The Academy Awards and I have a contentious relationship. By “contentious” I mean that I have-without exaggeration-stood outside the Kodak Theater. Walked up to the second floor, where the entrance to the auditorium in which the awards are held and pointed backwards at the cascading glass wall of the names of past best pictures and screamed, “CRASH??? THE ENGLISH PATIENT??? SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE??? MILLION DOLLAR BABY???? WTF, OSCARS!?!” It is at this point that the security at Hollywood & Highland usually starts edging toward me so I pretend to have Tourette’s and wander off, but for some reason this show just makes me insane….er. By the way in those respective years it should have been: The Incredibles, Jerry Maguire, Saving Private Ryan, and 25 other films before Million Dollar Baby.
Sorry, there’s going to be more on this as we draw closer to whatever fresh hell the show will put my nervous system through as Seth MacFarlane captains this year’s disaster. Does anyone think that’s going to go well? Has anyone in the Academy seen Family Guy? I think it’ll be worth watching purely for the inevitability of Clint Eastwood slowly getting up out of his chair (the one next to him will be empty of course), walking up on stage, and beating MacFarlane to death with cold precision. Ok, yes, actual suggestions.
1. ADD AN ENSEMBLE AWARD. This is just a no-brainer. There’s no award for casting, which is itself ridiculous, but in this day of movies with giant talented ensemble casts, why not add this to recognize movies with such depth to the cast that no one ends up getting singled out. The SAG Awards do it. It’s good TV too to have the whole cast up there all bouncy and such.
2. NO. MORE. BEST. SONGS. Adele had damn well better win for Skyfall this year, but after that, can this category. It’s embarrassing most years. The rules for it are insane. No song that plays purely over the closing credits can be nominated. Wuh uh? How many songs are actually IN non-musical movies? Most of those don’t count because they’re from musicals adapted to the screen and if they’re from pre-existing material, they don’t count either. It needs to go and it will cut 20 minutes of painful musical numbers from the broadcast.
3. MONTAGE CAP AT THREE. You get three. Three montages. Yes, that includes the death parade. So two, really. Choose your montage well. Everyone loves a montage or two. No one wants 12.
4. MAKE THE TECHNICAL AWARDS GO BACK TO 5 NOMINEES. Or did you all feel good about the Oscar-winning film, The Wolfman? No? Five nominees. And unless you can explain to me in one sentence the comprehensive difference between the two sound awards, cut one and add an award for casting or stunt work.
5. NO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT/SPECIAL/HONORARY AWARDS. Exile them to the Scientific and Technical Awards. I don’t care how talented the person is, I don’t want 30 minutes of the show devoted to tearful applause and awkward speechifying. That’s what the other 3.5 hours are already allotted for.
I have more suggestions. These were the polite ones. Will any ever be implemented? These are the same people who erased the memory of Rob Lowe and Snow White by having Anne Hathaway and James Franco host in polar opposite states of drug affectation, so probably not. But if they do, you now know whom to thank.
How bad do you want to see Eastwood do that?