the current 10 (to bring in the "younger" audience.)

    A few years ago I liked when fellow actors and actresses introduced the Best Actor/Actress nominees with personal stories. I thought that was really original and heart-warming.

    I can live without the musical dance numbers (yawn) although I liked the simpleness of the songs presentation this year (except for Pink-- that whole thing was unnecessary-- and poor Liza-- i yiyi.) And the "old-timers" presenting-- forgetaboutit. (Really? Goldie Hawn! Her last nomination was 1980.)

    I'd like more glam and movie stars, then again, do we really have than many glamorous movie starts anymore. (Sigh. Where was George Clooney?)

    xo jj

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  13. I saw every single movie and I think it was the best year for movies in a long time. I thought Pink was phenomenal and Matthew McConaughey annoyed me completely. I wished all the gorgeous mothers of Leo and Matt and Jared Leto would pick up the clue phone and acknowledge that some concessions need to be made to the aging body and highlighting cleavage is one of them.

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Spill it, reader.