Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Wanted To Like the Oscars But....

Look, I like the Academy Awards and really hoped to watch every minute of the long winded ceremonies.
But wanderlust got to me.
I wandered off to get a sandwich. I read a few pages of a book. Wrestled with my cat. Did some dishes in the kitchen sink.
The Oscars just dragged on and on.
For one thing I'd seen it all before.
I'd watched the Golden Globes, The DGA Awards, the Screen Actors Awards.
Same group of contenders at every pit stop. Same winners.
By the time the Oscars stagger on the awards season had been in full tilt for months. There's nothing left to say. Everybody looks bushwhacked.
It never used to be like this.
Nobody ever bothered with the Golden Globes until a few seasons ago. And those other peripheral awards? Forget it!
But all those entertainment shows are competing with each other to produce a strange case of over coverage.
The Oscars all came out as predicted.
If only The Social Network had won as best picture! Or Annette Bening as best actress! That would have stirred up the pot a bit.
But three hours of these Dale Carnegie speeches left me pretty well exhausted. And bored. And just plain fed up.
The red carpet treatment? Blah! Where was Joan Rivers to deflate all that pomposity.
By Oscar standards this one clocked in at just over three hours. But it really dragged!
Hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway were way out of their league. These pretty young actors were imported to attract a younger demographic.
But what the show needed was a Rickey Gervais or a Billy Crystal.
One highlight was the appearance of 94-year old Kirk Douglas. The audience collectively held its breath, feating he might make a gaffe but he sailed away with some of the best lines of the night.
Another big moment was a salute to the departed talent as Celine Dion warbled away --that segment really worked.
Billy Crystal also introduced a brief salute to Bob Hope whose zingers sounded better after 50 years than the current stuff I was hearing.
This year was a strong one with Inception, The King's Speech and The Social Network all contenders as best picture.
I really wanted Jeff Bridges to duplicate his win of last year --that would have shook things up.
But I kept watching. I wondered why so many "B" List actors were selected as presenters. Where were the truly greats of the business?
To become truly competitive again the Academy Awards should be held in early January so all those ersatz award shows won't be able to hog the spotlight.

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